Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Movie Series Review: Hellraiser Part 2

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Last time on The World of Disgruntled Monkey, DM learnt that even in space Cenobites are mighty, Clive Barker is a twisted individual, and video camera's are truly the work of the devil. Now we continue the Movie Series Review of the Hellraiser franchise.

Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)

Inferno is really the beginning of a new set of movies that try to keep the franchise alive but seeming to have little to do with the original Hellraiser. I’ve heard that scripts were found and then altered to have Hellraiser references crammed into them. It seemed to steer the film more towards showing characters in their own personal hell, rather than the previous themes of blurring pleasure and pain. It also makes Pinhead the tourist guide and ultimate keeper of morality. It’s weird to have him go from one extreme to the other with no real connection to what he was.

As for the movie itself it’s actually pretty decent. The story looks at a dirty cop as he tries to solve a murder and find out who the Engineer is. It starts off subtle enough and slowly adds in the weirder elements. Performances and special effects are all pretty good. It’s just a shame that it’s not a Hellraiser movie in spirit. Made with out the baggage of Hellraiser it could have been something special.

Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)

Hellseeker tries to take something familiar and blend it with the new approach of Inferno. With this tale we get a shady business man by the name of Trevor trying to find out about the death of his wife Kristy Cotton. Right here is the biggest problem with this movie. What should have been an awesome return by a well loved character is instead hamstrung by the fact that she’s hardly in the damn thing. What’s worse is when we get to the end of Trevor’s tale we are told by Pinhead himself that he’s not important at all. Way to waste my time movie.

Up until that point the story is at least interesting and pretty freaky in some parts, yet unlike Inferno it’s not particularly subtle so you get a good idea of what’s happening before you get to the ending. On the upside Pinhead is a lot more like he was in the first two movies, yet despite both this and Kristy’s return, this still doesn’t have that proper Hellraiser feel.

Hellraiser: Deader (2005)

Kari Wuhrer plays journalist Amy Klein who is trying to track down a cult whose members are known as Deader’s. Apparently their leader can bring the dead back to life and Amy smells an awesome story in the making. Somehow this involves Cenobites, Pinhead and the puzzle box. Don’t ask me how.

I found myself getting pretty bored during this film as I never really felt that much tension or reason to care. Throwing in the Cenobites was pretty pointless as was the puzzle box. It just never really made sense. Having said all this, I will point out that Kari Wuhrer was actually fairly good and the core idea was at least interesting enough to grab my attention in the beginning. Pity it couldn’t hold it.

Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)

This is really really bad. Five friends get invited to a Hellworld party. What’s Hellworld? It’s an online video game. Yep Pinhead has gone digital and he really really sucks. This is the last Hellraiser film for Doug Bradley and it’s an unfortunate swan song.

The biggest problem with this film is that it’s a movie about the movie Hellraiser and therefore not actually being a Hellraiser movie but in the end it’s actually a Hellraiser movie. Did we get that? No? Too bad. On top of this the story is a teenage slasher flick which flies in the face of everything that is Hellraiser.

There is so much wrong with this movie but I guess its greatest crime is that it not only wastes Doug Bradley but it also manages to waste Lance Henriksen. I hate you movie.

Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)

*cries in the corner*

This is absolutely horrendous. That’s all you really need to know. If I go on about the problems with this movie I’ll probably turn into a raging fanboy so I’ll simply say that you should avoid this movie at all costs. Poorly thought out, poorly executed, poorly - just everything. The only positive is there is no where for this franchise to go but up.

*continues to cry in the corner*

Okay maybe I can stand to go on a little more. But I'm going to show and tell this bitch.

In this movie Pinhead actually has a god damn mini me! I mean come one. Does Pinhead look like Dr Evil to you? Also while i'm on Pinhead, this marks the first time Pinhead is played by someone other than Doug Bradley, you can really feel the difference in acting ability. Also this Pinhead looks like's he's done a lot of torturing down at the local Krispy Kremes store.

Okay rant over, back to crying.

Final Thoughts: 

Despite where Hellraiser went as a franchise, I can say that I will always remember at least the first two movies with a fondness. Also upon reviewing all the movies I know what the next step is. Reviewing the comic books or at least the most recent series. Truly the soul of the Hellraiser series has taken up residence in those books, far from the manipulations of the studio system.

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