So, there is a new Hellraiser out, the Cenobites are back with general blood, guts, and gore. To start out, I kind of remember the original. I’m not a huge fan, but I remember enjoying it as a teenager, renting the video when I was too young. I saw it again last year and it’s still decent.
I’m mixed about the director, David Bruckner. The Signal was pretty clever, I never rated V/H/S at all, but The Ritual was a very well-done horror. The Night House had its moments but was let down by a silly story that made no sense by the end.
Bruckner has now directed a reimagining of Hellraiser, the Clive Barker novel. It stars Odessa A’zion, Jamie Clayton, Adam Faison, Drew Starkey, Brandon Flynn and Goran Visnjic.
The plot is:
A take on Clive Barker’s 1987 horror classic where a young woman struggling with addiction comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon the Cenobites.
You know the story, a puzzle box, gets opened, and Cenobites turn up and rip people apart with chains.
I have never read the book, but the story in this version is slightly different from the original 1987 Hellraiser. In this version, a rich guy seems to want to open the box, but get others to do it for him. This leads to a young girl finding it and opening it.
Her brother gets killed by the Cenobites and she has the chance to bring him back if she sacrifices others for the Cenobites. That’s it in a nutshell, but I’m not going to spoil the rest. The overall story was pretty good, but I feel it lost its way at the end.
The story is pretty good, but not nothing amazing. This I put down to the fact that one of the writers was David S Goyer. Credit where credit is due, Goyer has done some decent writing, but conversely, he’s also the man that had a hand in the “Martha” moment in Batman Vs Superman.
And I know Matt will hate me for saying this, but he also wrote Man of Steel complete with all the plot holes the size of your mum. The writing in Hellraiser had its moments, but overall, it was a very standard affair, with no real surprises.
The other downside was the main cast. The main character, Riley, played by A’zion was just OK. I can’t say she was terrible, but she doesnt hit the heights of very good, either. This just meant I wasn’t all that invested in Riley and just didn’t really care what happened to her.
The same went for Pinhead. In the original movie he was a scary character. He was actually there to make people suffer and “tear their souls apart”. In this new version, Pinhead is more like a narrator helping the story along.
Some people were moaning that Pinhead, or The Priest, was being played by a woman. I went into this without having an issue. Funnily enough, the voice was altered to make it sound more like a man. Overall though, this new Pinhead just didn’t seem as scary as the original one did.
I will be honest and say I did pick up my phone here and there to check social media and play a bit of Mah-jong. There are a few moments where nothing is going on and I found my attention wandering.
However, there are a couple of very good moments. Here the horror is dialled up to 11 and I actually felt a little scared, but a few good moments don’t cover the rest of this very average movie.
I’m going to give Hellraiser a low score. I can see some people liking this and it’s not terrible, but it’s just not a very good horror. As I said, I would prefer to watch the original again. It has all the same tropes you would expect to see in horror, but it has Clive Barker’s name on it.