At 79 years of age John Rhys Davies has a prolific and varied array of films to his names that takes in three Indiana Jones films and of course the Lord of the Rings trilogy but he also has a number of smaller films where he takes the lead of which The Gates is one.

Set in Victorian London, 1892  the city is gripped with mortal fear…  a brutal serial killer is on the loose and no one knows who the next victim will be. When the depraved murderer, William Colcott (Richard Brake) , is finally caught, he is sentenced to death by electric chair – one of the first convicts to be executed in by this new method, on trial from America… but before the execution the evil killer puts a curse on the whole prison and upon everyone who dwells within …..The Gates! 

It’s only when two post-mortem photographers, turned paranormal investigators, Frederick Ladbroke (John Rhys-Davies) and Emma Wickes (Elena Delia), take on a new their next assignment, they become embroiled in a strange investigation with a mysterious medium, Lucian Abberton (Michael Yare).  

Can they stop William’s malevolent spirit from escaping Bishopsgate Jail… or will the gates of hell be opened and unimaginable terror be unleashed on Victorian London in manner not seen since Meghan Markle said, ‘That dopey ginger lad could boost my career?’

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 its ideally suited to a chills and thrills laden set pieces which rarely work as well as they should. But Rhys-Davies is typically flamboyant and larger than life in the role and is some recompense.

related feature: Why a hypnotized Peter Jackson was caused by Lord of the Rings

related feature: Director Rob Savage introduces The Boogeyman

We chatted with John Rhys Davies about the film as well as his work on Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny…..

Here’s The Gates trailer……

The Gates is released on digital 3rd July 2023


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