Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I’m a huge fan of The Gate. I always have been. Any movie with hordes of stop-motion mini-creatures invading late-80s suburbia is right up my alley. I like Gremlins, and I love Ghoulies, and I tolerate Munchies. Plus, it had a young Stephen Dorff, the pocket hunk from Blade, back when he was a little kid with the exact same head as his adult version. Oh yeah, The Gate was a fun ride.

So I was always curious about The Gate 2. I enjoy tracking down little-seen, little-loved sequels to horror classics (Fright Night 2: The Squeakquel), and there are fewer movies less seen and less loved than this one. It was one of the few films, along with Saturday the 14th and The Bermuda Depths, that I regularly looked for on Netflix Instant. But when Netflix failed me, Youtube delivered. Check out all ten parts of this movie as soon as possible; otherwise you just might miss it.

Gate 2 is totally Dorff-less, and instead focuses on his creepy William Finley-looking best friend who tries to open the same gate and unleash a bunch of demons because his dad is alcoholic or something. There’s also an unearned romance with Pamela Segall, because there has to be a romance, right? I’m not going to focus too much on the story, because it feels like a lame version of the original, and comes across as centerless and weirdly short, even though its runtime is roughly the same as the original. (Such is the power of Dorff, I guess.) I will say that the goofy mini-creatures are back, and the effects are still a lot of fun, and there is the added twist of our main characters crossing over into the other side. (In this movie, WE are the Trespassers. Apparently.) But all that adds up to a competent, enjoyable ride that you’ll probably forget in the near future.

I would like to mention, though, that I experienced a very specific thrill watching this movie that I didn’t understand at first. As the credits began, I was genuinely excited about what would happen next. And even when the reality of this movie slowly deflated my excitement, there was still something there, thudding away in my little fanboy heart. Long after the movie was over, I finally figured out what that feeling was: the excitement of tracking down a rare movie. In the post-Netflix age, there really isn’t such a thing as rarity anymore. Everything is at your fingertips, and everything is equal. That’s definitely a good thing. But at the same time, it’s not. Without the need to track something down, to stumble across the rare VHS or DVD in some bargain bin, nothing feels special anymore. Not in the way it used to. Tracking down this movie somehow made it more special to me, even though the movie itself was underwhelming and passable. I have a feeling this will be one of the last movies that gives me that kind of thrill. And for that, I definitely treasure my Gate 2 experience.

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