01st Mar2018

‘The Gate’ Blu-ray Review (Vestron Video)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Stephen Dorff, Louis Tripp, Chrsita Denton, Kelly Rowan, Jennifer Irwin, Deborah Grover, Scot Denton, Ingrid Veninger, Sean Fagan | Written by Michael Nankin | Directed by Tibor Takacs


My memories of The Gate come from first seeing the video cover at the rental store and immediately wanting to see it. To my young eyes, it was just a must see. Now as a grown up, getting the chance to re-watch it for review, I hoped the magic was still there. Thankfully it turned out that it was, made all the better on Blu-ray.

When Glen (Stephen Dorff) and Terry (Louis Tripp) release a horde of pint-sized demons from a hole in Glen’s backyard they find the task of stopping them all the harder his parents gone for the weekend. With the help of big sister Al (Christa Denton) they must do battle against their worst fears to stop the end of the world.

The Gate is one of those movies that sits between the world of kid’s movies, and the darker world of horror. Much like Poltergeist, it isn’t really a movie designed for kids, but those who saw it on the original release tended to love it. Much like I did when I first watched it.

Now with older eyes, The Gate is a film that may show that eighties dress sense may be out of date, but hell never gets old. Another factor that makes the film age well is the use of stop motion animation for the small, and bigger demons that The Gate gradually introduces into the film.

What works well with The Gate is that it has genuinely creepy moments. There is an understanding in the writing of what scares kids. Think your parents will protect you? Not in this movie. There’s an urban legend of a builder who got walled up in one of the houses? Well that can be used too. It is all about creating fear, and it works both on and off-screen.

Another fun factor is realising that Stephen Dorff is in this movie, though almost unrecognisable as a child. Thankfully both he and Louis Tripp who play Terry play their parts well, which is often worrying when it comes to child actors. They are easy to relate to characters that pull the audience into the story, which is something eighties horror movies tended to do well.

Now on Blu-ray, this Vestron Video Collector’s Series release has plenty of special features. This includes two audio commentaries from people such as the writer and special effects designer, there are also plenty of other features including interviews with some of the cast. For fans looking to re-visit The Gate, this is a treasure trove of features to be delved into.

The Gate is one of those Eighties movies that is well worth revisiting, mostly because the special effects have aged well. When you think of those classic children’s horrors from the eighties like The Monster Squad and Poltergeist, The Gate sits well with them. Maybe not really a horror for children, but one that they are sure to love (hell we did in the Eighties) The Gate stands the test of time and still delivers those creepy scares we all remember.

***** 5/5

The Gate Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray is available now in the UK.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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