A ninth Hellraiser film is not a surprise but its not something to look forward to either. There had been all sots of noises recently of a re-make in the works but now that seems to have stalled. I’m not sure how it works but there is this thing that Dimension Films would have lost their rights to the franchise if they didn’t make another film. This give them a reasonable excuse for them churning out this one.
The film opens with camcorder footage of two teenage boys Steven (Nick Eversman) and Nico (Jay Gillespie) getting ready for a trip to Mexico. This camcorder footage was very worrying and I was afraid that it was going to go down the road of the present craze for “found footage” films. This is becomes an even bigger problem when the films cuts to a camcorder recorded scene of Nico opening a Lament puzzle and Pinhead appearing. In camcorder footage this does not appear eerie and otherwordly but like guy dressed in a Pinhead costume. This impression is reinforced by the fact that Pinhead is not played by by Doug Bradley but by another actor (Stephan Smith Collins) who is physically very different. I felt that any chance of inducing a willing suspension of disbelief is strongly challenged by this scene
It turns out that the camcorder footage is being watched by Steven’s mother Sarah (Devon Sorvari). Steven and Nico have gone missing and the police have returned Steven’s belongings to her. Sarah gets interrupted by her husband Dr Ross Craven (Steven Brand) who seems to be long line of screen psychiatrists who have apparently no empathy. He tells her the Bradleys are here. Their daughter Emma is having a hard time with her brother going missing and can’t get why they don’t want to talk about it.
I can’t get why they don’t want to talk about it either, especially when it turns out that the Bradleys are Nico’s parents Kate (Sanny Van Heteren) and Peter (Sebastien Roberts). Emma slopes off to her mother’s room and finds the camera in Steve’s bag. She starts watching and this takes us to a more complete flashback of what happened to the boys. We see them get very drunk and Steve chats up a young Mexican girl in the bar. Next we see Nico and the girl having rough sex in the toilet while Steve’s whines and pukes up in the sink. Afterwards Nico really wants to leave in a hurry. The girl is dead and Nico is scared of Mexican jail even though he claims it was an accident.
Emma stops watching deeply upset because she’s supposed to be in a relationship with Nico. Then she finds the Lament puzzle in Steven’s bag. She confronts her parents about being kept in the dark but it’s really just shouting at them and then she storms off to sit by herself at the pool, playing with the puzzle box. Before she starts solving it Steven appears, exhausted and covered in blood mumbling about someone coming for him.
This film not only appears rushed, it was rushed. Although the story is pretty faithful to the tone of original the special effects are not nearly as well done and they don’t quite capture its atmosphere. The script has some really clunky dialogue for the actors who just don’t deliver it very convincingly. The Cenobites were okay especially Pinhead Junior but people will not be happy about Pinhead being played by someone who is not Doug Bradley who gave the role a quiet intensity which was the reason the character became so iconic. I doubt that even if it had Been Doug Bradley playing the part that the film would have been any better since his presence didn’t save Hellworld or Hell on Earth.
If you have never seen a Hellraiser film this is not a good introduction to the series. It is just as gory and violent as the others and has scenes of sex and nudity