The Gate (1987)


Directed by: Tibor Takács

Written by: Michael Nankin


Stephen Dorf .... Glen
Christa Denton .... Al
Louis Tripp .... Terry Chandler
Kelly Rowan .... Lori Lee
Jennifer Irwin .... Linda Lee
Deborah Grover .... Mom
Scot Denton .... Dad
Ingrid Venanger .... Paula
Sean Fagan .... Eric

Special Appearance:

Linda Goranson .... Terry's Mom

Release Date: Theatrical: May 16, 1987









A removal of a tree that was struck by a lightning bolt causes a big hole in the ground of a family's backyard. The youngest child of the family named Glen (Stephen Dorf) has nightmares about it and is also wondering what is down there. He digs it up and finds a boulder of some sort so he keeps it in his room.
Then his parents leave for the weekend so his stuck up sister named Al (Christina Denton) decides to bring over her friends to have a party.
Meanwhile, Glen and his friend Terry (Louis Tripp) has a sleepover so they open up the boulder and find a sheet of spells as they both read it out loud. Then afterwards strange events starts to occur.
Terry listens to his new heavy metal record titled Sacrifice as there's a booklet inside that summons demons if you play the record backwards along with the words that are printed in the booklet.
He reads it and the demons arise from the hole in Glen and Al's backyard which was a gateway from hell.
The demons begin to invade the house trying to use hallucinations and other deadly devices to terrorise everyone in the house.
They are only wanting one thing, a sacrifice for their leader which involves two people in order to do it.


An interesting beginning that involves Glen hearing a doll talking and going to the tree house to find it as well as lightning crashing causing this to fall only to be a dream as this all looked impressive to watch.
Nice moments involving both Glen and his friend Terry Chandler in the yard and a big hole opening which looked truly mysterious to watch. Also we have nicely focused moments with the two of them trying to open up what seems to be a large egg and almost giving up with a last whack and then a good jumping moment with steam flying out and then discovering crystal objects as this all looked dynamically suspenseful.
Nice moments with the parents having discussions with both Glen and Al before they leave which seemed to look well done as well as them discussing no parties and then suddenly we see Al having a party as there's nice shots and scenarios on the happenings there which showed nice timing. There's also a trip out moment when the friends at the party try to get Glen to be used to see if he can float in the air when they do a seance as this was well focused and shot.
Neat and entertaining moments with Terry getting into his record and then the spoken intro to another song as well as him looking at the pages of his album cover and reading what is shown there as this draws you in greatly leaving a clue to the horror moments that will unveil later on.
Other situations seem a little slow as we are waiting to see when the horror will happen but it takes a while but then we have a good moment with a sleepover involving Terry when he spots his dead mother in a white gown opening the front door with mist floating as this looked great to watch as you wonder if he's dreaming this and then a devastating moment when he hugs her to find out on what happens next. All of this looking hauntingly good and memorable to anyone who saw this flick.
Nice shadowy effects on a small demon as this gets things going as well as Al going to try and wake someone up only to find him coming into the room which leaves you a spooky feeling as well as what she discovers is in the sheets and then a demon arm grabbing at her leg from underneath the bed since this looked impressive to anyone having a fear for what's underneath the bed when you were a child and being scared to walk towards it. Things looked funny and almost cute when we see little demons entering a window looking at everyone as well as the gang trying to get away from them where there's neat special effects on what happens here and there.
Also a perfect moment with what seems to be the parents returning as there's a nice creepy dark shot on them arriving at the front of the home only to be discovered as oozing zombies when their faces are touches and their creepy reactions too. This was done in a nice ghoulish fashion.
Also some interesting moments when they think that they put an end to the demons when some of their friends come out of a closet as well as spotting some male friends catching them by surprise wanting to join in on the fun which adds some nice entertainment.
A good moments with zombies crashing through the walls of a room and attacking as this looked great to watch and in a good horror fashion as well as the zombies breaking into the little demons running around as this once again looked pretty funny to watch.
One of the best moments is a hole tearing open in the middle of the house as well as a giant creature leaping up and sniffing Glen which had nice special effects on all of this and entertaining in a good horror fashion too. Plus some great moments when he tries to snuff out this beast in other spots along with a great shot on smoke rising from the hole in the back yard drilling up into the sky like a hurricane. This was another attraction to the film which is a pleaser.
Bottom line is that this is an exciting 80's horror film with lots of twists and turns along with plenty of neat and fun touches as well as a happy ending since we don't often see in most flicks. Great effects. Michael Nankin was very imaginative with his writing as whenever you see the hole, you wonder what could possibly be down there whenever smoke arises from it in the very beginning of this film. Almost resembles to Ghoulies with the tiny demons but a far more better motion picture in every aspect and less humoress. Awesome film to watch on Halloween night.

The acting is very well done with these young and talented people. We have a very young Stephen Dorf (Glen) who was born in Georgia but unlike most local actors there, he pursued his career in Hollywood and in other big US cities. He was great with his energetic performance as a mischievious kid and showing some good spunk within whatever he did. Plus showed off a good attitude telling others off who belittle him and making this very believeable too. Plus shows off good energy when the terror strikes him with his struggling attitude. A nice start off for his career for sure.
Christa Denton (Al) knew her craft perfectly well as the typical partying teenage girl but yet someone whom is caring and soft hearted. She adds alot of spunk and charisma as well. Does a good job reacting to stuff and showing off nice energy within whatever she did here. She represented herself perfectly.
Louis Tripp (Terry Chandler) certainly knew his stuff as a geeky kid who is interested in science as well as heavy metal in which he adds some good energy within everything that happens. Also does a nice job getting into listening to his record as well as carefully reading some instructions on a record. Plus was great with his freaked out and screaming attitude for the terrifying moments too.
Kelly Rowan (Lori Lee) had the right pretty teenage girl looks and appeal as well as doing a good job with her stand offish behvior and acting perfectly stuck up. Seemed to do a convincing job by going through a rebellious phase and acting too cool for stuff. Plus does a nice job with her frightened behavior when the little demons are invading.
Scot Denton (Dad) seemed to show a nice fatherly personality and draws off perfectly onto the camera when he gets stern during a certain situation. Also does well when getting into a concerned type of conversation. He for sure brings out all of the nice characteristics that you could imagine by portraying a family man.
Sean Fagan (Eric) proved it well by a partying type of idiot with no common sense. He was good with his rebellious type of behavior and shows off some nice energy within everything that he did into his role. I found that he had the right appeal as well as the good looks for this type of character he portrayed so he was a good choice.

There's a dead dog (Not really gory).
A disguised fathers face is torn with liquid pouring out and then his head falls off.
Also a zombie's eye is stabbed with the legs of a Barbie doll.

The composing by Michael Hoening, J. Peter Robinson and an uncredited Vincent Carlucci and John Paul Young is also in terrific taste especially with the suspenseful and creepy moments. Alot of great chiming sounds and low keyboard playing as well as some hissing effects and other moments like that. Many different sounds in the areas that were needed to be used in the flick which was dead on.

There's also a bitchin soundtrack by many 80's pop artists like Eva Everything with their hit "No Pleasure" and other music involved in this film too which is just as good.

Terrence 'Terry' Chandler: May the old devils depart! May they burn in the fires of their own damnation! May they freeze in the infinite golden darkness of their own hideous creation!
Glen: Isn't that kind of insulting?
Terrence 'Terry' Chandler: I guess it's supposed to be. I mean, we're trying to get rid of them.

Dad: [as demon]
Dad: You’ve… been… bad!

Terrence 'Terry' Chandler: We accidently summoned demons who used to rule the universe to come and take over the world.
Glen: Yeah, we found out about it from, uh, one of Terry's albums.