Now that we’ve gone through all of the theatrical releases of the Hellraiser series, be it good or bad, now we have the direct to video and DVD. To most people, that is the sign that these movies should be avoided. Well, that’s why I’m here. Some of these definitely should, but others are worth a chance…for cheap. Let’s start this with Hellraiser: Inferno.
Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer) is a good cop with bad morals. His shady dealings soon leads him to finding the Lament Configuration and he begins being stalked by faceless cenobites who begin to psychologically torture him. Thorne believe that a mysterious criminal that goes by the name the “Engineer” is behind all of this. As his investigation progresses, Thorne begins to realize that the forces at work are more powerful and evil than he could have possibly imagined.
It may be worth noting that all of the Hellraiser movies at this point in time were being held by Miramax as completely different scripts. They would later add in the plot concerning the Lament Configuration and Pinhead so it would save them money. For any Hellraiser or self respecting movie buff, that’s a load of shit, and in turn this movie is a load of shit. Don’t get me wrong, the performances are just fine, but I rarely felt like I was watching a Hellraiser movie, and Pinhead did jack shit until the last couple minutes.
Hellraiser: Inferno is a major disappointment and one of the worst of the series. It’s long, boring, and hardly can call itself a member of this series. The make up and acting were fine, but everything else was pointless. This is not a good introduction to the video and DVD releases, so I was definitely hoping that Hellraiser: Hellseeker would pick up the mess of its predecessor.
Kirsty Cotton (Ahsley Laurance) seems to finally be living a normal life with her husband, Trevor (Dean Winters). Everything is twist turned when a fatal car accident kills Kirsty and leaves Trevor with a head injury that prevents him from remembering what happened. He is also in possession of our favorite puzzle box. He is also the prime suspect in what is now a murder mystery, and also begins having the worst hallucinations and pains of his life.
This is a weird movie to explain because it really is a head trip. It seems like Pinhead went back to school at the Freddy Krueger School of Horror with all of the psychological head play going on. At this point, the viewer has to understand that the chains are only seen at the very end and very briefly. Wasn’t the point of this series all about pain and pleasure? What happened to that?
To be honest, I did like this movie. It was a huge step up from Inferno and it was a pretty entertaining movie on its own. Sure, it’s definitely not what the series was intended to be and there weren’t too many cenobites or hardly any Pinhead, but it was still an ok movie and I was legitimately creeped out in some scenes. I would recommend this one on the grounds that Ashley Laurance is back and the story has some pretty cool twists.
The next movie to look at is Hellraiser: Deader.
Amy Klein (Kari Wuhrer) is a journalist sent to Bucharest to investigate a group of cultists called Deaders. While she is there, she finds the Lament Configuration in the hands of a dead member. Out of her strong journalistic curiosity, she opens the box and releases the cenobites and their evil leader, Pinhead (Doug Bradley). Confusion and visions begin to haunt her mind as she descends deeper into this dark underworld of the paranormal only to discover that Pinhead and the cult leader Winter (Paul Rhys) have a long standing feud that has to be ended.
Out of all the direct to DVD sequels, Deader is my favorite. This one, despite being written as something totally different, actually felt like a Hellraiser movie. There were cults, rituals, and lots of deathly images that worked very well. Pinhead isn’t in it too much once again, but when he is I definitely enjoyed it. Kari Wuhrer is a great leading lady and one of the best heroes of the entire series.
Hellraiser: Deader was another pretty good entry in the series. It improved on all the problems of the previous two films to make one that was pretty solid. Like I said, it actually felt like I was watching a Hellraiser movie when it was originally written as something totally different.
Now we’re really going down the drain with the final two movies in the series. Let’s begin our trip into the depths of terrible horror movies with Hellraiser: Hellworld.
Hellworld is a popular MMORPG based on the Hellraiser series where players explore different mythology. A group of players with a dark past are selected to go to a massive party at a mansion to celebrate the game. While they are there, they get to live their passion when cenobites led by Pinhead (Doug Bradley) begin to pick them off one at a time.
This entire movie is a load of garbage. Since when is Pinhead and his cenobite minions average slasher villains? I’m pretty sure that they are masters of pain and suffering, so seeing them decapitate someone in a matter of seconds is just unbelievable. Think of this movie as the Hellraiser equivalent to Friday the 13th Part 5. You go in expecting classic horror that is promised by the series, and leave with an ending that makes you scratch your head and say, “Why did I even watch this?”
I thought that this would be the bottom of the barrel for this series. It has every ingredient to make it the worst, but I had no idea that I would be subjected to a movie that is so bad, I didn’t want to believe it actually existed. This is Hellraiser: Revelations.
When two best friends go on a trip to Mexico, they come across the Lament Configuration and once again release Pinhead (Stephen Smith Collins) upon the earth. The only proof of their deaths are in a video camera that was used to record their trip, and soon Pinhead is back to haunt the rest of the family.
This is one of THE WORST movies that I have ever seen, and I almost considered not reviewing it. For one, where is Doug Bradley? The Pinhead in this movie is not Pinhead. I refuse to believe it. Second of all, the entire look of the movie looks like something that was made as a student project. The acting, the sets, and the entire story are all annoying and forced. Bottom line, this movie is unwatchable and was a waste of a movie. Don’t just skip this, destroy any copy you come across.
If you want my advice, stop after the fourth film. There isn’t much of a need to see Inferno through Revelations. If you feel the need to see all of them, Hellseeker and Deader are the only ones that are somewhat enjoyable. This just goes to show how a company can ruin an excellent series. Happy Halloween, everyone! Hope you enjoyed.