The Gate

The Gate

The Gate is a name referring to the hellish interdimensional portal between the world of the living and the unholy world of the Demons, and it is the main plot element of the titular 1987 independent, supernatural horror movie The Gate and it's 1990 sequel The Gate II: Trespassers (also known as "Gate II: Trespassers", "Gate II". and "Gate II: Return to the Nightmare").

Role in Film

The Gate

12-year-old boy named Glen awakens from a nightmare of him returning to his home abandoned, and into his treehouse where it is struck by lightning and collapses. In his backyard, a group of workers have cut down a tree and a fragment of a geode has been unearthed. Glen returns with his older friend Terry to investigate. Though the workers have attempted to fill the hole left by the tree, Glen and Terry breach the surface and uncover a large geode. In the process, Glen catches a splinter and leaves a small bit of blood behind.

With Glen's parents leaving town for three days, they leave his 16-year-old sister Alexandra ("Al") in charge. Al decides to throw a party. Upstairs, Terry and Glen break open the geode upon discovering that it has left strange writing on a notepad, and reads the incantations aloud. They go downstairs just as the party-goers have begun playing a levitation game, from then everyone is shocked when they successfully levitate Glen.

That night, Glen sees his bedroom wall stretching, and Terry embraces a heavenly apparition of his dead mother which turns out to be Glen's dog Angus, who dies as a result. The next day, Terry brings a heavy metal album to Glen's house with lyrics based on "The Dark Book". He believes that the hole in Glen's backyard is a gateway to the domain of evil gods, and speculates that their actions from the previous day started the process. He concludes that the only missing element would be to deposit a sacrifice into the hole. Unknown to them, a friend of Al's has already dumped Angus into the hole, completing the summoning. After reading a section from "The Dark Book" that is supposed to close the Gate, the boys find the hole has closed and assume their efforts were successful.

That night, a swarm of moths shatter Glen's bedroom window, and Angus' corpse is found in Terry's bed. Demonic arms try to pull Al under the bed, and Terry and Glen barely save her. They attempt to flee the house, but are greeted outside by Glen and Al's parents, who are actually disguised demons. After returning to the house Al volunteers to inspect the yard, but the others see it swarming with small demons and call her back. Terry leads everyone to the basement to retrieve "The Dark Book", but it bursts into flames. They then attempt to stop the creatures by reading the Bible, in which Terry reads from Psalm 59 and the hole seems to close, but he slips and falls into the hole where he is attacked by the demons before Al and Glen pull Terry out. Terry reads from Genesis, but ultimately throws the Bible into the hole, causing an explosion where the hole appears sealed and knocking them unconscious.

That night, a wall breaks open and a construction worker's corpse falls through. Before Glen wonders about the worker being buried in the house's walls, the worker pulls Terry into the wall, which seals behind him. Upstairs, Al notices a hazy image of the construction worker in her mirror before Glen bursts into Al's bedroom. Al throws a stereo at him and he disintegrates into dozens of little demons. Al holds the bedroom door shut while Glen races downstairs to find their father's gun. A demonic version of Terry appears and bites his hand, before Al assists Glen and stabs Terry in the eye. Al and Glen hide in a closet, but the construction worker breaks through an interior wall. Al fires a shot into his head upon no effect and drags her away.

Glen realizes that Terry and Al represent the two human sacrifices that would fully open the gate. He also realizes that the rocket Al intended to give him for his birthday (a symbol of love, light and purity) is the only thing that can stop the rise of the Old Gods. He makes his way upstairs just before the floor collapses, revealing a chasm beneath the house. Glen retrieves the rocket and attempts to launch it, but the matches keep blowing out. The wind sucks Glen onto the foyer, where a giant serpentine demon emerges. The demon pats Glen on the head, touches his hand, and returns to the hole. Glen discovers that the demon's touch has placed an eye in the palm of his hand, causing him to stab the eye where he then struggles to descend the staircase, at which point the demon re-emerges. Glen uses a battery-powered launcher to fire his rocket into the demon, causing the demon to explode and dispelling the dark clouds above the house.

Glen returns to the house. Angus emerges from the front closet, seemingly restored to life. He is followed by Terry and Al, also unhurt. The kids worry about how to explain the wreckage of the house to their parents.

The Gate II: Trespassers

It has been 5 years since Terry (now known as Terrence) and his friend, Glen, accidentally opened up the Gate in Glen's back yard. Glen's family has moved away, and Terrence's broken family has grown worse. Still grieving over his mother's death, and with his dad wallowing in alcoholism, Terrence finds himself increasingly drawn to the evil portal and the power it possesses.

Terrence breaks into Glen's old house and begins the ritual to summon the demons and grant him the power to get his father's life back on track. He is interrupted by three other teens who also broke into the house. While John and Moe are content to ridicule Terrence, John's girlfriend, Liz is extremely interested in demonology and convinces her two friends to join Terrence in completing the ritual. Terrence brings a Minion (one of the small creatures that ran amok previously) through the Gate. In a panic, John pulls out his revolver and shoots it, then storms off with his friends in tow. Alone, Terrence finds the Minion's body and takes it home. It survives, so Terrance opts to keep it in a cage as a pet.

The next day, Terrence finds that his wish has seemingly come true. His father, once a proud airline pilot, has given up the bottle and netted a job flying for a major carrier. When Liz comes over later, they discover they can use the Minion to grant any wish they want, but with dire consequences.

Liz burns an effigy of her car pin to make a real one, and John and Moe create money and go pig out at a fancy restaurant after stealing the minion and trashing Terrence's house. The minion gets loose and attacks the boys, infecting them.

John and Moe are transformed into demons. They kidnap Liz to sacrifice her. Previously Liz and Terrence imbued an old jewelry box belonging to his mother as a vessel of light to destroy the darkness.

Terrence is brought to the dark world and greeted by the demonic John and Moe and given the task of killing Liz to complete darkness after being transformed into a demon as well. Terrence fights for himself and to save Liz and hurls the box into the gate. It explodes with light and they are transported back to Earth. Terrence dies.

After the funeral service for Terrence ends, he emerges from the coffin and Liz and Terrence kiss. After they leave, John and Moe also emerge from the coffin. Seeing Liz and Terry together, they state, "Who needs girls?, when you got demons!".


  • The Gate is often seen and even sometimes referred to as a hellhole.
    • A hellhole is another name for the hellmouth, a doorway to hell.
    • A hellhole can be described as a (dirty or unpleasent) place of extreme torment and/or unbearable misery.
  • It shares the same name with the eldritch stone structure from the videogame Shadow Hearts: From the New World.

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