Hellraiser: Inferno (Video 2000) Poster

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Not too bad a sequel...
Gislef28 March 2001
...as long as you keep in mind they tried to do something different with the franchise. As such, the fifth installment is more of a supernatural morality tale in the line of Angel Heart and Jacob's Ladder. Everything does make sense, if you get all the way to the end.

Whether you like the inclusion of the Cenobites depends on whether you think they have to be center-stage or not. They basically do what they're supposed to here, and this movie does a better job of establishing how they torture people (as opposed to just ripping people apart in ugly ways) then the previous movies have done. The idea that they engage in psychological torture is one that none of the previous movies in the series have expanded upon in any great depth (although the fact they inflict pleasure as well as pain still needs to be touched upon a little more - the twin she-Cenobites kinda hint at this, though).

Basically this is perhaps the more subtle of the movies in the series, due to the apparent requirement that the Cenobites not play a large part. Rewatch it a time or two without the expectations that this will be a blood-oozing, skin-rippping "Pinhead movie" like the others, and you might be surprised.
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A nerve-wracking experience, it messes with your mind.
Joshua Calvert28 January 2002
I saw this film alone in a "house container" in the middle of the night, during my 24H shift as the radio Duty Officer in a UN military camp in Eastern Africa. Maybe that's why it made such an impression on me, partly, anyway!

Whatever the unusual setting for viewing it, it must be said I'm a long time fan of Clive Barker and his universe(s), and that that of course helped in gearing up my imagination. In my opinion, the special Barker trademark, namely a mood of overwhelming and insanity-inducing Biblical horror, translates well to the screen in this film. The protagonist, played by Sheffer, remembered from another Barker movie, Nightbreed, is caught in a web that seems impossible to escape. Even though he's a real dumb b*****d, you just can't help feel a little sorry for him; the way he is manipulated by gruesome, hellish powers is almost too much. No way he can experience what he does without loosing his mind!

The acting isn't anything special, but I tell you, if you are capable of living yourself just a bit into the story, you'll feel like I did: That movie has warped my fragile little mind!

Advice: see it alone, tired, just before you are going to sleep, and with your senses alert to begin with - and you'll be ready to continue the roller coaster ride in troubled dreams afterwards. Disturbing! 7 out of 10.
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This is a great psychological thriller....
sauron22120 June 2001
Hellraiser Inferno was a great movie. The acting could have been better, but it took a completely different turn than I expected it to.

Pinhead is what he was in the first two Hellraisers, A judge of Hell. If you notice Hellraiser 3 and Bloodline make him the bad guy, while in the first two movies it was the humans who were the evil ones.

This movie requires you to THINK. If you don't like having to think about a movie don't watch it, but if you liked the Blair Witch Project, You will like this movie.

This sequel brings back the style of the first two, but with enough difference to shock you in new ways. I believe this movie gets the point across that I think Clive Barker was trying to get across when he started this series, You create your own Hell, and you confront your own demons.

This movie is not like the rest of the series. It is more of a psychological terror than a slasher film. Give this movie a chance, and think about it.
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Surprisingly enjoyable.
GenK198121 June 2004
Well i watched this film on Terrestrial TV having been a fan of the 1st and 2nd in the saga but truly hating the 3rd and 4th. I must admit, it's pretty good.

The film severely sidesteps from the 'all out gore' of the previous 4 and instead introduces an element of suspense which honestly kept me watching the film throughout without wanting to take a quick break away from the TV.

Acting is Solid, Bradley again as Pinhead is flawless even though his screen presence has been toned down. Sheffer is excellent as the main character, delivers his lines very well and was very convincing in the more dramatic scenes of the movie. James Remar is surprisingly good also in his supporting role as the Doctor.

The film's suspense really reminded me of the silent hill games and the films characters were all pretty dark and untrustworthy. Even Sheffers character was sleazy and a bad cop.

As for the gore, it is still there, but not quite as nasty as what we have come to expect from a hellraiser movie. It was introduced when it needed to be, though I have to say the cenobites were nowhere near as gruesome as they should be.

Overall the film is really worth watching. Credit to the Director and the Writer for being brave enough to change the whole element of the Hellraiser Saga......but then again.....the saga really needed to be saved.

7. out of 10.
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Best Hellraiser?
benefit_r28 June 2006
Let me start by saying that recently I've been on a bit of a Hellraiser trip. I read the "Hellbound Heart" book, and decided to re-watch the movies. Originally I saw #2 first, then #1, both of which I love, and re-watched. Recently I saw #'s 3 & 4. Three SUCKS. Four I thought was interesting for the history of Lemarchand and the box, but it was kinda cheesy.

Now for this. This movie, for lack of a better word, is perfect. After going to school for multimedia, I was first amazed by the cinematography. The acting is flawless. The story, while not quite the "traditional" Hellraiser movie, is so interesting... if you haven't seen this you need to watch it.

I was really impressed with a few of the things the movie incorporated. In the book, it mentions "The Engineer" which has never been worked into any movie previously, and it also gets the "flouresence" - that in the previous movies just looked like a crappy lighting effect - perfectly. As for the Cenobites, Pinhead is of course perfect, you can't go wrong with Mr. Bradley, and the others are original and creepy.

I'm a horror movie fan, but most movies don't really creep me out any more (especially after watching a bunch of Takashi Miike flicks), but there was one scene in particular that really got to me. Great.
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An unstoppable, terrifying assault on the senses
K_Todorov21 September 2007
The first "Hellraiser" movie I ever saw. "Inferno" left me scarred and disturbed. The whole experience of watching the film was that of sheer terror that grows with each passing minute. Now after having seen all of the movies, read the novel and becoming accustomed the Hellraiser mythos I recently got a chance to watch it again. To see if my opinion on this fifth sequel changes. It didn't.

Yes "Inferno" does not follow the ideas established by Clive Barker in his novel "Hellbound Heart" which is the basis for the Hellraiser series. And yes it basically uses the status of Pinhead as a horror icon to draw an audience. But I'll be damned if I say that it is a bad film for just those reasons. "Inferno" is in fact a well constructed, technically superb sequel with an interesting plot and characters.

The film centers on Joseph Thorne played by Craig Sheffer. A brilliant but corrupt detective who during a homicide investigation comes into the possession Lemarchand Configuration. He opens the box and then it begins. Reality for Thorne soon turns into a nightmare that grows more and more powerful as his investigation leads him towards a mysterious figure known only as The Engineer.

"Inferno" explores the possibilities of redemption. Sheffer's character is certainly a very flawed individual and he knows it. But his determination to solve the case and hopefully save a human life is in his mind the path to redeeming himself, in front of his own eyes, his family, and those around him. Sheffer delivers a convincing performance which greatly helps in solidifying the idea. Other members of the cast include Nicholas Turturro playing Thorne's naive and honest partner Tony Nenonen, James Remar as a doctor Paul Gregory a psychiatrist and good old Doug Bradley once again playing his iconic role as the rational sadistic demon, Pinhead.

Visually speaking "Inferno" is as impressive as the first two "Hellraiser" movies. Gone are the b-movie quality effects and Cenobite designs which played part in the failure of the third and fourth films. Pinhead's image is not overused and he only appears during the final portion of the film when the nightmarish atmosphere is at it's highest. Delivering the final crucial blow to Thorne's broken psyche. The new cenobites are freakishly well done, and cleverly fit in to the movie's psychological character driven plot.

Severely underrated Scott Derrickson directed a great horror film that leaves strong a impression. Like a never-ending nightmare it keeps you constantly on the edge, expecting the unexpected.
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A variation on the series leads to a pleasant surprise.
Radarluv795 August 2002
I must admit to expressing a certain level of cynasism when I selected Inferno from my local video store. While I had found the frist two installments of the Hellraiser Series to be both disturbing and visually breath taking I was in no way impressed with three and four and am usually very sceptical about any direct to video horror movies. In this case I had little need to be.

The production values throughout this film are far above it's direct to video peers. The lighting and set designs are of the same caliber as many theatrically released horror movies. I will admit that the production design doesn't compare to sureal atmosphere of Hellraiser 1 & 2, but the this film seems to be grounded in a more gritty realistic environment. Craig Sheffer gives an excellent performance as the film's flawed protagonist a corrupt cop. He gives a minimally emotional performance giving his vice riden character a hollow and feel reflecting his soul's depravity. Character actor Nicholas Turturro gives an excellent performances as Sheffer's partner. The special effects and gore are far above those of a B-Movie. I was especially impressed with the transformation of pinhead.

What really sets this sequel apart from it's preadecesors is the script. In an inspired move writer/director Scott Derrickson choose to vary his story drastically from 3 & 4 an focus on the seductive nature of evil and takes the form of a modern morality tale. It is essentially the story Sheffer's struggle to purify himself of his own corruption, and return to innocense. This is in many ways the movie The Bad Luetenant as interpreted through the horror genre. Yes, Pinhead and his demon companions on make short cameo appearances and this is bound to anger some fans. I must argue however that the dread of their presences is always felt in the films atmosphere, and their use in the "surprise" ending is very effective.

I do have some minors critasisms which prevent me from giving this film a ten rating. First of all the film as times does degrade to cliches from both horror films and police dramas. I also felt the use of the demons in cowboy hats performing martial arts border on being unbelievable. In order for a film to be entertaining the audience must be able to suspend disbelief moments like this are difficult to accept. Finally, there are several false ending to this film. While years ago this may have been seen as an inventive horror tactic in the eighties it has become static and predictable. In many ways it takes away from the viseral power of the films conclusion. I rate this film as an eight out of ten due to it's inventive interpretation of the Hellraiser Series, and I would recommend it to both fans and non-fans of the series.
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Good stuff
Nightgaunt8 October 2002
This was a very good movie. I'm a big fan of the Hellraiser series and I was very disappointed when I first saw Bloodlines. But this was a good one. The disturbing thing is the role of pinhead. In all other movies he is a messenger of ultimate pain an desperation, an active tormentor of souls, so in his role he is very disposable this time. This story doesn't need "Hellraiser" written on it's label to become a success. On the other hand it has more similarities with the book than Hellraiser 2, 3 and 4. Good actors, some good SFX, a dark, violent atmosphere and an entertaining story sum up to one of the best sequels for a long time.
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maissans15 November 2005
I have seen all the hellraiser series and I must say, this one is excellent. In fact it is the best among the rest of the hellraiser part.I did a mistake by watching hellraiser hellworld before watching this one, and it gave me a great disappointment, hesistant to watch Inferno, but when I did I just loved it. for all horror movies fans, this one will give you a different taste and favor. the riddles, twists, backward senses and mystery just makes you want to watch it till the end. Not to mention that the actor who played the detective perfectly fits for his role. Go ahead and watch you will really enjoy your time, and won't repent of wasting it.
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Much more intellectual.
Elswet13 September 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Some critics and fans alike consider this to be the first "worthy" sequel since Hellbound: Hellraiser 2.

Those who are more concerned with the franchise history and the origins of the plot elements, however, should enjoy Hellraiser 3 & 4.

With the histories of both the box and Pinhead firmly tucked out of the way, this fifth installment, Inferno, takes us back to the beginning, but (thankfully) not in the form of the prequel. We go back to the basics with a forward-moving story rather than one which looks back. This time, we watch a dirty detective and "#1 Schmuck" award-winner as he battles his inner demons, and a few without.

Having abandoned the cheesy gore and splatter trends (a reason many fans do not care for this film), the directors instead utilized the sex and drugs vehicle a bit more than I cared for. (But then again, I'm not One for gratuitous sex in horror movies, either). That aside however, this is less a Hellraiser installment which features our favorite Cenobites and more a "looking inside" enterprise. It is quite clever and, while you miss Pinhead, you discover you've not really been without him all this time.

This installment is quite a bit more than just entertainingly suspenseful. It manages somehow to not follow the formula of a Hellraiser movie yet stay very connected to its origins. That somehow made it more...disturbing, bringing the Cenobites into what you could consider more the "real world," rather than some disconnected, darksome place.

This is way more of a psychological mind-twisting game than the first four.

It rates a 7.8/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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Um... well... for a direct-to-video sequel, it's not that bad... right?
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews7 December 2004
I haven't seen too many of the Hellraiser films... I've seen the first, which I thoroughly enjoyed as a gory horror flick, and I've seen the second, which I found provided excellent comic relief, as everything was terribly overplayed and the poor script didn't help much either. So, I found this in Blockbuster, at a cheap renting fee, so I thought, what the heck, it might be entertaining. That isn't far from the truth... but why it is entertaining is possibly part of the problem with the film. I think it has a pretty good(no, scratch that; a very good) idea/basic premise... but the execution is flawed. The plot is somewhat good, and the pacing is OK. The acting is pretty standard... for a direct-to-video film. The special effects range, but are mostly fairly good. The gore is good, and some of the shocks work. But the film just suffers from so many problems... the plot is a mess. I didn't manage to keep track of how many times the main character wakes up and realizes that it was a dream... and the very ending... well, yes, it does make sense, but it just seems so... empty, somehow. The film is very low on actual scares. Like the second one, it's horribly overplayed and usually inspires laughter rather than fear. I kind of liked how the cenobites were played down in the story, like they were in the first one... these are not main characters of the franchise, not at all. They are the most well-known, sure, but not the main characters. The film is more about the main character facing his own personal demons, with the cenobites being there to clarify this... which is good. Only, much like the second, the cenobites didn't really scare me... they were seen too much, and didn't seem as powerful or terrifying as they did in the first. I liked how the film kind of was about this man finding himself in his own personal hell, but, once again, it just felt empty and wrong. There were far too many times where I found myself questioning the characters' actions and not understanding what was going on or why... not even after the film was over. In the end, you're just left with that feeling of "was that it?" and that's really quite a loss, even for a direct-to-video production. I did find this to be an OK entry to the franchise, but it's really only worth watching for those who want to see anything that has any relation to the Hellraiser series. I recommend this only to big fans of Hellraiser and fans of crime/drama/mystery/horror films, and, be warned, you might not like it at all... even if you are a very big fan of the franchise or of aforementioned genres. 5/10
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The box is back
videorama-759-8593919 August 2017
Though I haven't seen number four, about the only HR that wasn't an R, this is a refreshing Hellraiser, but not for better. Shady cop (Sheffer- who's really good) finds his life falling apart, after taking something from a grisly murder scene? Guess what? He's experiencing a lot of delusions or are some real? His colleague (Turturro- a straight shooter for once) becomes really concerned, as so does Sheffer's family. I found this Firth HR exciting and bloody, but a lot of puff, where a lot of the story isn't explained, where we're the ones who have to piece the puzzle. Those demons in Sheffer's delusions, I thought were stupid, where a lot of stuff in this one doesn't make sense. But it's Sheffer who coolly steers this bad HR. James Remar was fantastic as a shrink, who could be Sheffer's one salvation, while Nicholas Sadler, an actor who's not used enough, was very good as a coke head, slumming it out in an ice cream van. This one has a few nasty themes, but is still is an exciting watch, where Sheffer really does hos role justice, and makes the film watchable. It was a relief to see Pinhead, in his most minor of HR screen time. May'be he too is ashamed of this HR. You will be short changed with this Hellraiser, mostly cause of it's very hazy told story, and it's stupidity versus corniness It feels less a Hellraiser, than all of them, esp, too when you consider Pinhead's almost, non pivotal role.
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Hellraiser 5: Inferno. Thoughts.
jackdickie8 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Upon first viewing, I disliked this film for being so different but then again I watched it 5 years later and actually think differently of it. A shady police detective becomes embroiled in a strange world of murder, sadism and madness after being assigned a murder investigation against a madman known only as "The Engineer" and I must say, this is a good film, it's not awful like some may say, but I will say that there will be times in which you think "Wait...it's been several minutes already, where's pinhead?" This movie is different compared to 3 and 4 and is alike to the 1st and 2nd films. Pinhead is your typical Priest of hell and is NOT your typical bad guy like he was portrayed in 3 and 4. He doesn't go around creating Cenobites to go hunt down the Lead Actor, he however psychologically messes with our lead character (Joseph Thorne)of which he soon comes to the realization of the horrifying events that are unfolding around him. This is a good film but I believe they could of done a bit more to make it more interesting than what it was. I'd like to give it a 5 out of 10 but feel as though it's not that Great, so I'll be giving it a 3 out of 10.
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The best movie in the Hellraiser series!
KryptoniteCornCob12 August 2005
I am surprised that i like this movie so much over the others--after all, Inferno is a Miramax movie, and Miramax seldom ever makes a movie correctly. (Usually they are crap to dirt poor due to over-editing and mistreatment)However, this movie, Hellraiser: Inferno, gets everything right. While the first movie is great (it's a classic), i'm not a big fan of excessive gore, which the first one contains quite often. Don't get me wrong, the special effects are some of the best i've seen, but Hellraiser: Inferno captures the essence of the first Hellraiser film without overdoing the gore. This results in the gore in Inferno being much more effective. It is only used at key points in the film, which makes for a more powerful experience when it is actually seen on screen.

The same goes for Pinhead: he doesn't appear very much in the movie, but when he does, it's for a purpose and is powerful. This is where Inferno wins over Hellraiser 2, 3 & 4. You always see the Cenobites in the movies, which ruins the impact of seeing them in the movies because they appear too much. I won't even get into Hellraiser: Hellseeker. That movie is a real snore.

Anyway, back to Inferno. The story was never boring to me,(unlike the others which all have slow spots with some uninteresting dialog)the characters are interesting, and the acting is great. This isn't an action movie, it's a very dialog driven psychological thriller with a touch of film noir. The movie has the most complex story of any Hellraiser film, so it doesn't insult my intelligence. And it is very nice that the movie doesn't contain any nudity or massive gore in it, or even any overuse of strong language. (Most often than not, it's usually a desperate cover-up ploy to distract the viewer from the movie actually being a piece of crap. This doesn't mean that the movie is tame however, because it isn't.

This is one of the best made horror films i have seen in quite a while (and i've seen a lot of horror films and this one holds up very well.) I should add that i have yet to see the 2 new Hellraiser movies (Deader & Hellworld)so i can't comment on those. But judging from their clichéd plot outlines, they will be really generic (look up the movies on this site..OhHh--*That* storyline hasn't been done before! HaHa whatever.)Another thing about Inferno is that i hear that people hate the movie because Pinhead isn't in the movie all but like 5 minutes. Well, Hellraiser was never about Pinhead or the cenobites in general. So obviously there are some people out there who don't understand what Hellraiser is all about, which is really unfortunate because they are being really shallow and missing out on such a good movie.

In conclusion, as i said earlier, it's nice to see a Hellraiser movie that focuses on it's moralistic value and lessons just like the first one did instead of focusing on gore effects and the cenobites, and it's also great to see a horror movie that takes it's story & itself seriously, without the inclusion of cliché nudity and overuse of monsters/gore on screen. That gets old very quick and it has. Horror movies in general have since became a joke. Hellraiser: Inferno is an exception, a rare gem. Interesting, well-written moralistic story, good special effects, acting, and powerful on-screen metaphors and ending. Great movie.

I give Hellraiser: Inferno a 10/10.
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Highway to hell. 'Make it yourself' edition.
alter-102 April 2006
The movie makes a beautiful point that has nothing to do with morality but rather with reality. 'Inferno' further explores into what hell is all about and how we make it there. Following a long and fruitful line of mystic tradition, best summarized in Clive Lewis' "The Great Divorce" (of heaven and hell), the movie presents hell not as some outer 'material' realm of existence where devils or gods torture us. The real hell however is what you choose to be and to do with your life. *That* shapes our own inferno. Hell is what we have come to be through our choices and actions (towards ourselves and others). The flesh is our machine-like self bent on base, self-centered, mechanical pleasures. When dominated by the flesh, we gradually lose and destroy our *living* self (the spirit, the child within), which is the spark of eternity and divinity in us, our real essence. Great movie, i loved it.
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Hellraiser the myth
dj_live20 October 2005
Hellraiser is a myth. Every horror fan should not only see it but look deeply inside it. It has a deep message which comes out only if you see all the movies. Some people say "oh this movie is dull" but they didn't see it all and they don't know what a great idea is made out of nothing.The idea of this world the Hellworld is done perfectly and come on tell me a Hell movie with originally made demons and sets, oh yes there isn't any.Inferno is a great step to hellraiser movies because it explains and answer questions that we don't know about Pinhead and all the cenobites.Watch this movie and you will see how to make a horror movie.I can only say one thing Clive thank you man, thank you !!!
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The Hellraiser series is now completely RUINED.
Caligula22615 October 2000
I absolutely loved the first two in the series. The third was way too Hollywood to be good, but I guess some people might like it. Even Bloodline could at least make it to the theatre. Hellraiser: Inferno is HORRIBLE!!

There is nothing good about this movie! About ten minutes into the movie we see Pinhead for about (literally) 2 seconds. After that you have to wait until the last five minutes of the movie to see him again. Everything that was good about the other Hellraiser movies, 1 through 4, is missing from this worthless piece of trash. Anyone who gives this a good review or a rating of over 4 has obviously never seen another Hellraiser film. I won't be surprised if we never see another one.
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Not for the hellraiser fan
mrnixx-111 March 2001
To start off with I am a Hellraiser/horror movie fan. I have been a fan of the Hellraiser characters from the beginning.

I have shuttered as each sequel excluding the 2nd which I loved, has gotten progressively worse but this has to be the bottom of the barrel I cant see it getting any worse than this. I watched this movie and still cant figure out who it was made for. It was not made for the Hellraiser or horror movie fan. Possibly it was made for the same people who like Halloween 3 I've gotten more scares watching a lifetime made for cable movie. 1.There was a total lack of direction, the movie never seemed to know whether it wanted to be a horror movie or a moralistic story on how if you do evil it will come back to haunt you. With all the possablities you could come up with using Pinhead they came up with a poormans NYPD BLUE and just added Pinhead in the role of some warped version of Jimeny Cricket.

2.The acting was stiff and it seemed as if the actors looked at cue cards the whole time.

3.Definate lack of Pinhead and the other Cenobites they mananaged to show more of them in the trailers than in the movie.

4.The sets and special effects where laughable.

5. The dialogue seemed written by someone in need of a quick paycheck it was worse than a tv movie.

The only thing I did like about this movie was that it came direct to video and I got it on a 2 for 1 night at the video store so it only cost a buck.
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Bad Lieutenant directed by Uwe Boll
tomgillespie200210 August 2016
The previous instalment of Clive Barker's Hellraiser franchise (although by this point I doubt he wants his name anywhere near the credits), Bloodline, whisked the Cenobites, the puzzle box and all of its desperate-for-a-pay-cheque actors into space. Since this is a sure-fire sign that a horror franchise is doomed and out of any fresh ideas, it was no surprise that number 5, Inferno, found itself heading straight to VHS. With Dimension Films hoping to keep the rights to a series they hope could someday be 're-booted' and back in the cinemas, they began picking up unrelated horror scripts and shoe-horning Pinhead and his minions into the story, slapping the 'Hellraiser' title on the cover to at least attract the hardcore fanbase.

Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer) is a good detective with a bad attitude. Although he is highly intelligent with a gift for solving puzzles and, er, amateur magic tricks, he snorts cocaine, beats on innocents who won't answer his questions, and sleeps with prostitutes who apparently kiss on the lips. Along with his partner Tony (Nicholas Turturro), he discovers the Lament Configuration box at the murder scene of an old school friend who has been torn apart by hooked chains. The murder puts him on the path to 'The Engineer', a mysterious man who leaves the severed finger of a child at each of the murder scenes. Yet once Thorne solves the puzzle, he starts to hallucinate, having visions of strange, deformed creatures who torment him.

As a direct-to-video effort and an entry into the atrocious, never- ending set of Hellraiser sequels, Inferno isn't all that bad. As an actual film, it's a cliché-ridden bore that neglects to give a substantial role to the franchise's (no pun intended) pin-up boy, Pinhead (Doug Bradley). Nobody picks up a DVD box with a picture of a demon with nails hammered into its head wanting to see a slow- paced detective story that plays out like Bad Lieutenant (1992) directed by Uwe Boll. The make-up budget can't be blamed either, as we are given a few scenes with lesser, ineffective Cenobites including, I think, two that know kung-fu and wear cowboy hats in the film's most random scene. Directed by an up-and-coming Scott Derrickson, let's hope he's now experienced enough to deliver a coherent Doctor Strange due later this year.
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Dante's Inferno becomes Pinhead's Inferno in this interesting fifth installment.
kclipper12 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is quite a unique departure from the usual over-the-top blood and gore that the first four Hellraiser films have satisfied fans of Clive Barker's visionary interpretation of desire and doom over the years. Director, Scott Derrickson takes us into the life of a brilliant but amoral police detective, Joseph Thorne, played by Craig Sheffer (who's no stranger to Clive Barker's surreal world from his role in "Nightbreed") Thorne is a master chess player and puzzle solver which brings us to his story. He also cheats on his beautiful wife with hookers and neglects his family, but when he stumbles across the infamous "Lament Configuration" puzzle box, he begins his descent into hell, which is ultimately an illogical mixture of reality and fantasy as he has to solve ghastly murders of people in which he was acquainted with and the disappearance of a child. It is somehow all designed by a character referred to as the "Engineer" that is actually the one and only Pinhead. This seems to be more for fans of the psychological thinking man's horror film than the traditional Gothic gore thriller. Craig Sheffer handles the material well as he must put together the impossibly complex world that is ultimately his chosen hell. The cenobite demons in this installment are strangely erotic shape-shifters of some sort, and many scenes have a convoluted dream-like quality. Pinhead gets very little screen-time, but when he emerges for the finale confrontation, its all the well worth the wait. Features good turns from Nicholas Turturro, James Remar and not to mention Doug Bradley's exquisitely demented Pinhead. Most fans should approve. Derrickson will go on to write and direct "Sinister" and the excellent, "Exorcism of Emily Rose"
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Little Relation to Hellraiser, but Better than One Might Expect
Witchfinder-General-66620 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Warning: This review includes small spoilers to this film as well as to some of the previous "Hellraiser" films.

The fifth entry to the "Hellraiser" series, "Hellraiser: Inferno" (2000) actually has very little to do with "Hellraiser" - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Clive Barker's original "Hellraiser" of 1987 is one of the greatest and scariest Horror masterpieces ever made, and the 1988 sequel "Hellbound" was also a fantastic Horror film. As most of Horror cinema in general, however, the series worsened in the 90s, with the silly third part "Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth" (1992) and in the fourth film "Hellraiser: Bloodline", the Cenobites, once the most menacing, invincible and hellish Horror creatures imaginable, had lost their scariness and become jokesters that could be beaten by nerdy computer geeks.

"Hellraiser: Inferno" includes only very short and insignificant appearances of the Cenobites, and that is a good thing, as the film therefore doesn't further disrupt their creepiness, which parts 3 and 4 did. In my book, it is also a bonus that "Hellraiser: Inferno" is completely humor-less. It IS possible for great Horror films to be humorous and scary, as masterpieces like the "Evil Dead" films and the "Re-Animator" films prove. However, there was an annoying tendency in the 90s that iconic Horror figures, such as Freddy Krueger, would become 'funny' and would constantly crack 'coool' one-liners. This annoying tendency sadly included the third and fourth "Hellraiser" films, and it is therefore very refreshing that "Hellraiser: Inferno" isn't trying to be funny.

"Hellraiser: Inferno" is actually a decent thriller about a murder series, that mainly suffers from having to fit in the Hellraiser-scheme. Therefore, the film includes elements from the previous films. and some scenes with the Cenobites, which frankly have nothing to do with the rest of the film. It is obvious that the scenes with the Cenobites here were only thrown in in order to justify calling the film "Hellraiser" and in order to credit Doug Bradley as his iconic character Pinhead. Otherwise, the film is quite suspenseful and atmospheric.

Det. Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer), a highly intelligent homicide detective who is plagued by bizarre nightmares, investigates a series of sadistic murders. The murderer always leaves a child's finger at the crime scenes. All the murders are somehow connected to a phantom crime kingpin called "The Engineer"...

Director Scott Derrickson, who would later direct "The Exorcism of Emily Rose", does a good job creating tension and atmosphere. Unfortunately, the Cenobites-sequences, which really have nothing to do with the rest of the plot make the film somewhat messy. The violence is pretty brutal, and the makeup and gore effects are very well-done (as in all "Hellraiser" films). Leading man Craig Sheffer is a good actor and he is believable as the protagonist, who is highly intelligent, but treats everybody else like an ass. James Remar, who is probably best known for his role in the great show "Dexter", is great in the role of the police psychologist. Doug Bradley is always magnificent in his role of Pinhead; as mentioned above, however, the role is superfluous in this film, and only thrown in to attract viewers.

Overall, "Hellraiser: Inferno" can in no way compare to the masterpiece original and the fantastic first sequel "Hellbound", but, for my money, it is a lot better than "Hell on Earth" and "Bloodline". This certainly isn't a must-see, but definitely a good time-waster that might appeal to Horror fans. To see greatness, stick to "Hellraiser" and "Hellbound".
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This is really horrible
umfug15 May 2009
This movie is so bad, it's not worth explaining. There is nothing to explain anyway since it is made up of flashbacks and dreams, which is the tell tale sign of producers and writers with no idea of where to go. The acting is just as bad. The dialog is jaw-dropping bad - stick with what people expect in a Hellraiser movie. The editing is matches the movie - all over the place. The special effects are worthless. Even the lighting and the music doesn't fit. The entire mess leaves you scratching your head if you can even make through the first 30 minutes. The same is true for the next sequel (V) - it is just as bad. Stick with the first Hellraiser.
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A new direction to the Hellraiser series
Rautus2 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This sequel goes for a psychological approach to the series like Jacob's Ladder and I don't mind since they're trying to add something new to the Francise and go in a new direction. Joesph is a crooked cop that likes to take drugs and sleep with prostitutes while ignoring his Wife and Daughter but when he's called to murder where a body is torn to pieces with Hooks on Chains everywhere he finds the Puzzle box and after sleeping with a prostitute he opens the Puzzle Box and soon strange things start happening to Joesph.

After seeing Pinhead and the Cenobites he wakes up in the bathroom again, thinking it was a dream he goes to work and gets a call from the women he slept with being killed in the Motel he goes there with his Partner Tony to find her in the bathroom with a severed finger next to her. Scanning the print they discover that it belongs to a kid that is being held by the killer called the Engineer.

The Enginner is a mysterious man that seems to be playing a game with Joesph, he's told that "Hunt for the Engineer and the Engineer will hunt you." In a bar he's given a tape of a Faceless Man killing his friend then putting another finger in the cash register but when he shows his Capatin the tape there's nothing on it at all. Joesph also starts seeing weird things like the Cenobites watching him and other things that question his mind.

Joesph has to find the Engineer before he cuts off all the fingers and kills the kid and he must find him before he loses his mind. Hellraiser: Inferno is a interesting new direction to the series that is very good.
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Hellraiser Done Right
GeoAbraxas19 August 2004
I've just gotten into these movies over the past few months and really this may as well be the best of all the Hellraiser films. 3 and 4 were great movies just based on Pinhead's lines alone although they were over the top (in the bad way) and the acting was about as bad as one could get. 1 & 2 are horror classics in every sense of the word and Inferno resembles those two films more then the two that came before it.

Inferno has one major fault, the protagonist is one of the most unlikable, uncharismatic characters to grace a leading role, it's not hard to notice his lack of anything closely resembling a personality; thankfully the supporting cast are all more realistic and bring some warmth and color to the film.

The best things about this movie are it's story and what most people look for in a Hellraiser movie, the Cenobites. The story is not really that hard to figure out but it is among the best in the series, at its core it's a crime thriller with occult/horror overtones, kinda like what you would expect for the X-files, but well...better. The Cenobites present in this film are much better then any found in the Hellraiser series with the possible exception of the original 4, the makeup and CG are well done.

Overall I'd give this film an 8, solid story and acting only offset by a brick wall of a lead character. Pinhead is present in all his former glory that would be found in the original film, his lack of screen time in no way reduces the quality of the film in fact it makes it better.
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mrayt23 June 2002
Reading the previous reviews, I wonder if I saw the same movie as some of you did.

Okay... At first, I was very sceptic too. The fourth sequel of one of the best horror-movies ever made? Part 2 was not bad. Part 3 was okay, a nice popcorn-movie. 4? What a mess! And then..?

It didn't take me more than a few minutes to realize that number 5 is almost as perfect as Clive Barkers first strike. To put it shortly: "Inferno" ist one of the best horror-movies I've seen for a long, long time. A fascinating, almost philosophical plot... Moving, well-shaped characters... Breathtaking visuals..!

9 out of 10.
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