A shady businessman attempts to piece together the details of the car crash that killed his wife and rendered him an amnesiac-- and left him in possession of a sinister puzzle box that summons monsters.
Thomas Abberton wants to be a famous surgeon, to heal people, to be able to give the gift of life. Unfortunately he's also very unstable. A mysterious stranger sells him a device to summon ... See full summary »
Steve Michael Martin,
In this ninth installment of the Hellraiser franchise, two friends discover a puzzle box in Mexico, which opens a gateway to Hell. Before long, dermatological nightmare Pinhead has returned... See full summary »
The youngsters Chelsea, Allison, Derrick and Mike are grieving the suicide of their friend Adam, who became obsessed with an internet game called Hellworld. Their former friend Jake blames the group since they have not stopped playing the game even when Adam was unstable. When they receive an invitation to a Hellworld party in an isolated mansion, the reluctant Chelsea decides to join the group and they surprisingly find Jake in the party. He explains that he was invited by a girl he met in a chat room. They are hosted by the owner of the place, who shows them his private macabre collection. Along the night, they find that they are in a party in hell. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hey you wanna know what I hate? Lines of dialogue like this:
"You been away from the dark realm a while, Chels, how'd it feel playin' again?"
"Just like any other ultra-violent twenty-four hour wildly popular and yet utterly purposeless embraced-by-the-masses Internet role-playing game."
It's one of those lines of dialogue that they always put into movies like Hellraiser 8 that are impossible to avoid sounding like they were written and re-written and rehearsed and re- rehearsed and then finally they just give up trying to make it sound natural after 30 or 40 takes and, exasperated, just drop the best bad take into the movie. That, being said, let me tell you what I have figured out.
After years if deliberation about what it takes to make a good horror movie and what is missing in a bad one, after countless theories (the presence of teenagers or college-age kids being near the top of that list, by the way), I have finally discovered for certain the exact point at which a movie stops being scary and good and instantly becomes stupid and bad. There is a perfect illustration of the solution near the end of this film, when Chelsea gets locked in the room and Adam starts calling to her from under the floor.
She has becomes absorbed in some photo album despite having found herself locked into the creepiest attic imaginable, and she hears someone whispering her name from behind her. She spins around just in time to see a hand disappear beneath a crack in the floorboards, and she cautiously moves over to investigate. As she peers into the hole, she continues to hear her name being called and she can see the tiniest glimpse of a face in the darkness, and at this point I am absolutely cringing in my chair. No matter how sure I am that something is going to spring out in a situation like that it still gets to me.
And then she did something stupid.
Literally the instant Chelsea put her hand through that crack in the floorboards, I immediately relaxed, almost to the point of breathing a sigh of relief because I didn't have to worry anymore because I completely stopped caring. And it's not just because she doesn't realize she's in a horror movie (despite the fact that the entire cast of this movie are hardcore Hellraiser fans, so the fourth wall has already been breached), it's because the moment her hand crosses the threshold of that crack in the boards she instantly ceases to be a victim.
And you know what my analogy is? Suicide! When someone in a horror movie does something that stupid, it is generally because the filmmakers need to have the character killed off but can't think of a really clever way to have it happen, so they just have the character do something monumentally stupid, but the problem is that this places the blame for their death on themselves, and in a horror movie, it's not only not scary when someone is attacked after doing something as idiotic as putting her hand through the crack in the floorboards because she thinks she sees her dead friend down there, it's satisfying, and not in the good way either.
Stupidity should be painful, but in the movies, it should be lethal.
That being said, it's amazing how little effort was made into making it clear what exactly was going on in the movie. It starts out with the funeral of a college age kid having been killed because of his over-involvement in something called Hellworld, which itself is never very clearly explained. His friends later mourn that they all knew what was happening to him but still kept playing Hellworld, although if you watch the making-of featurettes on the DVD, Director Rick Bota refers to Hellworld as "a website, or video game." It's kind of an ominous sign when even the director doesn't know what his movie is about. Either that or he doesn't know the difference between a website and a video game.
The story follows the death of their friend, something about that game, and then cuts to a few years later when all of his friends get invited to a party celebrating the said video game. Needless to say, it's kind of like an overblown Halloween party where everyone seems to be fascinated with the macabre (serious macabre, too, like dead babies in jars, sounds like a blast), and girls randomly pull their breasts out (curiously, the first bit of wildly gratuitous nudity is followed by the following exchange "Gratuitous breasts?" "Necessary breasts! Ha ha ha!" Clever.).
When all is said and done and you finally realize what has been happening throughout the entire movie, it is such a ludicrous and ridiculous twist that it distantly surpasses the Saw movies for absurdity. If you thought Jigsaw had some time on his hands to come up with some incredibly complex machines of torture, wait until you see the plot that is hatched by the Host (played by Lance Henriksen, who wastes his talent completely in this movie).
Also don't miss the making-of featurette on the DVD, in which you can witness Pinhead eating a piece of pizza and, my favorite, Khary Payton, one of the actors in the film, makes the following mysterious analogy "Horror movies are like roller coasters, you know, they're not gonna win Oscars or that kind of thing, but they're just a lot of fun."
I don't know, Khary, have you ridden Xtreme at Magic Mountain in Southern California? I see an Oscar in that ride's future!
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