To think now that there is 9 Hellraiser films is just incredible, but even sad to think how downhill it went with the series. For some odd reason, the Hellraiser series was never as popular as other horror franchises like Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street. Maybe because most of the sequels were direct to video, who knows? However, despite the downfall of the more recent sequels, we wanted more Pinhead. The later sequels took a different turn where the scripts were written and Pinhead was added in later sometimes not making it feel like a Hellraiser film at all. Then comes along Gary J. Tunnicliffe who has a vision of bringing Hellraiser back to the basics, open the box and Pinhead is coming to get you and make your life Hell. Not a bad idea, however excluding Clive Barker and Doug Bradley is where the film just went totally wrong. With a very lousy budget and short time to make the film, Hellraiser makes Ed Wood look like Steven Spielberg. After all, look at the cover of the DVD, it looks like Pinhead is constipated.
Best friends Steven and Nico travel to Mexico. They film themselves engaging in several days worth of drunken partying until one night they are attacked in their room by a man with pins driven into his skull. The boys disappear, and the Mexican authorities ultimately turn over their belongings to their parents, including a videotape made by Steven that apparently documents their final moments. A year later, Steven's parents Ross and Sarah, and sister, Emma gather for dinner with Nico's parents, Peter and Kate. Emma finds a gold and black puzzle box visible in the final moments of the video. Playing with it causes Steven to materialize out of thin air, covered in blood that does not appear to be his own. The families prepare to rush him to the hospital, only to discover that all of the vehicles have disappeared from the driveway. Attempting to dial 911, they discover that the land lines and cell phones are receiving interference and no outgoing calls can be made. Steven tells the families that he has escaped "The Cenobites," and what he and Nico went through.
The problems with the film are major: the actors are either too over the top or had too much botox as the under acting was out of control. I found it hilarious that Niko's mom is "so distraught" over Niko's disappearance that she clearly found the time to get a good plastic surgeon and looks like a super model when she's asked to come to the house to discuss her son's possible death. Why was the sister dressed so sexy too? Not to mention I think her role was just to sit and look pouty and sexy, pout, sex, pout, sex nice stretch there. None of the characters were likable at all. Poor Pinhead, once upon a time one of the most feared villains of the horror genre. A man who took the ultimate pleasure in torturing others and making your life Hell now stands there making constipated looks with jacked up make up and a duck face while talking in a voice that sounds like he should be reading "A Tale of Two Cities" to me. His voice was so dull and lifeless, how could you ever take this guy seriously? From what I heard, Doug Bradley turned down the role as he would've been paid enough money to have a new fridge, well good to know what little dignity he had after the last few dumb sequels. But much kudos to Clive Barker, as he said "this is no child of mine" along with some words I wish I could say on IMDb but can't, but trust me it's good. The story wasn't that bad, it was the rushed pace and bad characters that really did this movie in. Please leave the Hellraiser series alone, let it rest in peace.