The Gate

Film, 1987

(Just to qualify this review: I was drinking beer while watching this movie.) The Gate has two really strong qualities; the perspective of the storytelling and the special effects. The special effects are amazing- especially the little monsters that terrorize the kids throughout the film. I’m a big fan of 80’s horror special effects and I honestly couldn’t tell what I was looking at: Men in suits? Stop motion? Puppets? Awesome. The other thing I really liked was the perspective that the story was told from. This movie, monsters, gore and all, seems to be aimed at children. In addition it doesn’t speak down to them- it treats kids as not only cognizant, cleaver and capable, but also as realistically troubled (many people seem to latch on to the character of Terry, and the protagonist’s relationship with his sister is also pretty dead on). Most movies present sanitized versions of what adults wish their children were, so I appreciate this film for treating kids with respect. In other areas however, this isn’t a great movie. Something resembling a plot only makes occasional appearances to set up a great set piece, and the movie does drag a bit. But there’s more than enough awesome 80’s hair and catchphrases to fill in the gaps. 3

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