Film / The Gate

The Gate is a 1987 Canadian horror movie directed by Tibor Takács and starring Stephen Dorff.

Three children are left home alone for the weekend. Through a set of contrived circumstances, they open a gate to hell in the backyard.

Received a sequel in 1990, title Gate II: The Trespassers.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The master demon is appropriately enormous in height.
  • Building of Adventure: Every scene occurs in or around the house.
  • Call-Back: Earlier in the movie, Terry tells Glen that a workman died while building his house years before he and his family moved in and that he was still stuck in the walls. Glen's father brushes it off a few scenes later as Terry making things up on account of struggling to deal with the recent death of his mother. Later, when a zombie busts through the wall of their house, Glen whispers, "It's the workman" but Terry quickly informs him that he made it all up.
  • Demonic Possession: Happens to the protagonists best friend partway through the movie.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: The protagonist's sister and friend. He has to rescue them.
  • Dream Intro: The film opens with the main character walking into an eerie empty house, then climbing a tree which gets struck by lightning and falls down... And then he wakes up to the sound of a tree being cleared in his backyard.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: The demons cause an eye to grow in the protagonist's hand at one point.
  • Hell Gate: The centerpiece of the plot.
  • Jerk Ass: All of the sister's friends are this to the younger boys.
  • The Legions of Hell: Are mostly tiny devil things. At first...
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Not too painfully played, but the older sister doesn't believe them at first.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Mostly small, hunchbacked gray imps with one huge, four armed sloth thing leading them. They also have more Lovecraftian themes surrounding them than Satanic ones.
  • Primordial Chaos: The origin of the Old Gods.
  • Separated From The Adults: The whole movie takes place while the parents are on vacation.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: The demons appear as the parents seconds after they first arrive. They break their disguise before they even speak, but all they ever say is "YOU'VE BEEN BAAAAAD!".
  • Subliminal Seduction: Inverted. The record is openly occult and is actually part of the coincidence that summons the demons. Playing it backwards provides the spell to banish them.
  • When the Planets Align: A requirement for the gate to be opened.

Alternative Title(s): The Gate II