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>
Shock Till You Drop ranked Butterball number seven in their list of the ten best Cenobites, calling him "infamously creepy and mysterious. See more »
When Frank first opens the puzzle box in the beginning of the film, the inner sides of the sliding pieces are white. Later, when Kirsty opens the box in the hospital, the box's inner sides are brown woodgrain, just like the exterior of the box. See more »
[the Asian Merchant greets Frank]
What's your pleasure, Mr. Cotton?
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German DVD by Kinowelt (now StudioCanal) released in 2011 is cut by ca. 2 minutes and has a "Not under 16" rating. The uncut version was released in Austria with no rating. See more »
One of the most imaginative horror flicks of the 80's
Clive Barker's debut feature is one of the most original horror films of the 80's. Unlike many genre offerings from that decade this one is not formulaic at all. It's chiefly for this reason that Hellraiser is respected. Barker proved himself to be something of a talent and one who would end up directing very little else unfortunately.
Hellraiser is a story about the occult but like no other film of that sub-genre. Instead of the typical demonic creatures you would see in many other films of this type, this one introduces the Cenobites. These denizens of hell are a good deal more memorable, and have a somewhat S&M styling that gives them added deviancy. They look highly original. Throughout the film there are a series of visually spectacular set-pieces. The look and atmosphere of Hellraiser belies is very modest budget. Barker and his team consistently make the most of their meagre resources and it's never obvious that this is so low-budget.
The celebrated fantasy moments are well off-set by a story of a dysfunctional family. The characters are all well rounded and believable which again is not a typical aspect of an 80's horror movie. The performances are universally strong, including an atypically good guy role for Andrew Robinson who was most famous for playing the psychopath Scorpio in Dirty Harry.
All in all, a quality production. And one of the most iconic horror flicks of the 80's.
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