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Hellraiser Review! Come For The Gore, Leave For The Plot.

Hellraiser (2022) is on Hulu. The remake of the classic 1987 film by Clive Barker reintroduces the iconic horror figure, Pinhead and the Cenobites to new viewers in stunning fashion. SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Starring Goran Visnjic, Drew Starkey, Aofie Hinds, Osessa A’Zion, and more, the film’s premise revolves around a rich and hedonistic millionaire Roland Voight, finding a strange mechanical box. While hosting a “party”, Voight convinces a sex worker to open it. Upon playing with the box, the worker is stabbed by the box’s blade, causing a portal to open, which pleases Voight. Flash forward to six years later, a woman named Riley is a recovering addict who lives with her brother, Matt. While trying to mend her relationship with Matt, Riley finds the puzzle box and solves it, but avoids getting cut by it. Pinhead and the Cenobites appear, and demand Riley chooses a sacrifice. From there, we get gruesome deaths, and until she chooses a sacrifice, the Cenobites will hold Riley’s brother hostage. Discovering who the box’s owner is, Riley and some of Matt’s friends drive to Voight’s mansion, only to be trapped. We also witness the fate of Voight, as a macabre locking mechanism is on his body. Unless the box’s next configuration is solved, the mechanism will continue to twist his body. By choosing Trever, Riley’s boyfriend (who was working for Voight) as the final sacrifice, she saves her friends and allows her brother to rest in peace rather than listen to Pinhead’s lies or resurrection. Voight, himself, is transported to a different realm and changed into a Cenobite.

I struggled with watching this, not due to the gruesome kills (which blended practical and CGI well.) But because of the characters in the story. The characters are supposed to carry the story, but all I cared about was Pinhead! I had so many questions about that character, the film doesn’t even address her origins. The special make-up effects were well done and looked like something from Silent Hill (or, maybe Silent Hill was partly inspired by Hellraiser, I don’t know.) The kills brought back that typical Hellraiser style that fans craved, and the atmosphere certainly fits the tone. But without compelling characters to carry the story, it’s just noise. A 7 out of 10. Post your thoughts below, and till next time fellow blerds!

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