Films

The Hellraiser Marathon – It’ll Tear Your Soul Apart

The Hellraiser Marathon – It’ll Tear Your Soul Apart
Andrew Garvey

Happy Birthday Pinhead!


To celebrate Hellraiser’s 25th Birthday, ANDREW GARVEY sat down to watch its sequels spiral downward into hell. Forunately he survived the marathon and wrote this …


Having watched the first two films to mark the 25th anniversary of the original’s release (both reviewed here and here) I set about watching the ensuing seven sequels.  That’s seven films, several of which are widely regarded as lucky to even earn straight-to-DVD status, altogether running for about six hundred and fifteen minutes, or a whopping ten and a quarter hours.

All watched in four sittings.

Why would I do this?  So you don’t have to.  And because no matter how bad some of these sequels may be, Hellraiser – as a concept and in at least some of its execution – will forever remain a classic of British horror cinema.

Please, read and enjoy.  I have seen such sights and must tell you of them.


Hellraiser 3Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)

A messy, poorly acted and over-ambitious departure from the tone, setting and style of the first two films, this plays more like a bog-standard action/horror film complete with a cack-handedly designed crew of new Cenobites.  While not awful, Hell on Earth suffers from just not feeling like a Hellraiser film at all.  Save yourself the time and watch this glorious Motorhead video for the film’s soundtrack instead.


Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996)

The last Hellraiser film with any input whatsoever from creator Clive Barker, Bloodline was disowned by director Kevin Yagher.  Sprawling across three different eras and hamstrung by some shonky special effects, yet more ropy replacement Cenobites and woeful acting it at least has a decent story that fleshes out the torturous history of the iconic puzzle box.  Not as bad as expected.


Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)

An interesting, if disjointed, poorly executed experiment, the first straight-to-DVD instalment plays out as a twisty-turny psychological cop thriller.  True, the cops are constructed entirely from cardboard and cliché but with Pinhead returning to the kind of minimalistic focus on personal pain and suffering that made the original so creepily compelling this is a shockingly decent sequel, all things considered.

Hellraiser: Hellseeker


Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)

A ramshackle, paranoid horror/murder mystery that borrows much from the previous film (and plenty from other horror films), Hellseeker clocks in at under ninety minutes but feels much, much longer.  While Kirsty Cotton’s return is welcome and there’s a few good scares and some nightmarish images the film tries too hard to confuse the viewer and becomes a numbing mess long before the intriguing ending.


Hellraiser: Deader (2005)

A nice looking plothole festival, shot in Bucharest – a fittingly grand, but neglected and abused city – Deader makes little sense and even less of an impression.  An existing horror script that was uncomfortably shoehorned into a Hellraiser film, Deader signals a significant fall in quality even from the previous outing.  This film is not recommended.


Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)Hellraiser: Hellworld

Made immediately after Deader, cinematographer Rick Bota’s third and final Hellraiser directing job is crippled by a nonsensical script, pitiful dialogue and spectacularly irritating characters who at no point behave like real human beings.  Imaginative yes and boasting, like Bota’s other efforts Hellseeker and Deader, good visuals, it’s still utter rubbish, largely due to a terrible story.


Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)

The iconic Doug Bradley – Pinhead in every previous film, isn’t the only thing missing from this feeble excuse for a film, despite the revival of some of the more important Hellraiser concepts.  Logic, good acting, sympathetic characters and decent scares are all absent, presumed barely considered.  Throw in a pantomime Pinhead and truly atrocious dialogue and the best thing about this shambles is that it’s all over inside seventy five minutes.


ANDREW GARVEY lives in Staffordshire.  He writes (infrequently) about mixed martial arts, professional wrestling, history, horror and folklore.  Follow him on Twitter: @AMGarvey Check out more Andrew Garvey articles for the Spooky Isles here.


Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Films
Andrew Garvey
@AMGarvey

ANDREW GARVEY is Spooky Isles' Associate Editor. He lives in Staffordshire. He writes (infrequently) about mixed martial arts, professional wrestling, history, horror and folklore.

More in Films

Seize the Night

Seize the Night has landed! Watch it now for FREE

Staff Writer3rd May 2016
nosferatu

Dacre Stoker’s Top 10 Dracula-inspired Films

Dacre Stoker24th April 2016
Judy-Matheson-cover

Hammer’s Judy Matheson counts down her horror film favourites

David Saunderson17th April 2016
Victor-Frankenstein-Poster

Deleted Scene from Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Staff Writer11th April 2016
Fox-Trap-Banner

Fox Trap, a throwback to slasher horror fun

Kayleigh Marie Edwards28th March 2016
Morgan-Fairchild-with-Patrick-Macnee-and-Christopher-Lee-in-Sherlock-Holmes-and-the-Leading-Lady

The many faces of Sherlock’s ‘the woman’ Irene Adler

Nia Jones22nd March 2016
Devil's-Playground-2010

Devil’s Playground (2010) REVIEW

Simon Ball10th March 2016
Batman-vs-Jack-the-Ripper

Batman versus Jack the Ripper

Andrew Garvey9th March 2016
Night-Kaleidoscope

Is ‘Night Kaleidoscope’ the scariest horror of the year?

Kayleigh Marie Edwards6th March 2016
Dinosaur-Project

The Dinosaur Project (2012) REVIEW

Simon Ball6th March 2016
Victor-Frankenstein-Poster

Victor Frankenstein (2015) REVIEW

Ann O'Regan23rd February 2016
Screamvention

Screamvention – Horror comes howling to Dublin!

Ann O'Regan22nd February 2016