Nick C. Goins Jr.
The Pissed Take - Hellraiser (2022)
Release Date 28Sep2022
HELLRAISER -or- PINHEAD FOR PINHEADS *AKA* This configuration was lamentable.
There is a disheartening trend in movies, especially those that are adaptions, for lowest common denominator writing. I wanted this movie to be good, but despite a commendable performance by Jamie Clayton as "Pinhead" the hell priest, the dialogue and story simply do not cut it.
HELLRAISER is a reboot (not a retelling of "The Hellbound Heart") of the Hellraiser franchise, itself an extension of characters and ideas originated and inspired by the works of author Clive Barker. It is in the top three of 11 films of which only 2 are of any merit, so even with a low bar it still didn't work for me.
Before I get to the why…
The performance by Jamie Clayton is the standout. Evocative of the regal stillness Doug Bradley brought to the role he originated, it is informed by but not slaved to that performance, easily making it her own. She even manages to make the horrible dialogue sound good. The design of THE BOX was really cool, and there were some incredibly effective effects from the makeup team and VFX teams.
It's one thing to say something reads/plays like fan-fiction, another entirely to say that it's amateurish. The story is bog-standard horror fare with Hellraiser shit copy-pasted onto it. The dark and muddy visual representation that seems to be the fashion (Cus, what LUT iz mor cinematikz) is matched by an equally uninspired sound design. The score only transcends this malodorous mire by the inclusion of occasional cues from CHRISTOPHER YOUNG's superb original scores for HR 1&2. Didn't care for the redesign of the Cenobites, it wasn't bad, but seemed a bit conceptually confused. Especially, not changing the design of the lead Cenobite's head, but changing everything else. All of the characters (except Pinhead), were horrible and forgettable flesh covered plot conveniences, only there to connect the dots between uninspired and strangely tame kills.
SEE IT: If you are a Hellraiser completist (masochist much?) and want to wack a load out for an 11th go, and think that the definition of being a fan is blindly liking shit in any genre simply because it exists.
DON'T SEE IT:
If the creative bankruptcy of this series was apparent a long time ago, and #WerewolfByNight is on.