This is the most exciting review for me to do, my spooks. You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to review this film for all of you, because as many of you know, it’s my favorite horror film of all time.
Back in 2013, I was just getting my start as a real, true horror fanatic. I was raised on horror films; Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice were two films that were on my list of “of course I’ve seen those” by age 5. However, I never considered myself a “horror guru” in the way that some do now. I knew OF many horror films, but I hadn’t ever truly delved into any horror franchises.
So like I said, cut to 2013. Here I was finishing up watching every Puppet Master film (and that will by my next review so stay tuned…it will be a review of every single one of the films) and I was going into a deep, horrorless depression. I had no idea where to turn to next. Did I want to watch Halloween over again? Not really. Was I in the mood for Friday the 13th? I had just seen them all about a year prior.
But then! My other half suggested that we watch Hellraiser; he had seen the second one back when he was younger but had never been through the whole franchise. I, being oblivious, said “what the hell is Hellraiser?” I got a gasp and a laugh, and we went straight to Netflix to see if it was there.
Lo and behold, every Hellraiser film was waiting for my viewing enjoyment, so like most people, we started at the beginning.
Hellraiser tells the story of Kirsty Cotton, her father, and her stepmother, who all move into a new house together. Kirsty and Julia (her stepmother) don’t necessarily get along, however Kirsty is very willing to make it work. Julia, on the other hand, has other thoughts on her mind, like Larry Cotton’s brother Frank, with whom she had an affair with. (Scandalous!)
After cutting his hand while moving furniture into the new house, Larry’s hand bleeds onto the attic floor…summoning Frank’s skinless body. (Wait, what?) I know it sounds insane, but it’s one of the strangest, creepiest scenes I’ve ever watched. His body begins regenerating itself. He needs Julia to sacrifice men to him to help him come back. It’s all very strange.
But why was Frank in the floor, you ask? Well, there’s a puzzle box. This box entices you to otherworldly pleasures. If you open the box, you summon creatures beyond your imagination to show you these pleasures. These creatures are the Cenobites.
The Cenobites are where the real fun begins. The film itself was never meant to have these creatures as the main attraction- it was supposed to be all about Kirsty and her family, however when audiences saw these leather-clad beings of terror, they took center stage. Pinhead, or as he’s listed “Main Cenobite” in the credits, is the leader of the Cenobites, followed by Butterball, a grotesque blob of filth with some stylish John Lennon-style sunglasses, Chatterer, a tall, faceless being with his mouth pulled back in a permanent grin as his teeth chatter away endlessly, and the Female Cenobite (who was originally to be named Deep Throat) with her throat torn in two, the two flaps held back by hooks, exposing the inside of her throat.
These creatures are the epitome of terror and pain, torturing their victims to a fate much like theirs.
Sorry, I’m rambling about how much I love this one…I’ll get on to telling you guys what I really think of it.
The story itself is fun, I was kind of bored at the beginning because I’m the kind of person that needs instant gratification and I want it to be scary in the first 45 seconds, which lends itself to why I typically give decently harsh reviews.
However, with a little bit of patience and just the right amount of being entirely confused about what I was waiting for, I fell in love with the Cenobites and Kristy and lent my mind to one of the most fun, classic, creepy horror films I’ve ever seen.
I absolutely love the character stories. Julia is a love-to-hate all-around-nasty woman with a bad attitude who cheats on her husband (ick), Kirsty is the perfect combination of slightly naive and protective, Frank is an obnoxious, self-centered jerk who only cares about himself, and the Cenobites are everything you could ever ask for in a monster.
The effects are a little outdated, but it makes it so classic. So, all in all, it’s a horror movie worth putting on your list to watch.
I mean, I loved it so much that I have a Hellraiser tattoo…no, I don’t have Pinhead’s face on my butt or anything like that but I DO have one of his pins on the back of my neck.
On to the ratings!
The scares from this film may be entirely different to someone that is bothered by gore and blood. I am personally not one of those people, therefore I had to deduct a point, however I give Hellraiser a stellar score.
If this is a film you haven’t seen yet, I do not have any other words than: STOP READING AND GO WATCH HELLRAISER. RIGHT NOW.