Last Watch Date – October 7, 2022
Total Times Watched – One.
When I heard they were remaking Hellraiser, my initial feeling was one of curiosity. Why would they remake a horror classic? Pinhead is iconic already, how are they going to butcher it? Then I read more about the remake and saw who was involved (Clive Barker) and thought “it’s his stuff, he should know what to do with it.” Being closer to the source material always sounds good.
If you’ve read the Hellbound Heart, don’t worry, this movie does NOT follow that plot. It also doesn’t redo the original movie plot. It’s a whole new thing this year. So let’s get the plot out of the way first (without spoilers). It’s interesting and new to some degree. Not only that, but it feels fresh for the series. It does suffer from pacing issues at times (it’s a 2 hour movie) that could’ve been cleaned up on the editing floor, but overall it was engaging and fascinating.
When you think of Hellraiser, you definitely think of Pinhead and the other Cenobites. The difference between the original and these ones are not really all that different. There’s something that feels a bit less threatening about these ones visually, but their actions feel much more so. I think it has to do with the way they made the prosthetics look almost matte or flat, and not as waxy or “juicy” looking like the original. There’s far less of a bondage looking aesthetic in the new one and I think it’s better for it. Pinhead is truer to the source and I think lives up to the original quite well. The voice is the most unusual part for people used to the movies, but I like it better. Where the original Cenobites felt more like the “good guys” in a way, they don’t really seem to have any alignment at all here. This is how you want them to be: demons to some, angels to others.
And what about the puzzle box? Well, it looks very similar to the original in its basic configuration. The puzzle unlocking sequences were cooler and I liked the little blade that pops out. You could feel it slicing into their hands when they unlocked the next sequence. I mean that in the most visceral way possible. I had sympathetic hand slicing for them.
If you like the Hellraiser series, this is definitely the best out of them. Check it out.