Clive Barker's feature directing debut graphically depicts the tale of a man and wife who move into an old house and discover a hideous creature - the man's half-brother, who is also the woman's former lover - hiding upstairs. Having lost his earthly body to a trio of S&M demons, the Cenobites, he is brought back into existence by a drop of blood on the floor. He soon forces his former mistress to bring him his necessary human sacrifices to complete his body... but the Cenobites won't be happy about this. Written by
Ary Luiz Dalazen Jr. <email@example.com>
During a post production party when filming had ended Doug Bradley was dismayed to be ignored by the other members of the crew. He thought to himself that he found it a pity as he though he got on rather well with people. It wasn't till later that he realized that none of the crew had actually ever seen him without his makeup when playing Pinhead and therefore did not recognize him. See more »
When the Engineer chases Kirsty, the trolley and crew pushing it are visible. See more »
More Urbane and Interesting Than Other 1980s Horror Movies
Hellraiser may not be an incredible work of horror genius, but it certainly is one of the more inventive and engagingly dark and twisted horror films of the 1980s, when horror films were almost all dull, poorly made, recycled, and absurd. Hellraiser's themes include sadomasochism, in an intriguing concept of the slasher figure in the story, which is a Gothic- looking antique puzzle box that summons ruthless demons to victimize the person in possession of it by subjecting them to a world of debilitating eternal pain. It also involves a femme fatale on the level of a chiller that does not involve fantasy, played brilliantly in an extremely acute performance by beautiful Clare Higgins. There is the layer of plot surrounding her that inhabits late-thirties, early-forties married and adulterous life with her almost frustratingly naive and unsuspecting husband, which is invaded by the devilish embodied soul of her ex-lover, brutalized by the demons of the puzzle box. Finally, at the core of the story is the pivotal character, as her fill of screen time patiently awaits to the point where she is revealed to be so, and she is the teenage stepdaughter, played by Ashley Laurence, one of the sexiest actresses I have ever seen. Everything from her voluptuous body to her scream-bloody-murder portrayal of the stepdaughter makes me wonder why her career never went any higher than this.
So yes, the movie is more urbane than the vast majority of other horror films in that decade. It's even set in England. It's interesting that no one has an English accent in England, according to this movie, but nevertheless the locale serves the film with a dark atmosphere of sophistication and antiquity, which suits a story that surrounds an age-old puzzle box. This feel of the movie that I speak of is interrupted, quite inexplicably by beer-drinking, dirty-T-shirt-wearing American furniture movers, which I didn't know they had in England.
Hellraiser is quite an enormous entertainment despite its 1980s-style inconsistencies that I suppose it just couldn't help but have. It's especially enjoyable during autumn, mainly during Halloween time.
19 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?