That’s Not my Pinhead!

Last night, I watched Hellraiser: Revelations. This is the 9th movie of the franchise, and since I’ve decided to watch the whole series again (this time from last to first), I watched it despite the 2 star rating it had on Netflix (to be honest, though, a two star rating never deters me from awesomely bad horror).

For anyone not famiiar with the Hellraiser movies, these flicks are fun for horror movie lovers but high on the gore factor. The first two were the best, and the original story was based on the work of Clive Barker. If you like horror and gore and all out weirdness, I suggest reading his work and watching the Hellraiser films.

HR: Revelations is a recycled take on the basic premise. Two teenagers go to Mexico for a good time. While there, they find the puzzle box, open it, and hijinks ensue. The one who opens it calls the Cenobites who promise a torture and pain so intense it borders on pleasure. The movie flips between different scenes and time frames. Some shots are found-footage shots from their camera. Some are scenes of the two families trying to avoid the subject and pretending like everything’s okay after they boys go missing. Other shots are regular scenes involving the boys in Mexico after they meet the Cenobites for the first time.

Several of the themes are familiar: Subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) sexuality comes into play with the pleasure/pain theme; the flayed character’s need for skin after the escape from hell and the ensuing killing spree that takes place; and the pull the puzzle box has on the darker side of a person’s curiosity. The movie is gory, butI felt that the first few movies did it more and did it better.

It wasn’t a great film, but what made it somewhat jarring to watch was the fact that Pinhead was played by a different actor. Doug Bradley has played the leader of the Cenobites for eight movies, but this time the character was played by Stephan Smith Collins. While his portrayal wasn’t bad (and his acting was better than the rest of the cast), he just didn’t have the same feel. I would have preferred they do away with the character of Pinhead altogether and introduce a new Cenobite leader. One can argue that a Hellraiser movie isn’t valid without Pinhead, but for me, Pinhead isn’t valid without Bradley.

I still gave the movie 3 stars on Netflix, but it’s not one I feel the need to watch again. Even though from time to time I’ll marathon all the movies, I’m not sure if this one is going to get another glance.

If anyone else out there has a take on this, let me hear it!

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