After the World Premiere of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and its guest panel with filmmakers and cast, will be a 35mm free screening of this ‘80s cult classic, specially selected based on its shared sensibilities with the limited Nickelodeon series.
When Al and her little brother Glenn are left home unsupervised for the weekend, light-hearted teenage debauchery begets full-fledged demonic invasion in this dark, coming-of-age, 80s cult classic.
Al (Christa Denton) is a good kid faced with the dilemma of responsibility versus teen hormones and fitting in with her cool friends. Glenn (played by Stephen Dorff—his feature debut!) just wants to shoot bottle rockets and hang with a sister whose outgrown him. As party proceedings are underway, Glenn and his best friend Terry (Louis Tripp) investigate a menacing hole in the backyard left by a tree removal service. That hole has a dark vibe (and a weird geode) and it’s not long before unexplainable phenomena begin occurring after they’ve disturbed the entrance to it. The slightly unhinged Terry, who has turned towards heavy metal to deal with feelings of anger and loss after his mother’s untimely death, starts connecting the spooky dots. With the help of his record collection, he concludes that the hole is a gateway to hell that they’ve accidentally opened and that it’s up to them to reseal it.
A mainstay of 80s/90s VHS rental stores, an entire generation grew up with repeated viewings of this creepy, at times bizarre, cult classic. Featuring incredible effects work by Frank C. Carere (Videodrome, Popcorn), The Gate uses a combo of stop-motion animation and forced perspective to create a deeply unsettling atmosphere, filled with a legion of tiny, terrifying demons. Hormones, hysteria, and a house under siege, this potent brew of elements pits a group of just-barely teens against even weightier threats than the dark lord: mortality, loss, the frightening physical and mental changes that come with puberty, problem-solving sans parents/guardians. A fun film for sure, but one that deals with adolescent apprehensions in an unexpected and deep way.
Hungarian director Tibor Takács created an unforgettable, marvelous dark gem of a film with The Gate; whether you’ve seen it 100 times, or not at all, there’s no better place to catch it than on the Egyptian’s immaculate big screen.
Director: Tibor Takács
Hulu Theatre @The Egyptian