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.
- 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.
- 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.