THE GATES (2023) Reviews of British horror plus trailer

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‘Death is just the beginning’
The Gates is a 2023 British horror film in which a serial killer has been sentenced to death by electric chair in London in the 1890s. However, in his final hours, he puts a curse on the prison he is in, and all of those in it.

Directed by Stephen Hall from a screenplay co-written with Tim Reynolds based on the latter’s storyline. Produced by Michael Jones, John Lerchen and Paul Thompstone. Executive produced by Eoghan Burke, Andy Lyon, Compton Ross, Garrett Smith and Michael Walker.

The Forever Safe Productions-Mad Honey Productions-Studio Atlantic co-production stars John Rhys-Davies, Michael Yare, Elena Delia, David Pearse, Peter Coonan, Christine Mulhern and Brian Fortune.


“The cast give it their all and though there are some gory moments it doesn’t take full advantage of its prison setting, a real location, which is by its very nature naturally claustrophobic and with its malevolent spirit causing carnage it’s ideally suited to a chills and thrills laden set pieces which rarely work as well as they should.” Any Good Films?

“The main obstacle standing in its way is the visual quality, it’s just not convincing enough, it’s got one foot in today and isn’t fully throwing itself into the era, which keeps things at arm’s length […] While it may have those weaknesses, the way that it holds itself and the atmosphere that it builds makes it more than worth watching for any horror fan.” 6 out of 10, Film Carnage

The Gates works well and has some memorably chilling moments but if you go into it expecting a Richard Brake-led gore-fest then be prepared to have your expectations lowered. Worth a watch for its two leads, but apart from that pre-credit sequence and the overall suggestion of remaking Shocker with Richard Brake in the lead (oh, just imagine it!), The Gates is a little bit of a disappointment.” 2.5 out of 5, Flickering Myth

“With the dramatic voltage prone to ebbing and the occasional anachronism (“Don’t give up the day job”), The Gates is at least strong on staging and atmosphere. The opening murder and arrest have a baleful punch, and there is a genuinely malicious charge to Lucian’s psychic confrontation with the ethereal Colcott. The film finally collapses into incoherent scurrying around the jail…” 2.5 out of 5, The Guardian

“The movie has a strong cast that all shine with John Rhys-Davies, Michael Yare and Elena Delia. However, Richard Brake’s dark delivery of the serial killer William Colcott keeps us on edge. The Gates Is filled with suspense and gives us an interesting journey into early paranormal hunting.” Movie Reviews 101

“Director Stephen Hall’s second feature looks great, by both utilising its primary location and weighing in with decent production and period costume design. However, for all its strengths, The Gates is just not that interesting and instead of weighing in as a film that freaks you out and keeps you on the edge of your seat it’s more akin to something that your grandparents would watch for a restful Sunday afternoon’s viewing instead.” My Bloody Reviews

The Gates is a decently spun supernatural yarn. It’s a tale far from flawless yet harbors enough suspense and robust performances to merit a viewing. Though the historical premise needs more refinement and the subplots could be fleshed out better, the movie’s natural prowess lies in its charged ambiance and captivating storyline. From the minute the opening credits roll until the closing scene, it keeps audiences hooked.” Overly Honest Movie Reviews

YouTube reviews:


In the US, The Gates was released on Digital and on DVD by 101 Films on June 27, 2023. In the UK, the movie was released on Digital by 101 Films on July 3, 2023.



Cast and characters:
John Rhys-Davies … Frederick Ladbroke
Richard Brake … William Colcott
Michael Yare … Lucian Abberton
Elena Delia … Emma Wickes
David Pearse … Father Matthews
Peter Coonan … George Sheppard
Christine Mulhern … Agnes
Brian Fortune … Governor Owen Forsyth
Tristan Heanue … John Chapman
Nigel Mercier … First Official
Claire J. Loy … Marie Sheppard
Matthew O’Brien … Phillip
Garrett Smith … Jonathan Waldren
Graeme Coughlan … Crimms
Zeb Moore … Patrick
Tom Neville … Mr Leyton
Pius McGrath … Barman
Adam Moylan … Rufus

Technical specs:
1 hour 51 minutes (!)

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