The Gate

There was a movie when I was a kid that terrified me. It was a kid’s horror movie, and it worked. I had nightmares for years about hands that would pop out from underneath my bed and drag me to the depths of hell. Which is what happened in the movie. I used to check my hands all the time to make sure a demon eye didn’t sporadically grow in one of them. In the movie hundreds of tiny, terrorizing demon creatures would form out of your walls, and like ants, surround you, and tear you apart. Crazy for a kid, right? This was a kid’s movie in the 80s. It was PG. In the end, they must defeat the devil himself, which is a dragon-like monster with tentacles as arms that comes up from your floor. I think it was called, “The Gate.”

The CGI was impressive for its time, which is how it gained popularity in the first place. Of course now it’s a bit laughable to look at. So is the concept. Of course, showing all that monster stuff to children, and the idea of being dragged to hell for an eternity of torture, and marketing it to the 7 and up crowd… yeah, that probably wouldn’t fly today.

By the way, are you noticing a theme here? Because, this is where the movie gets really cringe. And I never caught it until I decided to watch this movie as an adult, to sort of face the cause of abject fear in my childhood. It’s entirely religious propaganda. Not just because of the hell part; Jesus, satanic practicing, evil witchcraft, and all Christian ideology you can throw on a script, is referenced all over the movie.

The kids partake in, essentially, dark arts. That’s what opens the gate. And there is this one kid who is reciting that this is witchcraft, against God, they are sinning. I just want to make a note here, nothing that they did involved witchcraft in any way shape or form. Of course a horror movie is never complete without some one who knows better and does it anyway because of peer pressure. This is why those kids are later being chased by demons, they deserve the consequences of opening this door. Which mister know-it-all brat constantly points out. You can only say, “I told you so,” so many times before your friends start to wonder if sacrificing you is an option. Anyway, how dare they question the all mighty Lord and Savior for a fun night of running away from evil! And while they did do this sinful, anti-god witchcraft, it is noted that it gained so much power so quickly because the older sister, oblivious to what her little brother and his friends were doing, was sinning as well… by taking advantage of the fact her parent’s will be gone during the weekend and throwing a party. How dare she! Her vane in planning this perfect party, failing to pay attention to her little brother, constantly chasing him away. Making him cry a lot because he felt so out of touch with his now teenage sister. Granted, I’ll agree that it’s pretty bad babysitting to completely ignore her little brother like that. So much so that right under her very nose he opened the door to hell, and didn’t even notice until her friends got eaten or dragged off by tiny pitchforked demons coming out of her wall. One might think a good, responsible babysitter might have caught her little brother causing world altering mischief before her friends came over. But, they lost their brother sisterly bond, and she acted like she didn’t like him anymore. This is just adding to her sins: her vanity, disobeying her parents, and being a bad sister. They have a nice talk about it, because I guess the demons took a break from terrorizing so they could bond. Demons really want to ensure a broken relationship gets fixed before the two of them go to hell. Especially since they know that love conquers all, including Satan. So let’s make sure they bond so that later we are defeated. Good plan.

There are various tools they used to defeat Satan, when his Godzilla with tentacles like appearance broke through their house. One of which was the power of God and prayer. A weapon was the crucifix. Oh, and the newfound rebonding between brother and sister. That’s what essentially destroys Satan, loving your siblings. Yup. That’s what did it. It makes no sense, because they are in the middle of suburbia and one might think some one would have seen Godzilla rise out of a house. The sheer fact that the military was not involved in taking this out was absurd. Or at least the police. There was a party where kids died, and those that escaped ran for their lives, and told their parents they were seeing this type of stuff after attending a party without parents home. Wouldn’t you think your very underage child was drunk or given drugs at said party, and would call the police to report it? I mean, yeah, I wouldn’t believe their story was real, but I would certainly be concerned that they were seeing those things. Especially if one of those things included dead kids. You know, the ones that never came home.

So, the whole town was a bunch of sinners, I guess? Neglectful parents, no 9–1–1 or phone calls to other parents concerned about the fact that their kids didn’t come home? No finding out what happened while their kids babbles out some LSD like tripping, to notice a consistent story among all the kids that returned home from the party? No one wanted to investigate exactly what was going on?

After Satan is destroyed, the kids’ parents call. They are an hour away. Which I think most kids who have just been through that will be thankful, and ready to go to the hospital to ensure their demon friends didn’t cause any internal damage while fighting them. Not to mention needing some therapy because nothing causes PTSD more than fighting Satan himself. But no, their thought is, the house is a wreck, their parents will kill them if they don’t clean it, and also find out there was a party without their permission. That’s definitely more important. And most definitely the worst problem on their list of problems that happened over two days. Que 80s cleaning montage. How they fixed the roof after Satan broke through it and then retreated back down the hole he came from is unknown. He also didn’t damage the wood floor. I didn’t realize how polite the devil is, fixing up their house so it at least there isn’t any structural damage. But he didn’t clean up the party, which according to these kids makes the whole thing more unfair.

Parents come home, don’t notice anything amiss. Their kids are more than happy to see them and can actually convince them that nothing at all was ever wrong. That whole situation behind them, they go back to their normal life with no psychological implications at all. And no legal trouble, considering they do have some dead bodies in the house they never cleaned up. And a bunch of angry parents who sent their kids to a party where they came back hallucinating, and some who never came back at all.

Which is the cringiest part of the whole thing. God saved them, and the hell that was going to be brought on the world was stopped. And since these kids have now learned their lesson, God ensures they get away with everything scotch free.

The moral of the story, therefore, is if you sin by literally opening the gate to hell in your living room, so long as you realize what you did and repent, there is no long term consequences of that. God will even make sure your parents don’t notice you threw a party and ground you by giving you a heads up they are close by and you should really get around to cleaning. I guess that was a bonus reward for their fixed relationship? Just right back to your normal, happy life, as if it never happened.

Quite frankly, I wonder if that whole town was in hell from the very beginning: unchecked psychopathic children destroying mankind, not reporting a fire breathing demon showing up, parents so oblivious they still haven’t noticed their kids never came back, and police too lazy to go and find out exactly what drugs were given away at the party to cause mass hallucination. And no phone calls from these two kids’ parents who went away for a weekend until they were an hour of coming home. Cringe.