Hellraiser

"Excellent"

Hellraiser Review


One of the unsung titans of the horror industry, Hellraiser got its start in modest fashion that certainly didn't seem headed for sequel city. To date, eight Hellraiser films have been released (four direct to video). A remake is planned for 2008.

Today, the plotline has been largely forgotten as side characters -- essentially, demons from Hell called Cenobites -- are the what have settled in people's minds and which have become increasingly the basis for the following films. But the original Hellraiser really isn't about Pinhead and his ilk. In fact, it's almost a love story.

The gist involves a guy named Larry (Andrew Robinson), his second wife Julia (Clare Higgins), and Larry's brother Frank (Sean Chapman), who's gone missing after some freaky escapades in Larry's long-abandoned house. Larry doesn't know Julia had been having an affair with Frank, nor does he know that Frank found a puzzle box (the iconic emblem of Hellraiser) which basically sucked him into Hell. Nor could he know that dripping blood on the floor of a room in that house will cause Frank to start being reincorporated into flesh, from the inside out. This leads Julia, and later Frank himself, on a killing spree of grotesque proportions.

Wrapped up in all of this is Larry's fragile daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence, who became a series regular). When she opens the puzzle box herself, she's sucked into the world of the Cenobites, with clearly detrimental mental effects. Somehow it'll all get resolved in the end... but the puzzle box will survive to torment another.

Shot on the cheap, the only special effects that work are the mechanical box and the Cenobite makeup, both impressive for the era and far outclassing the cheapo gore and "electrical" effects that look like director Clive Barker simply drew on the negative with a marker.

But those Cenobites are creepy, and Laurence is such an effective scream queen that the movie endures. It's long been a Halloween dream of mine to go out in a Pinhead getup, but I have no idea how I'd pull something like that off. Plus, my wife and kids would never sleep again.

Now available on a 20th Anniversary Edition DVD, the movie includes new interviews with much of the cast and crew, a commentayr track with Barker and Laurence, and a storyboard gallery, among other extras.



Hellraiser

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th September 1987

Box Office Worldwide: $14.6M

Budget: $1000 thousand

Distributed by: New World Video

Production compaines: Cinemarque Entertainment BV, Film Futures, Rivdel Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 20 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Clive Barker

Starring: as Larry Cotton, Clare Higgins as Julia Cotton, as Kirsty Cotton, Sean Chapman as Frank Cotton, Oliver Smith as Frank als Untoter, Robert Hines as Steve, Anthony Allen as Erstes Opfer, Leon Davis as Zweites Opfer, Kenneth Nelson as Bill, Gay Baynes as Evelyn, as Gast, as Chatterer-Zenobit, as Butterball-Zenobit, as Weiblicher Zenobit, Sharon Bower as Krankenschwester, Raul Newney as Arzt, as Lead Cenobite (Pinhead), Michael Cassidy as Drittes Opfer

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.