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Kevin J. O'Connor,
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
In this short film Hellraiser: Prophecy, one of the first real Hellraiser-based serious fan-film to be released, written and directed by Jonathan Kui, a nightmarish concept takes shape: a Second Rebellion is taking place in the porphyrogene gates of Heaven, as the Archangel Gabriel leads a faction of dissenting Angels against their Maker. They mean to strip Mankind of their very essence: their Souls, seeking a return to a time when they didn't have to compete with what they believe to be inferior creatures, for God's love. In their way, defending the Word, stand the Archangel Michael and the rest of the Angelic Host.
Paradoxically, Lucifer must choose to side against this Second Rebellion for reasons of his own. For this he must contact stronger forces beyond the reach of anyone without a Soul. Powers that rely on Order, and Discipline, which might help Lucifer maintain the status quo. The Order of the Gash, explorers in the further regions of Experience who serve Leviathan, may be such a force. But their dimension is off-limits to Lucifer.
This is where Natasha (Lori Pyzocha) comes in...
I'd say the strongest point of this movie is its story, a powerful and original screenplay written by Johnathan Kui. The dialogue is dramatic and rich, directly contributing for the progression of the narrative, delivered by amateur actors who nevertheless manage to achieve a handful of rather intense moments.
Jeremy Yost as Lucifer has, of course, some of the best lines of the script, and manages to incarnate a scornful Lucifer, with a persistent smile on the corner of his mouth, yet dead serious when he must press his point.
Monica Dus as the treacherous and serpentine Angelique also has some beautiful lines as she coaxes and seduces her despairing victims into the grasp of her God Leviathan.
Allison Blum as Lydia portrays a completely lost woman, driven to violence and thrown into a state of despair and confusion.
A word of praise for the Cenobite troop Costume Design is in order, designed and realized by Christie Bialowas.
The story does a well thought-out expansiveness to the mythology of Hellraiser that I enjoyed, incorporating Angels, Demons & Cenobites as a part of the same multi-dimensional Space. We are also given a new insight on what it takes to open the Lemarchand Lament Configuration.
Chains galore in the final act, as well as some well-achieved chainings. The special effects in the chaining sequences are believable enough (Trivia: using fake blood actually bought from 2 Hours in the Dark).
Of course, as a low-budget short, some details are to be taken with a grain of salt, especially in the make-up department. The Cenobites, as highly modified creatures, necessitate a good amount of work to achieve verisimilitude, and there are some details that must be forgiven for the sake of general enjoyment of the story. Our minds have a magic tendency to fill in the gaps and put perfection or close, where some may be lacking.
Other prop difficulties are also still being worked upon. The CGI special effects in my screening copy, though as yet incomplete, were also very believable, and I have no problem accepting them as is; they work perfectly, if you keep an open mind. I was particularly fond of Lucifer's eye-opening scene, very accomplished and disturbing. I first saw this in the teaser trailer.
When engrossed in the story, our suspension of disbelief can do wonders. Allow yourself to be transported and take any faults as the growing pains of a new director working with an amateur, yet hard-working crew.
The finished DVD will also include some great Bonus Material like a Gag Reel (I laughed my head off at some of the basic bloopers the crew and cast faced during the shoots - you will be amused to see how many takes nervous laughter can spoil!) as well as some very interesting surprises for hard-core Hellraiser fans. Keep on the lookout for the final DVD version.
I am eagerly awaiting the finished package, which will be free, to include in my Hellraiser collection.
It's my belief that Hellraiser fans will be generally pleased by this addition to the growing deck of fan-based films. I for one am looking forward for Jonathan Kui's upcoming work.
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