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Following the events of the 1995 film THE PROPHECY and preceding the events of the 2005 film HELLRAISER: DEADER, the Second Angelic War continues, and Lucifer returns from his domain of Hell to recruit Leviathan's assistance in defeating the rebellious army led by the Archangel Gabriel. To do so, he blackmails Natasha, a young theology student, into solving the Lament Configuration to summon the Cenobites from their domain of Hell, the Labyrinth. However, even Lucifer could not have foretold what happened next... Written by
Jonathan S. Kui
It might be with some shock that people see the 7 out of 10 rating that I've given this film; after all, I've given far smaller scores for films that were better acted, filmed, edited and directed than "Hellraiser: Prophecy", to say nothing of special makeup effects.
However, a quick look on the official web-site and the "trivia" section here will inform the hardcore horror fans which "Hellraiser: Prophecy" is aimed at that the entire cast and crew of this film was made up of people who have little or no experience of film-making whatsoever. "Hellraiser: Prophecy" is something that the medical students involved in making it should be proud of.
I'm sure if one were to watch every fan film on the internet, one would find that "Star Wars" fan films outnumber all the other ones grouped together at a ratio of about 2:1. Indeed, many of them come out looking fine. This should not be surprising: black and brown robes are readily available at most charity shops, and in these days of cheap (or completely free) sfx packages, rotoscoping a lightsaber is a short and easy job. The makers of "Hellraiser: Prophecy" had no such luck.
Are the cenobite costumes and make-up as realistic as those shown in the official Hellraiser films? No. I can distinctly see the area at which "Angelique"'s skull cap ends, and the actress' hair begins. But considering the fact that most people making this type of film would have made do with leather jackets, tomato ketchup and a pack of children's' face-paints all round, these costumes are to be commended for displaying a great deal of care, time and effort, and were no doubt put together on an extremely small budget, unlike their "official" counter-parts.
The acting is not Oscar-worthy to say the least, and I won't patronise any of those involved by suggesting anything silly like taking it up professionally. But it certainly is a long way off being effortless, and quite a long way off being bad. Indeed, it's at about the same level as a number of so-called professional actors whom I've seen doing dramatic workshops in schools. Again, the people involved certainly punch about their weight.
I certainly doubt that both the director and camera crew have had no experience filming whatsoever; at the very least someone must have made some amateur stuff on their mum and dad's video camera. But with a little more training, I would go so far as saying that these people in fact probably could try to do a professional feature film. With some money behind them for a better camera and a good editor, I think that we're seeing budding talent here. The film flows together well, it's framed well, and the editing's pretty good do. As other people have written, there's some segments with quick cuts that do resemble professional horror film quality.
Sound is the only major category that let this film down. There were some sections where lines were not really audible. I'm assuming that on-set dialogue was recorded using the camera-mic, and thus it's no what you'd call sharp. The Angelique character has an effect placed over the dialogue which makes it difficult to understand in some parts
and it might have been wise to find an effect that distorted the
clean voice a bit less. Having said that, the sound editor did make good use of the music in their possession.
Let me say again, this film was made by people who had no experience. Indeed, it was made by medical students; one would therefore think that very few people involved have ambitions of going into professional film-making at all. Are they as good as the amateur film-makers and actors that I know who DO want to go into film-making professionally? Probably not. Would any of my amateur film-making friends be any good as a doctor? Definitely not.
At worst, "Hellraiser: Prophecy" is a good try. At best, it is an inspiration. Take your pick.
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