The Gate is a bit of a cult classic…well known in horror movie circles as being an entertaining & charming 80’s flick. This sequel is less well known…in fact I had forgotten it even existed until I chanced upon it recently.
I knew I had seen it before many years ago but could remember very little of it (never a good sign). Still, I had to see if it at least captured some of that magic that made the first movie so compelling to watch….
The Gate 2: The Trespassers is set 5 years after the events of the first movie. Stephen Dorff’s character, Glen & his family have moved away leaving their house in ruins. The other kid from the original, Terry still lives next door & is struggling to still get past his mother’s death. His father is a borderline alcoholic now struggling to get work after losing his job as an airline pilot.
Terry is desperate to get his father back on the right track so decides to mess around with the gate again. After doing lots of researches (thankfully we are spared most of those scenes) he finds out that he can conjure up a demon & get it grant him wishes. Seeing a chance to fix his & his father’s lives he begins the ritual in Glen’s abandoned house.
The local bully (John), his stooge (Moe) & his sort of girlfriend (Liz) interfere & initially mock Terry. Liz who takes a liking to Terry gets the other 2 to take part & they successfully conjure up one of those little demons from the original movie. John kills it in a fit of anger but later Terry revives it & gets his wishes granted. He lets Liz get in on the act & later John & Terry kidnap it & also make it grant their wishes.
Everyone is having fun…until it becomes apparent there is a price to pay for all of these granted wishes & the demons on the other side of the gate have a bigger plan.
Will Terry get what he wants? Will Liz fall madly in love with him? Will John & Moe stop being such idiots? Will any of us remember this?
That last one…I wouldn’t bet on it.
The film is extremely un-memorable & manages to lose most of the originals scares & impressive sequences. Instead what we get here is a version of ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ that leaves you feeling ever so disappointed.
Terry is the only actor of the film that actually makes you believe he is the character he says he is. The rest are walking clichés from the alcoholic father to the ‘not very tough’ bully John, they irritate more than entertain. The restaurant scenes with John & Moe are cringe-worthy but made better by the knowledge that we know what is about to happen.
Once the price for the wishes is revealed the film sort of speeds up & takes a fun idea & blasts through it far too quickly, all so it can set up a very strange ending. It does make use of late 80’s quality stop-motion animation & I do like how it looks even if it has aged terribly.
Interestingly enough the film wasn’t released for 3 years after it was finished because of distribution issues….what chance it actually have?
What is good about The Gate 2: The Trespassers is pretty much ripped from the first movie…Terry, the demons & the effects. Beyond that the film is a mess of half-ideas & confusing direction….and don’t get me started on that ending.
The Gate 2: The Trespassers