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Review: Hellraiser – Hellworld

Hellraiser Reviews

hellworld 001

Look at this crude photoshop job with the head of Pinhead and the green Matrix text you can tell from the cover how much writing effort was put in

I don’t think I’d have bothered with this film if not to complete my reviews of all the Hellraiser films. It is the film that’s furthest from the original film, being little more than a slasher film tarted up in Hellraiser trappings and fused with a thin veneer of cliché computer gamer. The direction is okay, the acting variable but good enough but what really lets it down is the story. I never felt involved in the story because it never felt like a Hellraiser film and the Hellraiser trappings were a constant reminder of that.

The film opens with a teenager digging a hole in a cellar. This is Adam () and although he is central to the story we don’t get much insight into his character apart from flash backs to this scene where he kills himself by pouring petrol over himself and burning himself to death.

At Adam’s funeral we learn from his buddies that Adam killed himself because he was obsessed with a computer game called Hellworld. I have no idea how that is supposed to work but the film will not be exploring this deadly game in any way at all. Hellworld seems to be this film’s introduction the Hellraiser mythos, showing that film is flirting with fourth wall. Adam’s friends are the usual gang of five clichés of the genre: there’s the pretty jock Mike (Henry Cavill in a pre-Superman role), the perky punky Allison (Anna Tolputt), the cheerful asthmatic joker Derrick (Khary Payton), walking cloud of depression Jake (Christopher Jacot) and last of course Chelsea (Katheryn Winnick) the nice girl destined to be the last one standing. None of Adam’s family is present because his mother is in a mental hospital after finding his body while his father has never been around is constantly abroad on business. And that’s it for Adam’s backstory. The friends are all feeling guilty for not intervening to prevent Adam from killing himself but it’s difficult to justify blaming them even if they were all playing the Hellworld game too. Unfortunately the theme of guilt and blame are going to be central to the story. The funeral scene ends with Chelsea opening the coffin and getting grabbed by the corpse before waking up because she was having a nightmare.

Forward two years and Chelsea is studying in her when Mike comes to her door to try to scare her with a Cenobite mask. He’s really there to show her a Hellworld website with a game whose prize is an invitation to party at somewhere called Leviathan House, a reference so obvious it gets lampshaded by Chelsea rolling her eyes. Mike tries to talk Chelsea into going but she really doesn’t and remarks that Derrick and Allison wouldn’t be interested. Cut to Derrick and Allison who are eagerly playing the game at their computer to win themselves invitations. This means that only Chelsea doesn’t want to go but on the day of the party she shows up in her SUV to drive them up there.

They get to the very large Leviathan House and inside the party is in full swing. The place is decorated with Lament boxes and bright neon signs and there are several bars for the partygoers. By an amazing coincidence Jake arrives just behind them to open contempt from Allison and fake friendliness from the others.

The host of the party (Lance Henriksen) bursts out a pair of double doors and greets the five, identifying them as newbies and after seeing their invitations he invites them in for drinks and an introductory tour of the house. Only Jake and Chelsea turn down the offer of drink, Jake because he doesn’t drink and Chelsea because she’s driving. His office is full of Hellraiser paraphernalia and busy hands are soon picking things up and playing with them. Allison quickly regrets spraying herself with perfume from a bottle and Mike finds his fingers stained with ink from the Cenobite design tarot cards he plays with. There’s a sense of significance about these events.

As he takes them down to the basement he tells stories about the house’s past as a convent and then later as a mental hospital with the tragedies involved in both periods. The basement basically looks like a pathology lab with shelves full of specimens of deformed foetuses and body parts and surgical tools lying around. Allison, Mike and Derrick seem impressed but Chelsea needs a bit more than theatrical props to scare her. She gets it when the host grabs her arm and sticks a pin deep into it. Chelsea feels strange she has a sudden vision of Pinhead pulling the pin out. It only lasts for a moment then everything’s back to normal but she’s very wary of the host and tells him to stay away from her.

The host takes them back upstairs to enjoy the party and introduces them to some fairly pointless scheme where everyone has a numbered mask and a mobile phone and if you fancy someone you call their number. It sounds something from a middle class middle aged swingers party and not really something for college students. While on the subject of the party goers the whole thing seems very tame and vanilla and the crowd are a bit plain and boring despite the sex and gratuitous bare breasts. There is no difference between this crowd and that of any other nightclub and they don’t seem like Hellraiser fans. This might be justified by later revelations but it goes unnoticed by the friends.

They split up at the party so of course this is when they start dying off. Aliison sees a room with a large “Keep Out” sign on the door so she enters because she’s naughty. She finds a torture chair and sits on it and suddenly it locks her in place and a nasty looking pair of rotating saw blades lock in place in front of her face. The host appears and engages the motor for the blades which slowly come towards Allison’s throat and slices it open. Pinhead appears and tells her Adam was right

This is followed by a scene where Jake meets the host who gives him a puzzle box made by Adam. When Jake examines it nails spring out and pierce his fingers. This is a bit strange because it seems this scene should have come earlier.

Derrick is dancing with a woman when he loses in inhaler and it falls down a grate into the basement. He wheezes down stairs and recovers his inhaler in the pathology lab. He takes a puff and lies down to recover. Pinhead appears and chops off his head.

Mike got together with a woman who gives him a blowjob. Afterwards she takes him down to the basement with promises of more sex but when they get to pathology lab she locks him in and leaves. Mike tries to pretend he’s not freaked out by the props and by the headless corpse dressed in Derek’s clothes but they unsettle him then he sees Derrick’s head in a jar and freaks. A Cenobite enters the room an operates a winch that drives a huge hook into Mike’s back and drags him around until he dies and then Pinhead appears and tells us that it just beginning.

This just leaves Jake and Chelsea among the friends and the film changes pace. Jake goes to bar to try to get a drink but everyone ignores like he’s not there. He follows a woman into an upper gallery area and they make love but she turns out to be a ghost of a nun. Chelsea was following someone who looks like Adam and ended up locked in a room. She tries to call the police but when they arrive the host convinces them that one of his guests is drunk and playing joke. Chelsea tries calling them and telling them to look up at the window she is watching them from but they can’t see her and eventually leave.

I’ve talked about this long enough and this film’s last act has a fairly uninteresting series of chases and fake outs around the house by Chelsea and Jake as they figure out what’s going on. Jake realises that whole thing was set-up to get them there and what they are experiencing has stopped being real some time ago. Chelsea has discovered that their host is actually Adam’s father and he blames them for Adam’s death. The whole thing was a very elaborate murder plot but the host wanted to make them suffer using the Hellword he blames for the death of his son. He drugged them with some kind of magic drug that can somehow fully create a convincing reality with help of subliminal suggestions. All five have been buried in coffins since their visit to the basement and everything since was created by suggestions delivered through the phones left in the coffins. It just seems too elaborate and would only ever work because it is written that way in the script. Anyway Chelsea and Jake are both rescued by the police who got phone call from this place, probably from Adam’s ghost since the house is empty and the host has fled.

All the earlier appearances of Pinhead and the Cenobites in the film were just from the imagination of the victims, explaining their out of character behaviour but as the host sits in hotel examining the puzzle box he brought with him it turns out to the genuine article and it opens. Pinhead and the Cenobites arrive and introduce the host to hell with an impressive blade on a chain and one of those CGI effects of a body falling to bits after a cartoonish delay. It is far too little and far too late.

I think the problem with this film is that it was thrown together with a low-budget and a script that was barely more than an outline. It was made back-to-back with Deader but instead of incorporating the Romanian location into the script this tried to pretend it was somewhere in America.Overall is it is just a run-of-the-mill slasher film and Pinhead and the Cenobites are reduced to a mere cameo

Rating 5.0/10

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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Hellraiser – Hellseeker

This is the sixth Hellraiser film and just like Inferno it is pretty much a standalone film but it does have Ashley Laurence back as Kirsty Cotton but not as the main character. This is more like a mystery thriller where the main character has partial amnesia and real memories are mixed with fantastic elements. It is more straightforward than Inferno but not quite as good. While Inferno got a UK DVD release, Hellseeker can only be found on Netflix UK.

Kirsty and her husband Trevor (Dean Winters) are driving down a road approaching a bridge and they are fooling around affectionately and Trevor doesn’t notice he’s in the wrong lane and a truck is coming at them. He swerves the car off the bridge and into the river. They both struggle to get out of car and Trevor gets out but he can’t get Kirsty’s door open. Trevor gets to the surface and calls for help then dives under to try to get Kirsty’s door open but it’s too late and Kirsty stops moving.

The scene cuts to a hospital where Trevor is just coming round. This is weeks after the crash but Trevor is not aware of the passage of any time. He got a headache at work and arrived at emergency but the doctors think his reaction is not unusual this soon after the accident. He gets given an injection and suddenly he’s in a hellish hospital surgical theatre where the surgeons cut off the top of his skull and probe his brain to activate his memories. Just as abruptly Trevor is back at the normal hospital and a young junior doctor Alison is asking him if he’s okay. Trevor asks about his wife. Police Detective Lange (William S. Taylor) wants to talk to him about the crash because Kirsty is still missing. Trevor mentioned the door being locked but when they fished to car from the river the doors were open. On the bus ride home skinhead with loud music on ghetto blaster turns music up when Trevor asks him to turn it down. In apartment Trevor looks at photos remembers happy times with Kirsty

Trevor goes to work at Cubic, some anonymous office job with computers, numbers and cameras watching everyone all the time. One of his colleagues Brett (Trevor White) greets him with a snarky jibe but Trevor doesn’t seem to remember who he is or anything else about his job. He finds a tatty card pinned to his cubicle “All Problems Solved” and an address. He flashes back to going into some rundown industrial unit. Inside there are women  working on sewing machines, a large woman sitting wearing a leather outfit with conical tits and a full face mask and at the end is a counter. He sees objects displayed behind the glass of the counter. A large hairy man appears and says “I can see into your soul,” and Brett interrupts the memory.

Bret tells him he should get a snack beacuase some headaches are caused by low blood sugar. Gwen (Sarah-Jane Redmond) his supervisor comes in. She seems mad at Trevor but this turns out to be sex play and she kisses Trevor forcefully and he has another flashback, this time to having sex with Gwen. He pushes her off and she tells him she’ll see him later and to go get some work done. Back at his computer he gets a looping video of him making out with Gwen.

Lange calls and asks him to come to the station. Lange say there was no sign of an accident, no skidmarks on the road. Trevor’s story doesn’t make sense because it looks like the car was deliberately driven of the bridge. Lange wants to know if anything happened before the accident. Trevor flashes back to the accident and this time they were not smiling and playing before the accident but instead Kirsty looked very unhappy

Back at his apartment he sees a man in a mask hanging around outside. He looks out his window a sees the man in the window of the building across the street looking back at him. Then Trevor throws up a load of water and a large eel comes out of his mouth. There’s a knock on the door and its his neighbour Tawny (Jody Thompson) showing off her new tattoo just above her pubis. She’s coming on to him but he doesn’t respond so she goes back to her own apartment. Trevor finds a video of his 5th year wedding anniversary  where he gave Kirsty a gift and it’s the Lament puzzle box.

There’s another knock at the door no-one is there so he looks in the corridor then goes back to his apartment and Gwen is in there and she want sex. She strips and forces him into a chair. She wants the video camera, a normal part of their sex play so she sets it up but Trevor tells her to leave because he’s not interested. Gwen gets very angry and leaves. But the video keeps recording them having sex. Trevor tests it out and the recording is live. Then Cenobites put a plastic bag on Gwen’s head and kill her while Trevor watches in horror.

At work Brett is snarky again but gives Trevor address of a massage therapist acupuncturist called Sage (Kaaren de Zilva). She gives him the needles and leaves him to rest. He remembers back to the Hairy Guy who sells him a musical puzzle box but in the memory it is a sphere. He nods off on the therapy table and Pinhead (Doug Bradley) appears and shoves one of his own needles right through Trevor’s throat and asks if he prefers pain or pleasure

Detective Givens (Michael Rogers), Lange’s partner wants to talk to him about the fact that Kirsty was very wealthy with an inheritance from her father and Uncle Frank. This gives Trevor a motive for wanting Kirsty dead and Givens doesn’t trust him

Back at his apartment Tawny comes in and makes out with him and she strips wants to be tied up to a chair. Trevor doesn’t say no to this woman and they makes out but suddenly she turns into a Cenobite with the skin on her face stitched together and she screws a face mask onto Trevor’s mouth and pushes a plunger thing into his throat and he wakes in bed. Trevor finds Tawny tied to the chair dead. Trevor goes to wash the blood from his hands and Pinhead appears in the mirror and say “ All Problems Solved”. The blood disappears and the body is gone. Trevor goes to Tawny’ apartment and knocks on her door and  is relieved when she answers but she acts like she doesn’t know him and her husband comes to the door.

Lange calls again and down at the station he wants to know how Trevor knows Gwen Stevens since she’s gone missing. He sees Brett leaving the station and panics. He has another flashback to hairy guy selling him puzzle box and this time it’s the familiar cube.Trevor tries to pay for cube with money but the hairy man tells him that’s not the price which he will find out for himself later.

At work he wants to talk to Brett about what he said to the police. Lange is waiting in his cubicle asks him about the cube and what happened in the car. Trevor still claims it was an accident. In the break room Brett tells Trevor he’s leaving and mentions a plan they had to get their hands on Kirsty’s money. Trevor got the  puzzle box knowing it would drive Kirsty crazy

On a bus he gets headache and goes to a therapist and gets some special therapy with extra rogering and a happy ending or at least an icepick into the skull. Next he’s in an ambulance and turns out he fainted on the bus. Another flash and he’s in the hospital again and he asks for Dr Alison but no-one knows who she is. He goes to her office and its empty except for a janitor having a fly smoke. In corridor he finds Dr. Alison and tells her about dreams janitor asks who he is talking to and it turns out Dr. Alison is not there and Trevor is confused again. Back on the bus Trevor remembers Kirsty shouting at him about the cube, about his betrayal and she knew about his affairs

Trevor goes back to the industrial unit but it’s empty. Pinhead appears in the reflection in a puddle. He promises Trevor he’ll soon know what’s going on. Trevor thinks Pinhead is the killer but Pinhead just says “The killer is among us,” Outside he runs into Brett who has a gun and mentions their plan to kill Kirsty and make it look like a suicide  so they can get her money and split it between them. Since the plans is now all screwed up Brett uses the gun to shoot himself through the head

Trevor goes to Sage the therapist but she’s been killed and there’s the ice-pick in her head but I’m sure it’s nothing that a 100C dilution of stabby knives won’t cure. The police arrive at Sage’s led By Lange who arrests Trevor. Lange tells him they found a body in the river and are bringing it into the morgue but he doesn’t confirm that it’s Kirsty. Lange leaves and Givens comes in and wants him to tell the truth about everything that happened but Trevor sticks with his story of the accident.Tawny’s husband is in the station and he wants to kill Trevor. Lange takes Trevor down to basement past various people being tortured and he locks him in corridor. Then he reveals that Lange and Givens are really a two-headed freak, the two heads of one being.

In the morgue Pinhead confronts him for the final reveal. Pinhead wanted him to get to Kirsty but Kirsty offered them a deal: five souls in exchange for hers. She killed all his lovers and his partner Brett with his gun and shot him in the car causing the car to plunge off the bridge. Trevor only believes it when the body in morgue turns out to be his own and he’s the one who is dead, while Kirsty lived. The police and doctor are all really the emergency crew that were at the accident and Alison is a paramedic who talks to the dead as if they can hear her

This story is more straightforward than Inferno but it isn’t being told linearly so giving an impression of more depth than it really has. The acting was good enough but no-one really got pushed very much in their roles. The Hellraiser elements were integrated into the story quite well even if the Cenobites did seem peripheral to the story and the cube barely got used. I think the budget must have been limited because there wasn’t a lot of special effects and most of  the deaths weren’t very gory. It not the worst of the sequels but it isn’t really essential viewing either.

Rating 6.5/10

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Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Hellraiser – Inferno

This is the fifth Hellraiser film and as far as I know this went straight to video. It is also a standalone story with no reference to what has happened in past films. Some people dislike this change but I think it fits quite well with what Clive Barker was creating with the original Hellraiser. The story itself is intriguing, confusing, and violent and it reminded me of the film Angel Heart. I think this a good film and find it tiresome that it often gets just dismissed because it’s one of the lesser-known Hellraiser sequels.

Police Detective Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer) gets a call to a murder scene where the victim has been ripped apart by hooks. The scene has a ritualistic look with the remains arranged inside a square of candles. One candle is sitting on a box, the familiar Lament configuration puzzle box of course. Thorne gets presented with another puzzle, in form of a the severed finger of a child embedded in the wax of the candle. From the victim’s belongings they find his wallet with driver’s license and Thorne realises he knows the man from high school. We get a hint of what type of man Thorne is when we see him pocket a couple of hundred dollars from the wallet

Thorne goes back to home but he doesn’t stay, telling his wife Melanie (Noelle Evans) he has to leave because he’s working a case. In reality he’s leaving to pick up a prostitute called Daphne (Sasha Barrese) and as his self-serving narration says he thinks this keeps his marriage going. I’m not sure what his excuse is for the cocaine he uses all the time but I’m sure he’ll have one. He has sex with her then goes to the bathroom where he examines the puzzle box. Not really sure why he’s got it there but he solves it and the puzzle moves by itself but the walls don’t open up and Pinhead doesn’t appear. Instead the lights flicker and Thorne enters a strangely lit room. It is child’s bedroom and he hears a child calling for help through another door and he’s in a corridor where he sees a pair of strange cenobites with stitched-up eyes who kiss and stroke him push their hands inside his skin . He breaks way  from them following the child’s cries for help until he meets Pinhead (Doug Bradley) who rips his face off then he wakes in the motel room’s bathroom.

Sasha Barrese

Sasha Barrese (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thorne goes to work and while he’s there he gets a call from Daphne who is very frightened and begging for his help. There are ghastly sounds of a bloody struggle and then the phone line goes dead. Back at the motel room Thorne finds her body hung up in the shower. He tells his partner Tony (Nicholas Turturro) that he was there the night before and slept with Daphne and begs for his help covering up any evidence of that. He also plants evidence incriminating Tony because Tony is honest and not happy with covering stuff up for whatever reason. They also find a second severed finger and from its freshness Thorne knows the child is still alive.

Back at the station Thorne helps to narrow down the search parameters for their search for a match on the fingerprints found on the box. This brings up a quick match to Leon Gaultier (Matt George) a man working in a body piercing/tattoo shop. Thorne gets a name from him of the owner of the box, the Engineer. Leon also says “Hunt for the Engineer the Engineer will hunt you.”

Thorne talks to his snitch Bernie (Nicholas Sadler) who is a drug dealing paedophile scumbag and he has an ice cream van. Bernie clams up when Thorne asks him about the Engineer but Thorne doesn’t take that and threatens him with jail. Bernie tells him a story of how brutal the Engineer is and repeats that thing Leon said about hunt the Engineer and the Engineer will hunt you. Out in the car Tony is waiting and he wants to know if he got any information and the way he asks it makes it clear he knows Thorne get his cocaine from Bernie. Tony really wants them to come clean about Thorne sleeping with Daphne the night before. Thorne tells that won’t be happening and tells him about what he did. Tony is not happy but he’s really getting a measure of how much of a bastard Thorne is.

While Thorne is sitting in a bar drinking a kid appears and gives him a videotape. He shoves into it the video player in the bar. It was shot in Bernie’s van and we can hear Bernie is being brutally whipped and begging for mercy that doesn’t come. We don’t see this happening, just the legs of the killer and barbed whip he’s using. But what we hear paints an awful picture of what’s happening. After he’s finished killing Bernie he crouches down to the camera and we see his distorted eyeless hell face. The killer then shows the camera a freshly severed finger. When he tries to show he tapeito the other cops back at the station the tape is blank. The captain orders him to see the station counsellor before he goes back to work because he seems on edge.

Thorne goes to see the counsellor Dr. Paul Gregory (James Remar) but he makes up an excuse and arranges an appointment for another time. He gets told that they’ve found Bernie. Bernie is chained to his steering wheel and the flesh on his back is ripped open, exposing his spine. Tony mentions that they haven’t found a finger at this scene and Thorne shows them that it’s in the cash register but he only knows that from the video that no-one else saw but Tony can think of another source of information. They find a mobile phone in his pocket with a message about meeting a Mr Parmaggi about finding the Engineer.

The next scene is fascinating but I‘m not sure what the point of it is. Thorne and Tony drive out to a remote bar in the middle of the night. Inside there are several tables of people in cowboy hats silently playing poker. Thorne sits at a table and asks about buying when Mr Parmagi (Michael Shamus Wiles) appears in his Grand Ol’ Opry gear, six-shooter included. Thorne asks him about the Engineer but Parmagi just gives him a cryptic answer. Thorne wants him to tell the Engineer that he won’t stop looking but Parmagi assures him that the Engineer doesn’t want him to stop. Thorne spots the hell faced killer get up from a table and leave so he follows into the woods where two Asian cowboys in long leather coats beat the crap out of him.

Thorne goes back to the station house and talks to Dr. Gregory and tells him he thinks he’s going crazy and tells him about the Engineer. Gregory has heard about the engineer and tells him about a cop who got so obsessed with finding the Engineer he ended up shooting himself in the head. Gregory has a picture of the puzzle box and Thorne brings it out asks him about it. Gregory tells him the legend that if you open the box they come for you and take you to hell. Thorne say they didn’t take him to hell and Gregory suggests that means they‘re still here.

Thorne goes home where Melanie is upset that he wasn’t home and didn’t even call to tell her where he was. Then she sees how badly beat up he is and she cleans his cuts and Thorne nods off. He wakes when the phone rings. Melanie answers it then tells him it was from his mother who said something about getting a visit from The Engineer. Thorne rushes to nursing home where they live. His mother sits by his father’s bed knitting asking him why he’s doesn’t come to see them anymore. His father is so ill he’s bed-bound. Thorne goes through a door and into that strange child’s bedroom he was in before and the door slams behind him. He hears ghastly noises of his parents screaming and the violent tearing of flesh. Blood starts oozing under the door and Thorne pounds on the door. Then he wakes up at home and the phone is ringing. Just like in the dream it’s his mother and Thorne rushes to their nursing home. His parents are missing but they discover that the mattress of his father’s bed is soaked in blood. On the cabinet beside the bed is a gift box containing two more fingers and a card with an address on it.

Outside the hospital he runs into Tony who really wants to have a word with him. Tony thinks Thorne’s out of control and he tells Thorne that no-one else has any evidence that the Engineer even exists. The link between all the victims is Thorne himself. Tony wants to take Thorne in to see the Captain and they struggle and Tony tell him he needs help but Thorne ignores him and drives off. He goes to the address on the card and finds a telescope trained on a window across the street. Tony is chained to a chair and the hell face killer is whipping him to death with a chain then he puts a severed finger in Tony’s mouth. A telephone in the room rings. It is the Engineer and he tells Thorne to go home.

At home he finds his wife and daughter chained to a revolving wooden pillar, freezing to death asking him when he’s coming home and why he lies to them. Also there is Dr. Gregory. He reaches out to his daughter but they both crack and crumble away. Then Gregory tells Thorne that they got a match on the fingerprint from the finger in Tony’s mouth. It’s Thorne’s fingerprint. Gregory tells him when he said go home he didn’t mean here but his first home.

Gregory offers to help him understand. Thorne says “you’re the Engineer” and Gregory smiles and transforms into Pinhead who tells him he must go back home. He goes a through door and is back the strange bedroom now we find out it was his bedroom and the 7-year-old Thorne is there. Downstairs his parents are a young couple. In the kitchen his Mom makes brownies. Time shakes up the house and ages everything including his mother who has bloody holes where eyes should be and she comes at him with a knife until he shoots her and has to do the same when his father attacks. Next Daphne attacks then Tony until he shoots both of them and then it’s Bernie attacking him and getting shot.

There are cenobites in the corridors of the building. In one room he see himself standing inside, then he is standing inside. A boy with several missing finger is on a chair in front of him. The hell face killer appears and Thorne takes his gun out and hell face rips off his mask to reveal he is Thorne only he’s Thorne’s hungers and desires and the boy is his spirit. His flesh is killing his spirit, Pinhead tells him before hooks on chain tear him apart.

And he wakes up the hotel bathroom with Daphne sleeping on the bed outside. He thinks it was just a dream when Daphne calls screaming and in despair Thorne shoots himself in the head. Then wakes up in the hotel bathroom again knowing he’s in hell and there’s no escape.

I know some people who loved the original film will not accept this film but I like that they tried to do something else without burdening itself with trying to recreate the original film’s tone or stay in the same continuity. Another thing people may dislike is that this film is not straightforward and I’m not all that confident I fully understand it myself. It is diffcult to even figure when we really entered the hell vision being controlled by Pinhead, was after he opened the box or is everything from the start a trip through Thorne’s hell? Is Thorne really a killer or are the brutal murders a symbol.of the way he abuses those he knows? Is it Thorne that Gregory is talking about when he mentions the cop who got obsessed with finding the Engineer until he went crazy and shot himself?  Why did Thorne go to a remote poker club and get beat up by Asian cowboys? It can be infuriating to not have clear-cut answers.

One of the best things about the film are the performances of Craig Sheffer and Nicolas Turturro, playing the experienced dirty cop and the idealistic rookie who learns fast.This film really does make nice use of sound to convey the bloody murders with a brutality that would be difficult and expensive to show and feels gorier than it really is. I think this is a good film and I would still have enjoyed it if it had no connection to the Hellraiser series. If you haven’t watched it already give it a go. And then come back tell me what it was about.

Rating 7.5/10

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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Hellraiser IV – Bloodline

When you see Alan Smithee credited as the director then you know a film has had a problematic production history and in this film it really shows. Alan Smithee is a fake name used when a director has wanted to have the director’s credit removed. Someone who had a lot of respect for Barker’s original Hellraiser tried to create a film that did justice his vision but the editing and second shoots have compromised that film and we got this patchy incomplete product that tantalises us with what could have been.

This film is set in three time periods and is about three generations of the family of the creator of the Lament configuration musical puzzle box Phillip Le Merchant. The story is told by a descendant of his in the future Dr. Paul Merchant (Bruce Ramsay) who is on a space station trying to convince an enforcement squad to allow him to complete his mission and destroy the demons from the box. so he tell them his family’s history with the box

In eighteenth century Paris Phillip L’Merchant (Bruce Ramsay) creates a musical puzzle box to precise specifications for the wealthy aristocrat Duc de Lisle (Mickey Cottrell) who is a student of the occult and practitioner in black magic. As soon it is complete he delivers it to De Lisle who has his servant Jacques (Adam Scott) bring him a homeless prostitute who they kill and carefully remove her skin. Then in a ritual involving the box and Latin incantations De Lisle calls up a demon which takes form inside the skin and once complete De Lisle shows her a mirror so she can see her face and calls her Angelique (Valentina Vargas). Jacques is afraid but De Lisle reminds him that whoever controls the magic controls the demon as long as they don’t stand in hell’s way. L’Merchant didn’t leave after delivering the box but stuck around to watch what happened and is shocked by what he witnessed. After discussing it with an old friend he works on a way to fix what he’s done by creating the puzzle box. He breaks in to De Lisle’s chateau to try to steal the box back but he finds a scene of carnage from a wild party that we clearly missed. De Lisle is mutilated and dying while Jacques is having noisy sex with Angelique next door. L’Merchant tries to grab the box but he gets caught.

The next story is contemporary, set some time after the events of the third film. John Merchant (Bruce Ramsay) is a successful award winning architect but he’s haunted by gory nightmares that feature a strange woman but we know it is Angelique. His dreams are what inspired his latest project, a building that is also a mobile art work. The design is very similar to the puzzle box and of course this no accident. Angelique and Jacques are still around in present day Paris and Angelique sees Merchant’s picture on the cover of a magazine. She wants to see him a New York, sensing that he has inherited his ancestor’s design genius. Jacques refuses to let her go and she tears out his heart to show him what happens when you stand in hell’s way

Merchant gets presented with an award at a banquet held in his new building. When Merchant is giving his acceptance speech he sees Angelique at the back of the room and has flashes of memories of his nightmares and forgets the speech he was going to give and just gives them a short thank you. I sense this scene has been cut because that was bit abrupt. Merchant leaves with his wife and that night has a sex dream starring Angelique.

Angelique is still back at the building where she chats up a pudgy middle-aged businessman who can’t believe his luck. She takes him down to a basement room where she recovers the puzzle box from the concrete pillar where it was dumped by Joey at the end of Hellraiser III. She gets the man to solve the puzzle so of course there’s suddenly chains and hooks and he gets dragged off to hell through a crack in the wall and Pinhead (Doug Bradley) comes through. He knows who Angelique is and tells her things have changed in her absence. Pinhead takes in his surroundings and sees the influence the puzzle box as if it has been recreated in the design of the building. Angelique tells him about Merchant and her plan to seduce the secret of the building from him. Pinhead is less than impressed by this subtle approach and he brings a pair of identical twin security guards to the room. In a drawn out scene the two men have their heads twisted together by an elaborate evil torture device and they get fused into a new cenobite. Pinhead favours pain over temptation.

Next day Angelique introduces herself to Merchant and from the start Angelique tells Merchant she knows about his dreams and he eagerly tells her everything about the building – it doesn’t look like he needed either pain or temptation to blab about his building secrets, he just needed someone to show an interest. Despite Angelique’s methods working perfectly Pinhead tells her that it is time try it his way by kidnapping Merchant’s son. In this scene there is no explanation of tension between Angelique and Pinhead and it feels like has been badly edited.

Pinhead gets the kid and grabs the wife too and holds them hostage at the building so of course Merchant has to come. Pinhead tells Merchant what he wants and after some chase scenes around the building this story climaxes in the control room with Merchant on a computer console putting his mobile design into action. Pinhead realises he’s been tricked and that Merchant’s device was designed to open a gate all right but only to drive them back and close it permanently. It doesn’t work and Pinhead decapitates Merchant. His wife uses the original puzzle box to send them all back.

Back at the space station Dr Paul Merchant brings his story right up to date, to the moment after he opened the box with a robot and called up the demons then got interrupted by the enforcement squad. He tries to convince them that they are in real danger and should leave but they don’t believe him and insist on exploring the station. The enforcement squad get killed by the four cenobites taking one each and leaving just a psychiatrist called Rimmer. Merchant starts his program to activate the space station which he designed as a giant trap with himself as bait to kill the cenobites and seal the door to hell closed.

This is such a frustrating film. It looks like it was a pretty good film that may have been better than the second film but it has been butchered into incoherence by the production company. There was whole sub-plot of a conflict between Angelique and Pinhead that seems to have been deleted and Angelique’s role has been reduced. There wasn’t nearly as much gore as the original and it didn’t quite have the same dark tone but it is a big improvement on the third film. The acting was pretty average especially Bruce Ramsay playing three members of the Merchant family..

This film’s lack of success seems to have led the production company to take a different tack with three subsequent direct to video sequels with standalone stories featuring Pinhead and the cenobites appearing in the role of the minions of hell punishing sin.

Rating 7.0/10

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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Hellraiser III – Hell on Earth

The first three films in this series are a perfect illustration of sequel decay. Hellraiser is a low-budget classic horror with a dark visceral feel and a nice tight straightforward story. Hellbound: Hellraiser II expanded on the story and many of those who worked on Hellraiser returned. It is less focused and makes less sense than the original and has more spectacle and a larger body count. Then we get this film. Only one of the original cast returned, Doug Bradley is back as Pinhead who has been reduced to the status of a powerful evil misanthropic villain hell bent on conquering the world.

In an art gallery there is a sculpture with the very familiar face of Pinhead. Later flashbacks in the film indicate that it is supposed to be that cheap-ass column from the end of the second film but this looks much better than that, full of twisted limbs and faces. Wealthy club owner J.P Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt) is interested in buying it from a man dressed like a bum who is very vague about the ownership of the sculpture or its price.

Joey (Terry Farrell) is a junior news reporter desperate for a breakthrough to reporting on the main news stories but her latest assignment at the emergency room of a city hospital turns out to be a wash-out on one of the quietest nights in the hospital’s history. She feels even worse when her cameraman Doc Fisher (Ken Carpenter) gets called away on a “real“  story. After he’s gone a patient gets rushed in, a young man whose body is pierced by black metal hooks on chains. Joey tries talking to a young woman who came in with the patient to find out what happened but Terri (Paula Marshall) is too upset to tell her much more than her name and that it happened at the Boiler Room. While Joey is distracted by the boy in the emergency room getting his head pulled apart Terri sneaks off.

Joey tries to convince her colleagues back at the TV station about what she saw but she’s told no pictures then it didn’t happen. She finds out that the Boiler Room is a nightclub and goes there to look for Terri. This the place owned by J.P. Munroe and he has it decorated according to his own grisly taste with mannequins and dolls wrapped in barbed wire so the Pinhead sculpture fits in perfectly. Joey asks around about Terri and gets directed to J.P. who of course comes on to her but she rejects him and leaves her card for Terri to contact her.

Joey is awoken from a nightmare about her father, who died before she was born, by a phone call from Terri. Terri is looking a place to stay after her boyfriend J.P. kicked her out so Joey offers her a spare room. Terri happily accepts but she’s nervous and thinks Joey just wants to use her to get the information about what killed the boy at the hospital. Joey assures her that’s not the case but insists that she still has to find out happened. Terri rummages in her bag and brings out a puzzle box. She says it came off the sculpture. It was Terri who found the sculpture and told J.P. about it so next day Terri and Joey go to investigate the gallery. The gallery is locked up and a neighbour insists it’s been that way for months but Terri says she was there just last week with J.P. Joey is thrown by the apparent dead-end but Terri uses her burglary skills to get them in. They start looking through the paperwork to see if they can find any papers about the sculpture. There they find all the documents from the Channard Institute. Terri thinks that now Joey has what she wants she won’t want Terri around but Joey tells her that she has place to stay for as long as she needs it.

At the Boiler Room J.P. seduces Sandy (Aimée Leigh) a naïve young woman who he takes to his apartment and screws her giving us this film’s compulsory nude scene. After he’s shot his load he‘s no longer interested in her and is openly contemptuous of her. Sandy is angry and upset at being used and doesn’t notice how close she is to the sculpture. Pinhead’s eyes open and hooks on chains burst out of the sculpture and rip off her skin. They seize her and drag her screaming into the depths of the statue where she gets transformed into part of the sculpture. J.P. is shocked and frightened and tries shooting the sculpture but Pinhead just spit out the bullets. Pinhead offers to fulfil J.P.’s darkest desires in exchange for more flesh.

Joey gets visited in her dreams of her father by the spirit of Captain Elliott Spencer who was Pinhead but was freed when he was reminded of his humanity by Kirsty Cotton before being attacked by the Channard Cenobite and killed. Elliott warns Joey that the evil was driven out of him was too strong to be destroyed and now threatens to bring its evil to Earth. Pinhead is after the puzzles box to destroy it since it the only thing that can send him back to hell.

Terri is sitting in Joey’s apartment and gets a call from J.P. saying he’s sorry and wants her back. Having a new friend and place to stay has given Terri enough self-respect to turn down J. P. But she hears phone message left on Joey’s answering machine making her think Terri will be moving away leaving her homeless and alone again so she takes the hump and runs off into J.P.’s clutches. Back at J.P.’s apartment he makes all the right sympathetic noises and beckons Terri to come to him right next to the sculpture. Just before J.P. succeeds he starts getting too anxious and tries to grab her but she fights back and manages to knock him out with a knuckle-duster.

Terri goes to leave but Pinhead offers her the chance to dream and all she has to do is feed J.P. to the sculpture. She agrees to the deal and she kick s his unconscious body toward the statue. J.P. comes round just in time to protest before he’s seized by hooks on chain and his head in penetrated by a pair of pistons. J.P.’s blood allows Pinhead to free himself from the sculpture. Pinhead explodes through the door into the nightclub and unleashes his lethal magical powers on the club’s patrons, slaughtering everyone.  This scene reminds me of the climaxes of the first two Wishmaster films but it isn’t really as imaginative.

Joey sees a news report about a major disaster at the Boiler Room. She rings Doc who agrees to meet her there and she lifts the puzzle box and leaves. When Joey gets to the Boiler room there’s no-one else is sight, no cops and no TV news crews. She enters the club and discovers bloodbath inside with mutilated corpses everywhere. She sees Doc’s headless corpse and realises she sent him to his death. Pinhead appears and offers to end her misery quickly if she gives him the box. Joey refuses and he tries to grab it and it zaps him.

Joey escapes from the club and runs off through the streets so Pinhead creates some new cenobites and sends them after her. The barman been turned into the Barbie Cenobite, his face wrapped and barbed wire and breathing fire. The club’s DJ has been turned into the CD Cenobite with his head full of slots for lethally sharp CDs which he throws to kill people. The third of these cenobites is Doc whose camera has been fused with his head to transform him into the Cameraman Cenobite with his lethal lens and ability to blow up TV sets. The original cenobites were disciples of pain and they were terrible to behold because their mutilation represented their devotion to their cause. These cenobites seem to be a lame attempt at injecting a contemporary feel and they pale in comparison to the originals. As they chase Joey they kill many passers-by and blow stuff up.

Joey runs into a church and tells the priest about being chased by demons. The priest tells her that demons aren’t real, that they are just a metaphor. That’s when Pinhead makes his entrance, blowing off the doors again. He makes his way to the altar and the priest tries to ward him with a cross. Pinhead chides him for worshipping a graven image and melts the cross in the man’s hand. Even more show-boating follows with a drawn out scene of Pinhead removing spikes from his head, piercing his hands and doing a Jesus impression. He follows this by removing a piece of flesh from his abdomen and forcing it into the priest’s mouth in a crude parody of the communion. Just to show how pointless this whole scene is it comes to an end when Joey uses the puzzle box on Pinhead and escapes which she could have done as soon as he appeared. The scene didn’t further the plot and seemed to be included for cheap shock value.

Joey gets to a building site so at least that will minimise collateral damage. There are two more cenobites waiting there, Terri and J.P. These two are better than the other ones and are more interested in causing pain than major property damage. The other cenobites arrive and Pinhead gloats but then Joey solves the puzzle box and it sends all the cenobites to hell, which is bit of an anti-climax

But it’s all a trick as Joey finds herself in her dream of her father who is no longer dying. He says that he’s a reward to Joey for defeating Pinhead and he asks for the cube which she hands over. Of course her father turns out to really be Pinhead who grins as he takes his true shape then laughs at his victory. The scene changes abruptly to an empty wooden room and Elliott is there. This is the room where Elliott solved the puzzle and was taken to serve hell. It was apparently Elliot’s plan all along to get Pinhead into Joey’s dreams so Elliott can get him. Elliot rejoins with Pinhead but Pinhead is dominant and sets on his sights Joey but she manipulates the puzzle into a long sharp spike and stabs it into Pinhead’s heart causing him to be dragged in pieces into the puzzle spike.

I know that the different behaviour of Pinhead is explained in the film but it’s not a change that I like and the new cenobites were a pale shadow of the original ones. I don’t know if I would have been happier with this film if it was not a sequel to Hellraiser but it is and I can’t honestly rate it any other way. Even the musical score was sacrificed to the marketing dollar by featuring a heavy metal soundtrack, something that I usually enjoy but not this one. The original music does still appear especially towards the end but it does little to recreate the original’s tone. It is certainly watchable and more entertaining than many other horror films but as fan of the original I am disappointed

Rating 6.5/10

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Hellraiser – Revelations

The New Pinhead

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

Rating 5/10

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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Review: Hellbound – Hellraiser II

Hellraiser was such a monumental film for me that I was worried about what the sequel would do, especially as it did not have Clive Barker in the directors chair but director Tony Randel does a reasonable job with this sequel Hellbound – Hellraiser II. This film is set in the immediate aftermath of the original and has most of the main cast return in the same parts. This results in film that really does seem like a natural widening out of the story of the original and it is fairly successful.

In the opening we see a montage of Doug Bradley as  British army officer Captain Elliot solving the familiar puzzle box then being transformed by Cenobites into PInhead and taking his place bedside them. This clearly hints at the desire of the production company to create an iconic character on which they may be able to hang a series of sequels and for better or worse it worked.

Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) is in the Channard institute, a psychiatric hospital, being interviewed by a homicide detective about the events in her father’s house. This gives us a recap of the original film and then it cuts to cops who are at the scene and are uncovering horror after horror. When they come to the blood-soaked mattress that Julia died on an they relay this back to the detective interviewing Kirsty and she hears it and tells they must destroy the mattress. The young doctor present Kyle MacRae (William Hope) while the dectective leaves  The detective thinks she’s still crazy with shock and grief and doesn’t really pay attention to what she said but Dr Channard (Kenneth Cranham) was listening with interest. When the detective leaves Kirsty’s room he asks if he can have the mattress.

After Kirsty has calmed down Kyle takes her around the Institute, introducing her to another patient, Tiffany who doesn’t talk at all but loves sitting solving puzzles. The staff doesn’t actually know the girl’s name so it was them that named her Tiffany. It is significant that she is puzzle-solving savant and I’m surprised they didn’t have Kirsty be a bit freaked out by this. Later in her room Kyle gives Kirsty some sleeping pills. Kirsty wakes up in the night and sees a skinless figure writing in blood on the wall asking for help and she is sure it is her father. When Kyle points out that her father is dead she says that she knows that but he still needs help.

Channard goes to lower level of the Institute where they keep the Hammer Films lunatic asylum set and of course he has to look in each cell so we get different over-the-top displays of madness including the one who must be permanently stood right at the door ready to scream at the spyhole whenever it’s opened. He gets to the one he wants, a man in straitjacket screaming about bugs crawling all over him that only he can see. He has the men sent to his private quarters.

Channard talks to Kirsty about what she knows about the box and the Cenobites. Kirsty tells Channard about Julia bringing Frank back to life by killing men and feeding them to him, including her father. She tells him that the mattress was were Julia died after Frank killed her. Kirsty’s recall is amazingly detailed

Kyle had over heard Channard talking about having the mattress delivered to his house not the Institute. Kyle goes to Channard’s house and breaks in. He finds his office is a treasure trove of object related to the Cenobites, including notes and photograph of Captain Elliot. He also has a number of puzzle boxes and on the floor is a blood-stained mattress.

Kyle hears a noise outside the room and hides behind a curtain. Channard enters with the distressed guy with an insect delusion. He takes the strait jacket off and sits the man down on then mattress then gives him a cut-throat razor to take care of his insect problem. Right away the man starts hacking at his arms. His blood flows all over the mattress and red face appears. Julia (Claire Higgins) pulls herself out of the mattress and attack the man, draining him of blood. Kyle quietly escapes.

Julia is skinless and we get a few scenes of her,  first naked and dripping blood in Channard’s minimalist white sitting room, then she puts on a white suit, then finally Channard bandages her up like a mummy and she wears a dress and snogs Channard. She tells Channard that she needs skin. Channard takes her to room full of young women tied up and hanging from the ceiling. Once Julia has feasted on the women Channard removes her bandages and not only does she have her skin back she also has her make-up on and her hair has been given a blow-dry.

Kyle meanwhile has run back to the Institute to tell Kirsty what he’s seen, which confirms what Kirsty had been telling them all along. Kirsty wants to go to Channard’s house because she still wants to help her father but now she also want to send Julia back and she needs the puzzle box.

At Channard’s house Kirsty goes to Channard’s study leaving Kyle to look around the house. Kirsty finds all the journals and documents and is drawn the pages about Captain Elliot being changed into Pinhead. She pockets the photograph of Elliot. Upstairs Kyle is about to open the door where the bodies are hanging but Julia stops him, telling there is something terrible in there. Kyle doesn’t know that it’s Julia and when enters the room and sees the corpses he is too shocked to realise the danger he’s in. Julia kisses him and sucks the life out of him. Kirsty enters the room and is furious to see Julia back. Julia punches her and dares her to have a go but they are interrupted by Channard who has brought Tiffany along.

Channard and Julia hide behind a window and watch Tiffany working one of the puzzles. She solves it quickly and the walls crack open. The Cenobites enter and Butterball and Chatterer are ready to start on poor Tiffany but Pinhead stops them indicating the window and says it was Channard’s desire that opened the box using Tiffany’s hands

Julia and Channard slope off down one of the hell corridors that opened up, Kirsty also heads off down another way looking for her father and Tiffany heads of another way following a carnival sound which leads her to a hall of mirrors, each one showing her nightmares instead of reflections or herself

Kirsty meets her old friends the Cenobites who are very amused when she tries to use the puzzle box on them which can only banish them to hell and that’s where they already are. PInhead takes the puzzle and forms it into an elongated octahedral shape and tosses it away.

They all wander the corridors of hell seperately. Juila shows Channard some the sights of hells which turn out to be shockingly prosaic like the heaving bodies indulging in an orgy in one room. I have to be honest and say that it really does not match up to the Cenobites or hints of the place from the novel or the original film. This is slightly redeemed when Julia take Channard out to a ledge overlooking a labyrinth that stretches out to the horizon and looks a lot like the cover art from Blue Oyster Cult’s début album. Floating over the labyrinth is a giant elongated octahedron just like the shape Pinhead made the puzzle into. Julia introduces Channard to her god Leviathan. Shafts of black light shine out from it and as the black light finds Channard it reveals all his dark secrets and fears. A black box appears at the edge of the platform and Channard is forced into it. His head is pierced by a long tentacle and wires wrap tightly across his face. The box disappears and Julia leaves, her job done

Kirsty has found Tiffany and she gets no objection to the idea that they should stick together. That doesn’t last very long when they come to a replica of the Cotton House. Kirsty tells Tiffany to get out of the maze and get out of the hospital and she enters the house. Inside is not a replica but is instead a pretty cheesy hell chamber that has platforms with writhing female bodies under sheets that disappear when the sheets are removed. Uncle Frank is there and he grabs Kirsty glad to have real person instead of the phantom teases. It turns our that it was him who contacted Kirsty in the hospital, her father is not here.

Krsty pretends to go along with him but then Kirsty sets a sheet on fire and causes a conflagration that leaves Frank skinless again. Julia appears and Frank is happy to see her but that only lasts up until Julia rips his heart out for killing her.

Kirsty and Tiffany run away but they come to a tunnel with air blasting down it and Tiffany is in danger of getting blown away down the tunnel. Kirsty tries to reach her but Julia comes up the tunnel toward her and grabs the girl’s left hand. Kirsty grabs her right hand and pulls and as she pulls Tiffany out of Julia’s clutches Julia gets blown out of her skin and away down the tunnel.

The box with Channard rises up to the platform again and Channard has been transformed into a mad evil Cenobite with a line in medical puns and carried along by the tentacle on his head so it’s like he’s floating around the place.

Doug Bradley as Captain Elliott Spenser in Hel...

Tiffany and Kirsty try to find their way back to the hospital but they meet the Cenobites who are not really willing to listen to Kirsty’s excuses. Kirsty pulls out the photograph of Captain Elliot and gives it to Pinhead saying it proves they were once human and that they were not always here. This seems to confuse them. Channard enters and he wants the two girls but the Cenobites stand up to him. Channard kills them and they return to their human form but the struggle gives Tiffany and Kirsty the chance to escape.

Back at the hospital they discover that given out puzzle boxes to all his patients and they are all sitting solvin the puzzle boxes and the hospital is wide open to hell. Channard comes after Tiffany and Kirsty, casually slaughtering the other patients as he passes them.

Tiffany runs off back into hell with Kirsty following behind. She retrieves the original puzzle box, still in the octaherdal configuration She takes it to ledge over the labyrinth and starts working on solving it once more. Channard catches up with them. He smack Kirsty out of his way, focussed on getting to Tiffany.

Julia appears and approaches Channard wanting kiss him but this turn out to be a distraction and it gives Tiffany the seconds she need to solve the box. When she does the tentacle holding Channard by the head pulls the man apart and withdraws as hell starts to seal up again. Tiffany gets knocked off the ledge and is about to fall to her death but she is saved by Julia grabbing her hand. Then Julia’s skin starts to split and the arm skin falls off and is blasted apart as it enters the labyrinth. Julia peels off the skin of her face and it’s really Kirsty in Julia’s skin. Kirsty pulls Tiffany up and they run out of hell back to the hosiptal just before hell seals closed again.

The film finishes with a typical bit of sequel bait as the a workman clearing up the mess in Channard’s office is sucked into the mattress and killed and a column covered in living body part pokes up out of the mattress.

This not the film that watch I most often when in the mood for a Hellraiser film. Julia’s return does not match the visceral horror of Frank’s journey back to life and it all just seemed too easy, especially that big reveal scene with the perfect make up and hair when the bandages are removed. I also think hell is better hinted at than shown explicitly since it is impossible to create a place or of unimaginable suffering beyond human experience. I wasn”t too convinced by the heel face turn by the Cenobites when they sacrificed their lives to protect Tiffany and Kirsty from Channard. The Institute is pure horror film psychiatry at its cheesiest, especially that lower dungeon level. Despite these problems I still enjoy it a lot.

Rating 7/10

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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