REVIEW: HELLRAISER IX: REVELATIONS

CAST

Stephan Smith Collins (Tenderloin)
Steven Brand (The Scorpion King)
Nick Eversman (The Duff)
Tracey Fairaway (Enough Said)
Sebastien Roberts (Trauma)
Devon Sorvari (Gilmore Girl)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)

Steven Craven and Nico Bradley run away from home and travel to Mexico. They film themselves engaging in several days’ worth of drunken partying. The boys later disappear. The Mexican authorities return their belongings to their parents, including a videotape made by Steven that documents their final moments.

A year later, the families of the two missing boys gather for dinner. Tensions rise when Emma, Steven’s sister and Nico’s girlfriend, expresses frustration with their lack of closure. She demands that her mother reveal the contents of Steven’s videotape, which she has been obsessively watching in private. Later, Emma sneaks a look at the tape, which documents Steven and Nico picking up a girl in a bar. A flashback reveals that Nico murdered the girl while having sex in the bar’s restroom, and later threatened to implicate Steven in the killing to force him to continue their “vacation” together.

A final flashback reveals that Nico solved the puzzle box, opening a portal to the realm of the Cenobites: extra-dimensional sadomasochists led by Pinhead who offer the ultimate sensual experience. Steven flees, but Nico is taken to the Cenobites’ realm to be subjected to extreme torture and mutilation. The box is nearby, allowing Nico to communicate with Steven. Steven later kills several prostitutes so their blood can regenerate Nico, but Nico kills Steven when he refuses to continue. The “Steven” holding the families hostage is really Nico in disguise, who taunts his victims with a shotgun. He demands that Emma solve the puzzle box for him, intending for the Cenobites to take her in his place thus assuring his freedom.

Emma opens the portal and the Cenobites—including Steven—appear. Pinhead recognizes in Emma a dark sexual desire and taunts her with innuendo. Nico’s mother ignores Pinhead’s command to remain silent, exclaiming that Nico forced Emma to solve the box, and is killed. When Emma’s father shoots Nico the Cenobites vanish with Emma’s mother instead. Her father apologizes, then dies in Emma’s arms. The film ends with Emma reaching for the puzzle box.

After reading other reviews I went into this expecting an absolutely abysmal film. While its certainly not on par with the early Hellraiser movies I feel it is far better than some other recent efforts, as they do for the most part attempt to stay close the roots of the original films. Obviously the first thing you will notice is the lack of Doug Bradley as Pinhead. I know he has a chubbier face and deep down we all hate to see someone else as Pinhead. You will get more out of this movie if you stop yourself from comparing the new actor to Doug Bradley.

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REVIEW: HELLRAISER VIII: HELLWORLD

CAST

Doug Bradley (Wrong Turn 5)
Lance Henriksen (Aliens)
Kathryn Winnick (Vikings)
Christopher Jacot (Slasher)
Khary Payton (Teen Titans)
Henry Cavill (Man of Steel)

The film introduces a circle of youths who are addicted to playing Hellworld, an online computer game based on the Hellraiser series. The film opens at the funeral of Adam, one of their friends who was obsessed with the game and ultimately committed suicide after becoming too immersed in the game. The remaining five friends blame themselves for not having prevented Adam’s suicide.

Two years later, they attend a private Hellworld Party at an old mansion after receiving invites through the game. Mike, Derrick and Allison are enthusiastic about the party, while Chelsea reluctantly accompanies them. Jake, who is still very much distressed by Adam’s death, only agrees to show up after a female Hellworld player with whom he has struck up an online friendship asks him to attend so they can meet. The quintet are cordially welcomed by the middle-aged party host, who offers them drinks, shows them around the mansion (allegedly a former convent and asylum also built by Philip Lemarchand), and provides them with cell phones to communicate with other guests.

As the party progresses, Allison, Derrick and Mike find themselves trapped in separate parts of the house, and are gruesomely killed by the Host, Pinhead, or Cenobite minions Chatterer II and Bound. Jake and Chelsea become mysteriously invisible to other party guests, and are stalked by the Host and the Cenobites.

Holing herself up in the attic, Chelsea finds items belonging to Adam, and discovers that the host is his father, who blames his son’s friends for not helping break his addiction. Chelsea and Jake try to flee, only to discover that they have been buried alive and are receiving messages from the host via cell phones in their respective caskets. The Host informs them that they are just coming out of a hallucination induced by a powerful psychedelic he exposed them to upon their arrival, and that the events they have been experiencing have been the result of hypnotic suggestion and their own guilty consciences. Before leaving, he lets Chelsea know that Allison, Derrick, and Mike have all perished in their respective caskets, and that only she and Jake remain alive. Chelsea begins to slip into another hallucination when she is abruptly pulled above ground by police and paramedics, who say they were informed by a phone call from Chelsea’s telephone. Looking towards the house, Chelsea sees Adam standing in the window.

Later, the Host sits in a bedroom, going through a suitcase containing Adam’s possessions. He finds and opens the actual Lament Configuration, which summons the real Cenobites. Pinhead praises Adam’s ingenuity and mocks the Host’s disbelief before Chatterer and Bound tear him to pieces. Jake and Chelsea are shown driving into the sunrise, when they receive a mysterious phone call from the Host, who suddenly appears in the back seat. The two almost crash the car but are able to stop it. The last scene shows the police entering the bedroom in which the Host opened the box, the walls blood-smeared and the box lying on the floor.Image result for hellraiser hellworldThis is easily one of the most underrated and enjoyable entries in the series. Perhaps more than in any of the other sequels thus far, this one manages to really find a way of getting the Cenobites onto screen in a great way. The concept of the video game and tying that into the history of the series as the means for revenge here is pretty creative and really has some good points. The different encounters with the Cenobites here are just part of the fun that really makes for exciting set-pieces throughout with the use of the house helping in the fun.

 

 

REVIEW: HELLRAISER VII: DEADER

 

CAST

Doug Bradley (Wrong Turn 5)
Kari Wuhrer (Eight Legged Freaks)
Paul Rhys (From Hell)
Simon Kunz (Goldeneye)
Marc Warrren (Wanted)
Georgina Rylance (7 Seconds)

Investigative reporter Amy Klein (Kari Wuhrer) is sent to Bucharest at the behest of Charles (Simon Kunz), her boss, to investigate the origins of a video tape depicting the ritualistic murder—and subsequent resurrection—of a member of a cult calling themselves “The Deaders”. In Bucharest, Amy tracks down the return address of the VHS and discovers the corpse of a girl, named Marla, who had sent the tape holding a puzzle box, the Lament Configuration. Amy returns to her hotel and opens the box which summons Pinhead (Doug Bradley), although this is apparently all a dream. She visits some of the Bucharest subculture on a train where she meets Joey, who warns her about her the Deaders and notices that Amy has a ‘self destructive thing’.

Amy pursues leads, ultimately tracking down Winter LeMarchand (Paul Rhys), the leader of the cult. Winter is the descendant of the toymaker who designed the puzzle box, which can open a portal to a realm populated by the Cenobites, hedonistic entities that experiment in forms of extreme sadomasochism. Winter believes that as the heir to the LeMarchand name, it is his birthright to access the realm of the Cenobites and become their master.

However, Winter has been unable to open the box himself. Believing that it takes an individual whose life circumstances have brought them to a nihilistic point beyond life-or-death, Winter founded the Deaders, attracting emotionally vulnerable individuals, murdering them, and resurrecting them with necromancy in the hopes of creating someone who can open the box. Winter kills and resurrects Amy, resulting in her experiencing an extended waking dream including a bloody bathroom scene and going to see Joey once again on the train. Amy also relives physical and sexual abuses from her childhood by her drunken, abusive father and young Amy eventually murdered him by stabbing him in the stomach with a large kitchen knife.

Coming back to reality in the Deaders’ compound, Amy successfully opens the box and summons the Cenobites. Their leader, Pinhead, expresses disdain for Winter and his family and denies that any mortal could ever control the Cenobites. Pinhead and the Cenobites then slaughter all of the Deaders before indicating to Amy that she is now indebted to them by opening the box. Pinhead tells Amy her father has been waiting for her in the Cenobite realm. Rather than be taken back to the Cenobite realm, Amy kills herself by stabbing herself in the stomach with a large kitchen knife. After that, the box starts to close and an electrical charge surges out from the box, sending the Cenobites back to hell, and causing the house to explode.

Charles is watching a news report on the incident. Unaware of Amy’s whereabouts, Charlie’s secretary brings in a new female journalist and Charles talks about showing her a tape that might interest her. The film ends with the reporter holding up the Lament Configuration, which has been recovered from the collapsed building.

At this point in the Series we were being given Hellraiser Stories which did not begin life as Original Works. The Studio took Horror scripts already in the Vaults and tacked some Hell related scenes to them along.. This entry works surprisingly well. One scene in particular where Kari Wuhrer moves along passage which grows smaller and smaller with every step She takes really works in a Nightmarish sense for anyone who has issues with enclosed spaces.Also the Beautiful Wuhrer makes it worth A look.

REVIEW: HELLRAISER VI: HELLSEEKER

CAST

Doug Bradley (Wrong Turn 5)
Dean Winters (Terminator: TSCC)
Ashley Laurence (Warlock III)
Rachel Hayward (Jake 2.0)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (Smallville)
Jody Thompson (Flash Gordon)
Kaaren de Zilva (Juno)
Kyle Cassie (Andromeda)

Trevor Gooden (Dean Winters) survives a car accident that apparently kills his wife Kirsty Cotton-Gooden (Ashley Laurence) when their car plunges off a bridge into the river below. Trevor manages to escape with his life, but even though police divers find both car doors open there is no sign of Kirsty.

One month later, Trevor wakes up in a hospital and realizes that his wife is missing, but because of a head injury his memory is uncertain and he cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality. Trevor finds himself the prime suspect in a murder case, and has two homicide detectives on his tail. Many strange events befall him, until the Cenobite Pinhead shows him reality. The reality is that Kirsty is in fact still alive. Trevor learns that in reality he was never a good guy. He cheated on his wife with many other women, and tried to get rid of Kirsty by making her reopen the Lament Configuration. She does, but before being taken, she strikes one last deal with Pinhead: she offers to give him five souls in exchange for hers. She kills three of Trevor’s mistresses and one of Trevor’s friends, who was conspiring to kill her for her fortune.  Trevor is in shock by the revelation and takes off the covers on the operating table, believing it to be Kirsty. The person on the table is not Kirsty, but is in fact him. He is the fifth soul and this entire time he has been in Hell living in limbo. Trying to rediscover his past and piece his life back together was his punishment for his disloyalty to his wife and his inability to accept who he truly was. It seems that she has pinned all of the murders on Trevor and shot Trevor through the head, leading him to crash the car into the river. The film ends with Kirsty walking away from the crime scene with the Lament Configuration in hand.

Pinhead has thankfully been given a much more prevalent role than he had in Inferno, and it’s morbidly pleasing to see some of the familiar Cenobites return, like Chatterer. The movie closes with the old `leave him and take me’ cliché, but as a whole it is a quality entry in the Hellraiser saga. It is well-written, well-thought out, and entertaining, and most importantly, it is more than just another cash in on a successful series.

REVIEW: HELLRAISER V: INFERNO

CAST

Doug Bradley (Wrong Turn 5)
Craig Sheffer (Nightbreed)
Nicholas Turturro (Blue Bloods)
James Remar (Dexter)
Nicholas Sadler (Twister)
Noelle Evans (15 Minutes)
Lindsay Taylor (17 Again)
Sasha Barrese (The Hangover)
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)
Carmen Argenziano (Stargate SG.1)

Joseph Thorne is a corrupt Denver police detective who regularly indulges in drug use and infidelity during the course of duty. At the scene of what appears to be a ritual murder, Thorne discovers a strange puzzle box, which he takes home in order to indulge his fascination with puzzles. After solving the box, Thorne begins to experience bizarre hallucinations, such as being seduced by a pair of mutilated women and being chased by a creature with no eyes or legs. Thorne also makes a connection between the murder and a killer known as “The Engineer,” who is suspected of having kidnapped a child. Thorne goes in search of the Engineer, who in turn begins murdering Thorne’s friends and associates, leaving behind one of the child’s fingers at every crime scene.

While undergoing therapy for his hallucinations, Thorne’s psychiatrist reveals himself to be “Pinhead”, the leader of a group of entities known as the Cenobites, who use the puzzle box as a portal between their realm and the mortal realm. Pinhead informs Thorne that he has in fact been in the Cenobite’s realm since opening the box, where they have been subjecting him to psychological torture for the various cruelties he has inflicted on others: The Engineer is a manifestation of Thorne’s own cruelty, while the child is a personification of Thorne’s innocence, which he has slowly been killing through corruption, hedonism, and violence. As hooked chains appear and begin to ensnare Thorne, Pinhead informs him that he will be subjected to an eternity of torment for his sins.

Although this is different than the other Hellraiser films, it is pure horror and classic. The difference between this film and the other Hellraisers are what makes some people say it’s not as good.  The lack of cenobite scenes are payed back with great horror of a detectives hellish life! There are three fantastic new cenobites in this, supplied with amazing affects.If you’re looking for a horror film that will be different than any other, then you should enjoy this.

 

REVIEW: HELLRAISER IV: BLOODLINE

CAST

Doug Bradley (Wrong Turn 5)
Bruce Ramsey (Killing Zoe)
Valentina Vargas (Faces In The Crowd)
Charlotte Chatton (Titanic)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Kim Myers (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2)
Paul Perri (Freeway)
Pat Skipper (Demolition Man)

In 2127, Dr. Paul Merchant, an engineer, seals himself in a room aboard The Minos, a space station that he designed. As armed guards attempt to break through the door, Merchant manipulates a robot into solving the Lament Configuration, destroying the robot in the process. The guards break through the door and apprehend Merchant, who agrees to explain his motivations to their leader, Rimmer.

The film flashes back to Paris, France, 1796. Dr. Merchant’s ancestor, Phillip LeMarchand, a French toymaker, makes the Lament Configuration on commission from the libertine aristocrat Duc de L’Isle. Unbeknownst to LeMarchand, L’Isle’s specifications for the box make it a portal to Hell. Upon delivering the box to L’Isle, LeMarchand watches as he and his assistant Jacques sacrifice a peasant girl and use her blood to summon a demon, Angelique, through the box. LeMarchand runs home in terror, where he begins working on blueprints for a second box which will neutralize the effects of the first. Returning to L’Isle’s mansion to steal the box, LeMarchand discovers that Jacques has killed L’Isle and taken control over Angelique, who agrees to be his slave so long as he does not impede the wishes of Hell. The pair kill LeMarchand, and Jacques informs him that his bloodline is now cursed for helping to open a portal to Hell.

In 1996, LeMarchand’s descendant, John Merchant, has built a skyscraper in Manhattan that resembles the Lament Configuration. Seeing an article on the building in a magazine, Angelique asks Jacques to take her to America so that she can confront him. When Jacques denies her request, Angelique kills him, as Merchant poses a threat to Hell. Angelique travels to America, where she fails to seduce Merchant. Discovering the Lament Configuration in the building’s foundation, Angelique tricks a security guard into solving it, which summons Pinhead. The two immediately clash, as Pinhead represents a shift in the ideologies of Hell, which she left behind two hundred years ago: while Angelique believes in corrupting people through temptation, Pinhead is fanatically devoted to pain and suffering. Despite their conflicting views, the pair forge an uneasy alliance to kill Merchant before he can complete The Elysium Configuration, an anti-Lament Configuration that creates perpetual light and would serve to permanently close all gateways to Hell.

Angelique and Pinhead initially collaborate to corrupt Merchant, but Pinhead grows tired of Angelique’s seductive techniques and threatens to kill Merchant’s wife and child. Having grown accustomed to a decadent life on Earth, Angelique wants no part of Hell’s new fanatical austerity, and she intends to force Merchant to activate the Elysium Configuration and destroy Hell, thus freeing her from its imperatives. However, Merchant’s flawed prototype fails. Pinhead kills Merchant, but his wife opens Angelique’s Lament Configuration, sending Pinhead and Angelique back to Hell.

In 2127, Rimmer disbelieves Dr. Merchant’s story and has him locked away. However, Pinhead and his followers—now including an enslaved Angelique—have already been freed after Merchant opened the box. Upon learning of Dr. Merchant’s intentions, they kill the entire crew of the ship, save for Rimmer and Paul, who escape. Paul reveals that the Minos is, in fact, the final, perfected form of the Elysium Configuration, and that by activating it, he can kill Pinhead and permanently seal the gateway to Hell.

Paul distracts Pinhead with a hologram while he boards an escape pod with Rimmer. Once clear of the station, he activates the Elysium Configuration. A series of powerful lasers and mirrors create a field of perpetual light, while the station transforms and folds around the light to create a massive box. The light is trapped within the box, killing Pinhead and his followers, thus ending Pinhead’s existence, this time, permanently.

The true Hellraiser movies are 1 and 2, the third one was very hit or miss…but it works. And bloodlines compliments these, because it’s not just about Pinhead, the main character in this one is the Puzzle Box.

REVIEW: HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH

CAST

Doug Bradley (Wrong Turn 5)
Terry Farrell (Star Trek: DS9)
Ken Carpenter (Blood Games)
Paula Marshall  (Veronica Mars)
Kevin Bernhardt (Superboy)
Ashley Laurence (Warlock III)

The revelation of his own former humanity in Hellraiser II has resulted in the Cenobite, Pinhead (Doug Bradley), being split into two different entities: his former self, World War I British Army Captain Elliot Spencer, and a manifestation of Spencer’s id, which takes on the form of Pinhead. While Spencer ends up in limbo, Pinhead is trapped, along with the puzzle box, amongst the writhing figures and distorted faces etched into the surface of an intricately carved pillar — the Pillar of Souls.

The pillar is bought by J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt), the rich owner of a popular nightclub called The Boiler Room. During her investigation, an ambitious young television reporter, Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell), slowly begins to learn about Pinhead and the mysterious puzzle box. Joey is introduced to the pain the box can bring when she witnesses a teenage clubgoer being ripped apart by the box’s chains in a hospital emergency room. Joey tracks the box and a young woman named Terri (Paula Marshall) to The Boiler Room nightclub. Terri had previously stolen the box from the nightclub.

Video tape interviews are recovered from the Channard Institute of one of Pinhead’s former victims Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence). Joey and Terri learn through the videos about the demonic Cenobites and the power of the Lament Configuration puzzle box and that it is the only means of sending Pinhead back to Hell. Pinhead remains dormant until one night several hooked chains shoot out of the pillar and rip into one of the club goers, Sandy (Aimée Leigh), whom Monroe had just recently slept with. After killing Sandy, Pinhead consumes her flesh and her distorted face appears on the pillar. Pinhead convinces Monroe to bring him more club members so he can feed on them and be freed from the pillar.

Meanwhile, Joey is contacted by the spirit of Elliot Spencer, who tells her that this “Pinhead” is a separate entity than the one encountered by Kirsty previously. Without Spencer’s humanity to act as a balancing influence, this Pinhead is completely evil and has no sense of order. Rather than abide by the laws of the Cenobite realm, he will indiscriminately wreak havoc on Earth for his own pleasure unless he is stopped. In order to defeat him, Joey must reunite Spencer’s spirit with Pinhead, fusing them back into a single entity.

Pinhead and Joey confront each other in The Boiler Room after Pinhead massacres the club’s patrons in various grotesque ways. Pinhead says that he exists to force humanity to recognize the darkness in their heart and his freedom is the only way to enable it. He orders Joey to give him the box but she breaks free and flees the club. Pinhead resurrects the corpses of his victims as Cenobites; Terri, transformed into a cigarette-smoking Cenobite that can dream, which she was unable to do as a human; Monroe, who has pistons jabbed through his skull; the Barman, who has barbed wire wrapped around his head and spits fire from his mouth; The DJ, who has CDs impaled into his skull, and throws CDs full speed at his victims; and ‘Doc’, who has a TV camera forcibly embedded in his eye socket. Joey flees through the quiet streets, pursued by the new Cenobites. Local police are killed by the Cenobites as Joey enters a church and begs the priest to help her. Lacking in faith that demons could exist, the priest is appalled by the appearance of Pinhead. The Cenobites trap Joey on a construction site and prepare to torture her – but the Lament Configuration activates and they are quickly sent to hell. Joey finds herself in a heaven like realm and comes face to face with an apparition who appears to be her dead father. The apparition tells Joey to give him the Lament Configuration, aka the puzzle box, and is revealed to be Pinhead in disguise. Pinhead ensnares her in machinery and prepares to transform her into a Cenobite, but is confronted by Spencer’s spirit, who forcibly fuses himself into Pinhead. Joey breaks free and uses the altered Lament Configuration to stab Pinhead through the heart, finally sending him back to Hell. With Pinhead’s humanity restored, Joey buries the Puzzle Box in a pool of concrete at the construction site.

The final scene shows the finished product of the same site – a building built where Joey buried the box, with the interior design identical to the Lament Configuration.It really is a shame that this movie is part of the series. If this would have been a new film ( with a new demon ) it would have been an enjoyable, well-made change. But as part of a great series it fails to deliver and you’re left behind with a disappointment.