The Film (4/5)
Terry (Louis Tripp) has been pondering the incident that occurred with "The Gate" at his friend Glenn's house since it occurred a few years ago. He is convinced that had he and Glenn been properly prepared, and understood the magic that they were using, they could have controlled the magic and demons, and controlled The Gate's power to their advantage. After all this time, he decides to break in, and use the power of computers and magic to help him reopen the gate, and do it right. Unfortunately, a group of bullies disrupt his ritual, and things don't go according to plan. However, one gate demon escapes, Terry and his sort of girlfriend Liz capture it and force it to their wishful bidding. However, things don't exactly go according to plan, and Terry loses control of the demon and must square off against both the gate demons, and the bullies, who are now demons in another dimension to save Liz and himself.
The Gate was one of the most perfect family friendly horror films of the 80's. It is a film that parents were not reluctant to let their children see on their own, knowing the violence wasn't too out there, and as such was a video store rental night staple for young horror fans. The Gate II, always had a reputation of a film that was like most sequels of being less than the original. While I can't deny that, revisiting the film after almost 20 years I was surprised at how enjoyable the film actually was.
The film feels like an entirely different beast then the original. This is what initially probably put me off of it as a kid, but it has a darker tone to it for much of the running time. There are some lightly comedic moments when the teens are seeing some of their wishes come true (see the car scene for one example). However, as the film plays out, it goes to much darker places then the original dare go, while still playing in a ball park that is definitely still safe for kids. The film's third act, which takes place in a demon dimension primarily is a special effects delight, and should certainly please fans of old school FX driven horror, and on that alone I would recommend it. However, the Gate II is just a fun blast of early 90's campy horror fun.
Scream presents the Gate II in a splendid 1:85:1 1080p transfer that looks quite excellent. Detail throughout the presentation is quite excellent, colors are well reproduced, and blacks levels are inky and deep. The grain throughout is quite natural and organic.
Audio is handled by a DTS-HD MA 2.0 track in English. The audio is quite solid for the most part. There are times where dialogue is a bit muddy and I had to turn up the volume to understand it, but the most part it was clear and audible.
There is a 27 minute behind the scenes of the film, we also get a 15 minute interview with Craig Reardon the effects artist on the film. Further on from that we get some SD VHS promos like a trialer, and old contest. There is also a still gallery.
The Gate II is way more fun then I remember it being. It's a darker experience then the original, and a real special FX extravaganza. The Blu-ray from Scream really looks fantastic, and has some solid extras to RECOMMEND it by.