Hellraiser: Hellseeker (Video 2002) Poster

(2002 Video)

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The best Hellraiser since Hellbound...
mentalcritic7 October 2006
Hellraiser: Hellseeker has come under fire from viewers, mostly for the economic manner in which iconic character Pinhead is used. The most refreshing thing about episode six here is that Pinhead goes back to what Clive Barker intended him to be. Sort of the equivalent of the zombies in Romero's Dead films, if you get the drift. For those who don't, the whole point is that what Pinhead does to the principal characters is not nearly as important as what the principal characters do to each other. He is the final hammer when the characters have finished dragging each other down, and that is the way of all the best horror films. The real problem with Hellseeker is its lack of atmosphere. In the original, Barker takes his time to introduce each element, in particular the modest British family whose lives appear as regular as our own. Barker understood that relating to the victims, and even the victimisers to some degree, is a lot more important to an audience than a string of gruesome deaths. Rick Bota tries to provide similar setup, but fails.

It has been a bit of a while since I saw Ashley Laurence in a film, and she is in fine form here. She could probably play this role in her sleep (at times, it almost seems like she is). One problem we have in Hellseeker is that some of the most important moments in her story are missing. In the original, when we saw her open the box, we grit our teeth in suspense as the very fabric of the reality around her dissolved, and her conversation with Pinhead ensued. In the original, these shots showing the cosmetic details of hell served a very important function. They created a sense of foreboding that gave the entire rest of the film foundation. Rick Bota, unfortunately, is not able to pace himself, nor does he have an instinct for when too much really is too much. Characters in Hellseeker behave in ways that telegraph to the audience that some kind of twist is in the offing, and while it is a good twist, it is just an example of the fact that up to a point, hell works best when it is subtle.

Doug Bradley is back for the sixth time as everyone's favourite nail-headed character. Contrary to what some have suggested, I do not believe he is so much cashing a paycheque in this film. I think he is just on autopilot because he can literally play this devious character in his sleep. The sayings, mannerisms, and motions are as natural to him as eating and sleeping are to us. Nobody knows whether it was his idea or Doug's to portray the Satan character as he were once a dapper English gent, but Doug carries it off so well that he deserves an award. As seen in the third, and particularly fourth, films, everything can be going to ruin around him, and yet he will still effortlessly play this mannered gent who just happens to torture people as a job. The other cenobites do not get nearly as much screen time as was previously the case, however, and that also lets the side down somewhat. The sights of Chatterer and whatever that woman called herself really helped sell Pinhead as much as Pinhead himself at times. The other cenobites in Hellseeker are truly token appearances.

They say your hero(ine) is only as good as your villain, and that is certainly the case here. Dean Winters is a great villain, partly because he portrays the character so well, but also because it takes a while for his status as the true villain of the piece to become apparent. One of Clive Barker's great touches in the original is that, to an extent, every victim deserves what happens to them. Most of the film is taken up with establishing why Winters' character deserves what he gets, which makes the final twist of the film especially satisfying. It reestablishes Pinhead as a just, if somewhat peculiar, referee of hell. Seriously, watch parts three, then four, then this one, and try to reconcile each one with the statement made in the second: it is not hands that call us, it is desire. The whole conceit of The Hellbound Heart was that bored lowlifes seeking what they thought of as the ultimate in pleasure sought this box, and opened it only to find that its inhabitants' definition of pleasure varied drastically from theirs.

Unfortunately, not every aspect of the film is well done. The special effects that closed the original Hellraiser were as fake as hell, but the audience bought them because by that time, the film had drawn the audience in. The problem in Hellseeker is that it takes its sweet time to hook the audience, and thus the head-split routine that looks like something I could have done with an old Amiga 500 goes down as one of the funniest effects in horror. It comes at exactly the wrong time, producing laughs when what we needed was to be immersed in the Hellraiser atmosphere a little deeper. Normally, a laugh can be a good thing, especially when it comes at a time when the script or story could use it, but if ever there were a bad time, this is it. With the exception of Laurence, Winters, and especially Bradley, the acting is also high school drama level at best. The loose women, the work colleagues, the doctors, the general passers-by in the street, they all act as blank and vacant as Paris Hilton trying to feign having something relevant to say.

When all is said and done, Hellseeker is a seven out of ten. It is not nearly in the league of the first two films, but it is a massive improvement over three and four. Give it a chance, stop expecting Pinhead On Elm Street, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
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-- The Best Sequel since Hellbound --
dem0nic5 July 2004
It's a shame to see this sequel being slated for being different. Hellseeker moves away from being another low budget, direct-to-video Hellraiser installment and instead provides an original spin on a dying franchise.

This sequel doesn't need cheap gore effects to create a good Horror atmosphere, it also shows Pinhead doesn't need to physically harm his victims to make them suffer, at least not straight away ;) this makes Pinhead a more calculated character, watching him toy with his victims emotions!

highly recommended!
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Surprising! Best sequel since Hellbound.
evilmatt-35 January 2003
I must admit that although I am a huge fan of the first two films, I had pretty much given up on this franchise. Part 3 was just silly. The intriguing potential of part 4 was chopped up into an incoherent mess. Part 5 decided that it was just going to do its own thing and not really be a Hellraiser film. What I'm trying to say here is that my expectations were low.

Although _Hellseeker_ isn't as good as _Hellbound_, it's very satisfying because it's the first sequel since that has actually catered to fans of the original two films. Kirsty's resurfacing is a huge factor in this: the Hellraiser saga was never better than when it was her story. Granted, the focus isn't on her for most of the film. However, we are treated to a peek at her post _Hellbound_ existence as well as some very startling revelations about her character. Without giving anything away, let's just say that what we learn about Kirsty is both incredibly disturbing and undeniably consistent with her previous behavior. Her actions also shift the focus of the franchise away from the moralistic overtones of parts 3, 4, and 5 back into the darker territory of the original Cenobites and their function.

The filmmaking itself is adequate, though it leaves much to be desired. In his commentary, director Rick Bota says that Kirsty and the other elements from the previous films have been minimized so as not to alienate people not in the Hellraiser fan base. While this is understandable, I would advise Mr. Bota to remember that the fan base is what is keeping the franchise alive. Don't ignore us. That said, the alternate scenes on the disc need to be in the main film, as they make it more enjoyable for those of us who have been following this thing since 1987.

I would have liked to see more of the husband-wife scenes and less creepy _Jacob's Ladder_ stuff. Again the director's fault. Make a note for next time.

It would be interesting to see the next film build off of this one. Definitely a film horror fans will enjoy.
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In a time when horror movies have become direct-to-video crap or cheesy first-run crap, how is it that the Hellraiser movies are among the least noticed and yet probably the most clever and impressive sequel
Anonymous_Maxine6 September 2003
The beginning of the fifth Hellraiser sequel raises something of a moral dilemma, which is extremely rare for a horror movie. After the car crash, Trevor, our hero, escapes from the car after it sinks to the bottom of the river and he rushes to the surface to get air, then returns to attempt to save his wife. At that point, my immediate reaction was that he deserves any suffering that comes to him, since he left his wife on the bottom of the river to go and try to save himself. On the other hand, it probably wouldn't have done much good had he remained down there and lost consciousness right there with her. I guess that's why they tell you on the airlines to secure your own oxygen mask and THEN help your kid.

But while this early scene inspired in me an unusually complex combination of thoughts and emotions, it unfortunately is unable to escape from the destructive presence of reality on the possibility of it happening the way it did. I am willing to suspend disbelief on the premise that the guy was screaming at his wife underwater through the window, watching her drown right in front of his blurred eyes and therefore not necessarily able to think all that clearly, but on the other hand, riverbeds have an overwhelming tendency to be covered with big, round, hard, window-breaking rocks.

When the investigation begins, things start to get a little strange and we begin to realize that there is something weird about what happened in that crash. Evidently the car was found with the doors open, which puts some serious holes in the story about not being able to get the doors open to save his wife. It turns out that he has come back with a spotted memory, and that the crash that we saw at the beginning of the movie may not have been exactly how the event unfolded. Things seem to have happened that he doesn't remember.

I found it highly amusing that the detective that always gave him a hard time because he didn't believe his story was named Detective Gibbons, just because I recently took an Anthropology class in which I learned what a `gibbon' is. I would NOT have been able to keep my cool with this guy though, who was hugely overacting and throwing harsh accusations which were not necessarily unfounded but definitely a little too confident and, if accusations can be this, a little too accusatory.

The best thing about this installment in the Hellraiser series is that it works on a psychological level with the main character. Granted, this is nothing new in the horror genre, but it is done very well here. We never know when he is seeing reality, when he's dreaming, when he's having delusions, inaccurate flashbacks, and there is plenty of opportunity for lots of twists and turns, and thankfully these opportunities are not ignored. I hate it when movies do that (see Hollow Man). Because of this, we never expect things like the startlingly effecting scare in the vending machine, one of my favorite scares in the movie.

Pinhead has thankfully been given a much more prevalent role than he had in the rather disappointing Hellraiser Inferno, the least Hellraiser movie of all of them, and it's morbidly pleasing to see some of the familiar Cenobites return, like Chatterer. The movie closes with the old `leave him and take me' cliché, but as a whole it is a quality entry in the Hellraiser saga. It is well-written, well-thought out (almost unheard of for a horror movie these days), and entertaining, and most importantly, it is more than just another cash in on a successful series. There are a lot of horror series' that are well past their time to pass away, but as long as they keep putting this much thought and creativity into the Hellraiser films, I say there is infinite opportunity for sequels.
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not bad at all. great, in fact.
nathall20 December 2003
I've never been a 'big' Hellraiser fan. I saw the first one years ago, liked it, but never saw any of the sequels. A few weeks ago I was with my girlfriend at the video store and they had their typical 4 VHS for $20 special, so I picked this one up. I remembered I enjoyed the first one, and we couldn't agree on a fourth movie so this was it. I didn't even know what number this one was, but we watched it anyhow.

I have to say I loved it, as did my girlfriend. And she is *very* particular as to what she likes. She doesn't like most movies, actually. She enjoyed it so much in fact, she wants to see all the rest of them. We rented the first one last week (she's never seen it), and she thoroughly enjoyed it as well. But this one is still her favorite. I like 'em about the same.

This one is very interesting all the way through, and will keep you guessing until the end. Someone else said the last 20 minutes are the best, and I agree. But the whole movie was just awesome. I can't very well compare it to the rest of the series, but it sounds like the third and fourth are widely regarded as the worst. I'll decide that for myself when I see them.

I do know that Hellseeker fits very well as a sequel, and would have been more than worthy to be a bigscreen feature. There is no overuse of Pinhead, and there is just enough gore (but not too much).

I give it 9 out of 10 stars. A few more cenobites would earn it a perfect 10. If you're holding off on this one because you think the series is going downhill, SEE IT TODAY. I can't wait until the seventh one comes out. With all the negative surrounding this one, I had to throw in my two cents.
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Original and enjoyable!
dunny1 November 2002
If you didnt like Inferno you probably wont enjoy this! It takes an original plot for the Hellraiser series, having Pinhead and friends off screen whilst building up a good suspenful atmosphere which keeps you guessing till the very end! A lot of fans may complain its not a Hellraiser film with the lack of screen time Pinhead makes, but would you rather the Hellraiser sequels be "original and enjoyable whilst still keeping the serious creepiness" or just "crap rip-offs packed with gore, bad acting and no plot!" I know which I prefer ... hopefully the 7th installment will be just as good!
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Visually stunning, a return to form
ScarecrowX4 October 2003
Hellraiser: Hellseeker. In directing Hellseeker, the sixth film in the series, Rick Bota returns to Barker's original for inspiration; something that is evident throughout this surreal and brilliantly twisted piece.

Much has been made about Ashley Lawrence's return as Kirsty Cotton and some may be disappointed in the small amount of screen time she actually has; however by the films end you can fully appreciate her importance and the final twist should rectify any misgivings you may have had.

As with the first two and Inferno this is a movie about ideas and not gore or monsters. The shocks and 'gory' moments that do occur have a reason behind them; often one that has a moment of clarity towards the end (for instance the scene with the eel). Also, the images of blood are portrayed in such a way as to show a beauty in the contrasting reds and its illumination; all things that help connect this to Barker's original.

A great deal of love was put into its direction and cinematography; Pinhead once again appears amongst blue, slat lighting and a room decorated with chains. However, this isn't simply a rehash or indeed a vague attempt to emulate the past; the story looks forward and develops Kirsty's character and her relationship with the Cenobites. This is a women whose been held on to by her father, lusted after by her uncle and manipulated by her step-mother; this may be in the past but it all plays into her actions within this film. Kirsty Cotton aside, the real star is Dean Winters who plays her husband Trevor. At first appearing loving and devoted his true colours soon start to show as he undergoes horrific dreams and startling visions; however this isn't the same path Joseph took in Inferno. Whilst the detective knew of his 'infidelities', Trevor's amnesia allows us to learn his real personality as he does himself thus giving us much more sympathy for him, especially in the end where he fully understands who he is. Whilst still not quite up to the heights of the original two films it does maintain the advancing high standards set by Inferno. Once again the human characters are the story and the Cenobites are there simply as a means to an end. Surreal, dark and manipulative, this film is a superior piece of modern day horror. 8 / 10.
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Very good horror film.
HumanoidOfFlesh31 August 2004
Rick Bota's "Hellraiser:Hellseeker" is a straight-to-video horror film that offers plenty of morbid atmosphere.Kirsty Cotton(Ashely Laurence)is married to Trevor(Dean Winters).This guy knows very little about Kirsty's past.He also sees really strange things and is slowly losing contact with reality."Hellraiser:Hellseeker" is easily among the best three "Hellraiser" films.It's surpassed only by the first two films.Unfortunately there is only a little bit of gore,so splatter freaks will be disappointed.In many ways "Hellraiser:Hellseeker" has a similar look and feel to "Hellraiser:Inferno",in which we find ourselves watching a stark reality that is very much our own.Of course there is also the matter of Pinhead,the Cenobites and the famous puzzle box.However they only make a token appearance toward the movie's end.Still this film is quite good,so if you're a fan of "Hellraiser" movies give it a look.8 out of 10.
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Flawed mess
chaugnurfaugn-269-830122 February 2012
Other reviewers (at least the ones I read) must have watched a different movie to me. What I saw was certainly an effort at originality, and yes, it was better than some of the other sequels to the franchise, but that said it was still a below par screenplay, borrowing heavily from other, cleverer, more original films.

Ironically Hellraiser:Hellseeker shares some of the same flawed plot concepts as the movie it borrows most heavily from: Jacob's Ladder. There's the same two tier story running consecutively and along different, mysterious time-lines, both of which fail utterly to fuse into a single coherent time-line at the end of the film. There's the same solipsist nightmare: how can one truly discern between reality and dreams when the dream state feels as 'real' as reality itself? The second movie from which Hellseeker shamelessly borrows is Angel Heart, a masterpiece of cinematic horror featuring Mickey Rourke before his face went to hell (as a result of high living, screwed up plastic surgery and boxing, not Pinhead) and Robert DeNiro. Where Angel Heart is innovative, Hellseeker is simply repetitive and boring. Where Mickey Rourke excels as the confused protagonist in Angel Heart, Dean Winters sleep-walks his way through the role in Hellseeker, and where DeNiro gets all the best lines, poor Pinhead gets some of the most forgettable I've ever heard him utter.

Granted, compared with the other Hellraiser sequels (all bar Hell on Earth, which I have to say I enjoyed more than I or II) this tries something different, and maybe with a better lead role there'd be something there worthy of a couple more stars. But ultimately the confused mess of a plot destroys itself, irrespective of Winters' deadpan portrayal.

I give this rubbish one star for effort and one for the inclusion of Ashley Laurence who, lets face it, should really be above all this by now. Another star for Doug Bradley as Pinhead who never fails to send chills down my spine with his black 8-ball eyes and his tendency to drag nine inch nails out of his own skull.

Ultimately though, Doug needs to share that last star with Clive Barker without whom the world would be a much duller place.
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A surprisingly good entry in the series.
innocuous4 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
If you want to see what happens when you blend "Irreversible", "Soul Survivors", and "Memento" with "Hellraiser", then this is the movie for you. As a matter of fact, this movie is MUCH better than "Soul Survivors" and is sufficiently creepy and confusing that it should keep your interest.

I, for one, don't mind the fact that Pinhead and the Cenobites rarely make an appearance. Keep in mind that the Cenobites were not the centerpiece of Barker's "The Hellbound Heart", the novella on which the original "hellraiser" was based. In fact, the DVD commentaries for "Hellraiser II: Hellbound" emphasize that Barker envisioned Julia as the main character in future entries in the series. I think that the roles played by the Cenobites in the most recent movies are much truer to the original intent than the over-the-top Cenobites of "Hellraiser III".

The special effects are above average and put some much more expensive films to shame. We also get one of the most realistic corpses I believe I have ever seen. (Unfortunately, CSI has taken the edge off of this and Hollywood has become much more proficient at showing death in a realistic manner.)

I actually have only one major problem with this movie...


Towards the end of the movie, a detective "grows" a second head to demonstrate his split personality. The effect is cheap and very silly. It is more appropriate to "Men in Black II".


So, if you have an afternoon free, try it out. It's not "the Seventh Seal", but it's the best "Hellraiser" in a long time.
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Why...oh WHY do they mess up such a brilliant franchise???
Coventry15 January 2004
I'm a GIANT fan of the original story by Clive Barker and I think the first two Hellraisers were the greatest horror films ever to be produced. But, ever since Hellraiser 3, untalented directors wear out the name and use the villain-icon Pinhead as a marketing instrument to tell lame and inferior horror stories. Hellseeker ranks as the sixth episode in the series and it is - along with Inferno - the weakest effort so far. The original charm has faded away completely and the tone and atmosphere doesn't come near the morbid and raw originals. The story of Hellseeker has got nothing to do anymore with the original characters Clive Barker created and they might as well could have given this movie a completely new surrounding. Heroine Ashley Laurence is dragged into this film for no particular reason. She doesn't show any resemblance with her original character and even Pinhead himself has gone through a complete metamorphosis. He once was a true symbol of all that represents evil but, after 6 episodes, he merely looks like a lame philosopher who prefers to plea instead of to kill. Hellraiser:Hellseeker is an extremely boring experience with only a few remarkable scenes. And those particular scenes are in fact just a shadow of the ones in the original Hellraisers. It's nothing more than a mediocre attempt to build up a mystery tale. The first hour of this film is a series of hallucinations and illogical dream-sequences. Director Rick Bota constantly tries to fool the audience with plot-twists but, actually, the audience doesn't give a damn! The last 15 minutes of Hellseeker are the only ones worth seeing. Both Kirsty's and Pinhead's screen time are entirely in those minutes and it's the only time the script actually makes a bit sense. If you manage yourself to struggle through the first hour, you'll see a more or less satisfying ending. If the rumors are true, there will be two more sequels coming out in 2004 . Knowing myself a bit, I'll most likely see them...but my expectations have never before been so low!
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It was all just a dream...
dandenholt16 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Have you ever seen a movie where something happens and then they cut and "it was all just a dream"? It's a plot device writers use when they've written themselves into a corner and need an easy way out. Now, imagine a movie where this device is used after just about every scene. Sometimes repeatedly. As in "it was all just a dream. Within a dream. Within another dream.". Well, thankfully you never have to imagine such a movie, as it already exists in the form of Hellraiser: Hellseeker. Watching this movie is excruciatingly frustrating as the main character wakes from a dream to find himself in the hospital, only to wake from a dream and find himself at the office, then wake from a dream to find himself at home, just to wake from a dream to find himself at the police station, where he goes over the exact same story he has already told them before. Then repeat. Moving at a narrative speed of moss, we just jump from one of four locations to another, over and over and over and over, with seemingly little in the way of plot or point. Further more, you'd think the star of the movie also wrote it, as every woman his character comes across, throws themselves at him, despite him being a very ordinary looking, dull, office worker. Guess that anonymity really turns the women on, eh? Ashley Laurence is listed second in the credits, but she is hardly in the movie, making very little connection to the originals. But, hey, Pinhead is hardly in this one either, with probably even less screen time than part 5, and like Inferno, it all turns out to be more psycho babble, Twilight Zone, wannabe garbage. Just far more annoying, worse written and without any good ideas at all. An utter atrocity that even the appearance of Doug Bradley can't save.
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an effing excellent movie!
Cenobitehell3 October 2002
I, too, saw this movie advance and it is the most well pieced together story. There are so many elements in it that are superior to the previous movies. (Except the first of course). The mythos is as it was in Inferno, but with the characters from previous Hellraiser movies included or mentioned (I cant say which as it will spoil the story). The effects are really impressive and its good that the Cenobites get as much screentime as they should (next to none) as the Hellraiser idea isn't all "Cenobites" and "boxes" its deeper than that. Those who are looking for a great movie, BUY THIS. Those who love Hellraiser BUY THIS, those who just love horror, BUY THIS and those who would like to see Ashley Lawrence, well... BUY HELLSEEKER NOW!

Take it from me you will NOT regret ever seeing this film, it will touch you in ways you cannot describe

(All through watching it I freeze and get Goosebumps- every time!)

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Lame Sequel
Theo Robertson25 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I had high hopes for HELLSEEKER because it sees the heroine of the first HELLRAISER Kirsty Cotton return to the franchise . It also stars Dean Winters an actor who came to my attention as Ryan O'Riley the complex anti-hero from the criminally underrated prison drama Oz . Also the HELLRAISER series shows signs of having legs unlike say SAW or NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET . So what could possibly go wrong ?


The problem is that no one bothered realising the potential of the series . Winters plays Trevor who is now wedded to Kirsty . There's a car accident and Trevor survives but Kirsty has disappeared . Trevor is now haunted by vivid nightmares and the nightmares and reality merge . Alarm bells start ringing in your head by the halfway point and you're constantly saying to yourself " Trevor can't be dead and in hell because they did that in the previous movie " . Alas however as much as you don't want that to happen the producers have plagiarized the exact same plot from INFERNO

What makes this worse is that this sequel apart from being unoriginal is a much dumber film . INFERNO did have the decency to remain enigmatic and it was left to the audience to join up the dots as to how and why Craig Sheffer's cop finds himself in hell . Unfortunately here everything is explained which throws up more of its own problems . The Cenobites catch up with Kirsty so she makes a deal to give Pinhead and his cohorts five souls in return for her life . Why would he agree when he wasn't so negotiable in the first movie ? There's also the plot turn of Kirsty dispatching Trevor and the police taking this at face value . I know in films cop are dumb but is there any reason to treat the audience with such stupidity ?
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Franchise vs. Originality
liquidsix11 September 2005
This series, once again, has gone exactly where I would have expected it to go. Instead of pulling off another Freddie or Jason epic, they delve again into the psyche of what mean to be truly evil. Unlike Highlander II (1991), this movie has not fallen to the bean-counters. I personally believe that the expansion on the characters from Hellraiser V and VI have done nothing but good. They could have gone the road of Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street but that's been done to death. Seeing the ending reminds of how much I enjoyed the first movie. A good psychological thriller. I only hope that Rick Bota continues with his work (Clive seems to approve after hooking up with McFarlane.)
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Finaly a decent sequel
Orcini16 December 2002
Ah, franchises. By a rule, horror movies usually have hacked sequels only intended to squeeze a few bucks out of cash udders. This chapter in the Hellraiser series. well, it's defiantly a squeeze of the Franchise Teat. It suffers from `who cares, it's direct-to-video-itis:' it needs re-writes, it is low-budget, and has too many cheap thrills. Sometimes I felt like I was watching video linking clips from a computer game.

Having said that, Hellseeker breathes a long, fresh breath into the series. While 1 & 2 were fascinating explorations of horror and imagination, 3 & 4 were `Pinhead comes to life/kills/is destroyed/will be back' slasher clichés. Thankfully, Hellseeker takes a quite different `mess-with-your-mind' path. A man (Trevor) who lost his wife in a car accident (Kirsty Cotton, from 1 & 2) is assaulted by conflicting memories, perverse nightmares, and amnesia. To top it all, Kirsty's body was never found, and when it's revealed that she was due a large inheritance, the police suspect foul play. Slowly, Trevor pieces his shattered memories together. But his mistresses are dying horribly around him, and though all fingers point to Trevor, he can't quite remember killing them. And who are those pale, mutilated, leather clad people who pop in and out of his memories- especially the tall eloquent one with the pins in his head?

Speaking of Pinhead, the movie uses him judiciously as the fine spice he is, rather than trying to saturate the screen with him as 3 & 4 did. (Or just for franchise cameo value, as in 5.) My only complaint is his makeup. I had the honor of meeting Doug Bradley recently, and he is quite slim. So why does he look so terribly bloated in this? Also, Hellraiser 2: Hellbound had the perfect exit for his character and (as much as he is my favorite monster) he never should have been brought back. But a franchise needs a monster, I suppose. Too bad Hollywood never figured out that the monster of the original film was Desire.

As much as I like this film, it's sad because it has so much potential. `What's going on' stories are fun, but they lose their edge if they leave you hanging clueless for too long. Perhaps if there were only three murders instead of five, more coherent plot could have been written between the onslaughts of reality/nightmare twists. (and is Trevor really such a catch that all these hot sluts keep throwing themselves at him?) Since Kirsty is essential to the plot, there should have been more flashbacks with her in them, especially to explain just who the hell she is to Hellraiser first-timers. The ending is a very pleasant surprise- I never saw it coming, and I usually do- but it is in dire need of editing. What Trevor's says and does after the truth is revealed to him is quite unnecessary & deadens the impact.

The directing is competent, but artless. While the story is good, there's no sense of tone. There are glimpses of a central theme- the contrast between who we want to be as opposed to who we think we are- but it is sadly underdeveloped. As Pinhead says at the end, `Welcome to the worst nightmare of all- reality.' If you think I'm pretentious for speaking of directing a horror movie as an art film, go rent 1 & 2 (the unrated version) to see why so many fell in love with the series before it turned into a Cheap Horror Franchise, and why we keep hoping that another movie like them could be made. But sadly, Franchise-wood thinks we're few and far between amongst those who just want boobs & blood.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised. Hellseeker has flaws, but it is much, much better than a direct-to-video 6th episode of an exploited franchise should be. I rate it 7 out of 10.
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We'll make this movie if you throw in Pinhead
scottmar11 November 2002
This movie, like Hellraiser 5, feels like it wasn't originally written as a Hellraiser movie. I can imagine the following "How about this. You rewrite this script to add in Pinhead, and we'll call it Hellraiser 6.

Those Hellraiser fans will eat up anything".

This movie would be fine as a "Soul Survivors" type movie. But when it's a Hellraiser movie, you expect a lot more.

I say if they're not going to make real Hellraiser movies, don't bother.
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Very good sequel
PeterRoeder10 March 2004
Come on guys! 4.5 out of 10? This sequel in the Hellraiser series is clearly a very good horror movie. Moreover, it is the best sequel in the Hellraiser series since the second movie - which was also an awesome sequel. Obviously the director and scriptwriter has a lot of respect for the series and it's all like a great "book of blood" story by Clive Barker. I thought the lead role isn't played very well and it's not quite as good as a book of blood story of course. However, this movie in the series clearly have respect for the concept. I think internal references between the movies would be a good idea - unfortunately the director has left this out and only included it on the alternate scenes of the DVD. Anyway, the series should be connected and not just viewed as a single movie. This movie is really good for fans of the genre, and we can only hope that sequels in the future will be just as good or better. 7/10.
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Surprising, Hellraiser 6 is better than 3-5!
morgan197615 September 2004
This is a pretty good sequel in this series (my favorites, in order: 1, 2, 6, 4, 5, 3). Bringing back the Kirsty Cotton character was the best thing for this series. Maybe I'm a sucker for female heroes. Let's face it, sequels seem better with more familiar faces; "Halloween" and Jamie Lee Curtis being prime examples (although I thought 'H20' and 'Resurrection' weren't very good, she definitely brought them up a few levels).

This franchise is so strange, it keeps continuity: the building in part 3 returns in part 4; part 4 occurs way in the future, making all other sequels after it flashbacks, but the series never screws the viewer over by trying to pretend the events of the previous films never happened (take that "Halloween", "Friday the 13th", and "A Nightmare on Elm Street"!). But "Hellraiser" does suffer from taking itself too seriously, making 3 & 4 almost laughable. 5 suffered from and unsympathetic character and 6 borders on that same edge. Kirsty ties this movie together so nicely because she brings the past back to the present, and we feel for her because we know her already.

Acting-wise, I think this is the best of the series, followed by the first two. Plot-wise it follows the first two--this is a sequel where you need not watch parts 3-5 before seeing it. The series' advantage over other horror franchises is that it's linear and non-linear at the same time. Watch the first two in order, and the others in any other order you choose--the continuity doesn't suffer. Or you can forget 3-5 and watch 1, 2, and 6 and have your own little Kirsty/Pinhead-trilogy.

But I won't completely sugar-coat this film. Kirsty's not in it much and Pinhead and the Lament Configuration are in it even less. The main character is quasi-unsympathetic, but based on the plot, you're really not supposed to know what to feel for him. I found myself confused a few times, but everything wrapped up at the end. The special-effects are on par with part 5--so it's pretty much the best in the series on that level too. I think the editing could have been a bit better, as it cut from some scenes too quickly or left the viewer lost for a minute or two before catching up, but overall it wasn't that bad and there were some very nice transitions. One or two things are never completely resolved, or are intentionally left to the viewer's imagination and I haven't figured them out yet.

My favorite thing about this film is it's length: it knows when to quit; it's not too long and not too short. If only the series would know when to quit. Coming soon: 'Hellraiser: Deader' and 'Hellraiser: Hellworld'…and possibly a 'VS.' film against another franchise villain-that truly will be 'hell on earth.' And not in a good way
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This is MUCH better than Pinhead fans give it credit for...
Reverend Flea28 October 2002
I am a huge Pinhead fan, also very much into the original "Hellraiser" movies. This movie, though far from perfect, was, at least, far more along the original storylines. Yes, most movies nowadays don't have much of an original plot, but I think the real problem is that too many people expected a completely different movie than they got.

In the very first Hellraiser movie, Pinhead and the other Cenobites only appear in 3 scenes TOTAL! The point is, Hellraiser is NOT about Cenobites, it is about SUFFERING. The complaint "not enough Pinhead" is the exact same complaint movie execs at Miramax had of the legendary (unreleased) version of Bloodline, causing the original director to quit a great movie and have someone else sloppily film a lot more Pinhead scenes and throw it all together.

The This movie was FAR better than Inferno, which reduces Pinhead to basically a mafia boss (Pinhead would NEVER refer to himself as "The Engineer" because as any true Hellraiser fan knows, they are two completely different entities within Hell). It is better than Hell On Earth, which did give good insight into Pinhead's human past but basically was a slasher flick in the vein of Friday the Thirteenth. While lacking perhaps in the imagination of the original two, the story at least holds up better than Bloodline, so I would have to say that it is about par with that movie, as it has its faults also.

Excellent acting by Dean Winters throughout the movie, even though I had figured out a majority of the mystery revolving around Trevor's amnesia I was actually surprised by the twist at the end. The soundtrack was a little uninspired (as are most these days) and there was a few corny bits within the movie, particularly the "good cop, bad cop" routines with the detectives investigating Trevor's past.

Watch Hellraiser and Hellbound again to get back into the mood of the original concept, and never, NEVER forget: Hell is NOT about who you'll meet or by what means you get there, it is forever ONLY about "the sweet suffering!"
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A hell not worth seeking
TheLittleSongbird30 October 2018
It has to be admitted that it took me a while to get round to watching the 'Hellraiser' franchise. Due to having so much to watch and review, and the list keeps getting longer and longer. While horror is not my favourite genre, there is the appreciation for it and there are many very good, great and even classic films (as well as a fairly high number of schlock).

The first 'Hellraiser' is a very good film, not a favourite of mine but it is well made, very scary and remarkably ambitious and intelligent. It is the only one to be above very good, the sequels were very variable (leaning towards the disappointing) and the latter films particularly are suggestive of the franchise having run its course. The second film is the best of them, while the third and fourth films were watchable if problematic. It was with 'Inferno' where the franchise went down south in quality, although that was not a terrible film and the best of the sequels post-'Bloodline'.

Although the later sequels were worse, 'Hellraiser: Hellseeker' just didn't work for me and it felt pointless at the end of the day. Not a complete catastrophe but misses the mark quite badly and easily the worst of the series up to this point.

'Hellraiser: Hellseeker' is compensated by Ashley Lawrence returning and making the most of her limited screen time. Even better is Doug Bradley who is as frightening as ever, despite having far too little to do, it is not hard to see why Pinhead is an iconic character in horror.

Despite a twist that renders the rest of the film pointless, the last 15 minutes are the best part with there being urgency and an unsettling vibe. Some of the photography is nice.

Something however that cannot be said for the editing, which is pretty atrocious and at worst incomprehensible. The visual effects are pretty cheap this time round, while the direction is neither alert or accommodating, at best it's routine at worst it's amateurish. There is very little tense or suspenseful, and the creepiness and ambition are gone and replaced by camp and over-silliness.

Particularly problematic about 'Hellraiser: Hellseeker' is that it doesn't feel like a 'Hellraiser' film. Instead feeling like a dull, bland and paper thin psychological/mystery/horror, playing as basically in the first half a series of unimaginative and long-winded hallucinations and dream sequences, with Pinhead and the Cenobites thrown in with little to do and not much relevance to what has come before their appearances, pretty much as an afterthought. They generally have lost their creepiness and mysterious and Pinhead's dialogue is rambling and forgettable in a film chockfull of toe-curlingly bad script writing. The acting is poor apart from Lawrence and Bradley, with a charisma-free Dean Winters.

Concluding, weak fifth sequel. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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This one is good
kroko00711 March 2006
Trevor and Kirsty gets a car accident.The car felt in the water,but Trevor escape.He didn't save Kirsty and he wake up in a hospital.He gets bad nightmares and flashbacks.

This movie is better than inferno because he has more atmosphere.Inferno was darker i know but this one is better to watch it.I sat comfortable in my chair and watched it with pleasure. Pinhead is also cooler than in inferno and he is not a judge anymore.Perfect,great movie.It has also a terrific ending.

The acting was also better than in ifnerno but one problem:were are the cenobites???They come quit less in the story and when they come they look horrible!!Also another negative point is the dreams:there are so many dreams and flashbacks!But for the rest it is a good movie
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A visual feast, definitely a worthy addition to the franchise
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews25 December 2005
I dig Hellraiser. I dig Pinhead. And I dig Douglas Bradley. Fortunately, those three are in all of the Hellraiser films(unless I'm mistaken). Since this also has Kirsty, one of my favorite parts of the first two films, I wanted to watch this as soon as possible. It finally appeared at the local Blockbuster, and I made sure to watch it as soon as I could. Hellraiser is such an interesting idea, and I think there is so much room for excellent stories in the universe. So far, I've seen the first, the second, the fifth and this one. The first was a good introduction, but the story was a tad... shall we say 'dull'. The second really wasn't all that good(sorry, fan community, I know many people love it, but it just seemed poorly directed to me), and the fifth, while having a quite good idea, was poorly executed. This is my second favorite of the bunch, after the original film. By far the greatest story. Certainly the most impressive visuals, apart from, arguably, the first. The somewhat Luke-warm direction and less-than-stellar acting brings my final rating down a few notches, sadly, but don't let that fool you... it's a film that should be seen by any fan, big or small, of Hellraiser. The plot is very, very good and the way it's told, the way it evolves is great. The twists and pieces of the puzzle will keep you guessing to the final outcome, and I doubt anyone will be able to figure it out prematurely. The effects are some of the best of the franchise(well, what I've seen of it so far, at least). This contains some of the most disturbing visuals and ideas of the films I've seen in the franchise. I recommend this to any fan of Hellraiser or Douglas Bradley. A great film, one to make sure to watch for even the least elitist of Hellraiser fans. 7/10
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my favorite in the series
xaristheou31 August 2005
Although Doug Bradley said not to hold one's breath for this sequel, I must recognize this Hellraiser as a real puzzle. Rick Bota did a wonderful job and now he's done with two more sequels, looks to me like he's gonna be on Fangoria soon enough. The suspense, the puzzle, the riddle and the tangling plot of this film makes it unique, with an overall good comeback of Kirsty Cotton and a wonderful performance by Trevor. Every little piece of confusion and enigmatic pulse plunges the viewer into a surreal tale of unbelievable reality. Who would have thought each and every one of us is two different people... and made up of just the right parts ? ;)
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far better than it's getting credit for...
thisisnodream20 November 2002
It seems like many of the reviews for this film are negative based simply on the fact that it doesn't feel like the original few films in this series. People need to think more about the fact that each film is a new interpretation of the story. I feel this film was really played out well and fairly well acted. By no means is it a classic, but it's a very above par DTV movie. Recommended if you can clear your mind :)
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