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Film Review: The Gate II: Trespassers (1990)

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SYNOPSIS:

Four teens summon forth a diminuitive, demonic minion from The Other Side to do their bidding and grant their wishes, but of course, they must all ultimately pay the price…

REVIEW:

The Gate II: Trespassers is the 1990 sequel to the 1987 movie The Gate, which starred a young Stephen Dorff. This movie follows up with the best friend character, Terry, five years after the events of the first film. Much of the same thematic mood, makeup effects, and stop motion are used in this movie. It is not as creepy as the original but it still a decent follow up that is worth watching.

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After the events of the first film Glen and his family have moved away. Terry has many family problems and decides that the only way to fix things is to go back to the gate and summon the demonic powers. While he is doing the ritual two bullies, John and Moe, arrive along with Liz, John’s girlfriend, played by Pamela Adlon (nee Segall). Pamela might be familiar for her working with Louis C.K. and her voice work as Bobby Hill in King of the Hill. They summon a demonic minion who ends up granting them wishes but it inevitably backfires.

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The acting is all very on point. The material has a certain level of seriousness that is met well and handled well without scenery chewing or winking to the audience. The silly aspects of the script are handled well and played seriously which makes the movie a little creepier during the actual dramatic scenes. The characters are charismatic enough that you care about their success and hope that they can correct their mistakes. Pamela Adlon is particularly fun and she plays a teenage girl well. Louis Tripp as Terry has a great look. There is something slightly sinister about his look but at the same time he is very vulnerable.

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The stop motion creatures are very cool looking and the makeup is quite gross and well done. The demonic minion is creepy and shows a lot of skill and effort in animating the creature. Much like the original, The Gate II: Trespassers shows that there can be horror movies for teens that come to terms with issues like depression, alcoholism, bullies, and death in the family. These are heavy subjects and they are dealt with in a mature manner. This movie has a very upbeat ending like the original and perhaps it is for the best since so many horror films have to end on a down note.

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I would have really liked to see more of the monster creatures that existed in the first film. In the last big scene a giant creature threatens the whole family. While you do see other types of demons it would have been interesting to see the scale go bigger no the threat level. The story sometimes has elements of Lovecraft with The Monkey’s Paw and parts of a campfire story on screen. The ending seems like it tries a little too hard to be a happy ending. Still, the ending does not mar an otherwise entertaining movie filled with fun performances and decent effects.

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The Gate II: Trespassers is a good movie that is worth seeing if you enjoyed the first movie or if you are a horror fan in general. If you did not see the previous film then you might get lost in a few of the smaller details but this movie does not linger in those in order to make its own story. It would have been nice to see Glen and his family but this still works. I liked that Terry still had a life that was not all sunshine and roses and the temptation of the power behind the gate drew him back for a second taste. The Gate is a series that could probably be due for a remake. It is a fun, original, and creepy movie but I would not mind seeing someone else’s interpretation. It is an entertaining film that should be given a chance.

2 comments

  1. The gate 2 was amazing. both movies are so original, and the efx for that time where amazing as well. The viewers dont see how painstaking the process is for stop motion animation. the story is so original asx well. As im an artist, im thinking about writing a script for the gate 3! i choose the gate 3 because horror movie fans know the more numbers the (bad in a good way) is better.haha. some of the issues it tackled and throw in the mythology aspect makes these 2 movies actually some of the best and most original horror to come out. just my thoughts…
    :)

     

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