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.
- Constructive Body Disposal: Invoked. In an attempt to scare Glen, Terry tells him 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. 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.
- Darker and Edgier: The first film was PG-13 while the second film was rated R, mainly due to John's horrific transformation into one of the trinity demon gods.
- 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.
- Everybody Lives: In part 2, Terrence, John, and Moe all come back to life at the end.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: The demons cause an eye to grow in the protagonist's hand at one point.
- Hell Gate: The titular "Gate" is a demonic portal.
- Honking Arriving Car: A honking car horn interrupts Alexandra and Glen while Alexandra is putting Glen's rockets in the trash. Alexandra explains to Glen that she's going out shopping with her friends. The honking is then heard again as Alexandra's friends grow friends impatient while Glen continues arguing with her. When the scene finally cuts to the friends waiting in the car, they actually start to drive away without Alexandra, before she shouts at them that she's indeed coming with them.
- 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.
- 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.
- Unexpectedly Real Magic: Some boys find a record with a recording of a demonic chant. They think it's amusing, and play the record. Because of multiple elements in place, the chant actually opens up a Hell Gate.