11 classic movies that inspired Stranger Things

Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix
Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix /
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10. The Gate

Release Year: 1987
Director: Tibor Takacs
Writer: Michael Nankin
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Christa Denton, Louis Tripp

Nothing says ’80s nostalgia like a group of youngins banding together to stop supernatural horrors with little-to-no adult supervision. It’s a common theme that was easier done back in the day before smartphones made keeping in touch a lot easier and provided pocket access to a wealth of information.

Really, that’s what The Gate is all about. Glen (a young Stephen Dorff) and his friend Terry (Louis Tripp) accidentally open a portal to Hell in the backyard behind Glen’s home. As luck would have it, Glen’s parents happen to go away for the weekend of their clumsy mistake, leaving teenage sister Al (Christa Denton) in charge.

Through a series of unfortunate missteps, the necessary sacrifices are made to the portal and demons begin to escape, running amok in Glen and Al’s home. It’s up to the kids to close the portal and restore order.

Stranger Things really tugs at your nostalgic heartstrings by throwing a group of unprepared children into a fight for their lives against a horrible monster. Like The Gate, the kids are woefully unprepared and unsupported by any type of adult authority. Of course, that changes in later episodes, but for most of the season, these kids are on their own.

Of course, there’s also the blatant similarity in the act of stumbling upon an inter-dimensional nightmare portal. As one does. But it’s also worth noting that both stories feature the spontaneous combustion of a once-working telephone.