Monday, April 4, 2016

Movie review: Hellraiser

Clive Barker’s directorial debut which started it all. When the Cotton’s move into an old house they apparently inherited they find a hideous creature which also happens to be Larry’s brother Frank, who is also Julia’s ex-lover. Having had his body taken by the Cenobite’s, Frank is brought back to life by some spilled blood. But he will need more, a lot more, to complete the rebuilding of his body. And even then, the Cenobite’s may not let him keep it for long.

Andrew Robinson (Larry Cotton), Clare Higgins (Julia Cotton), Ashley Laurence (Kirsty Cotton), Sean Chapman (Frank Cotton), Doug Bradley (Pinhead), Nicholas Vince (Chatterer), Simon Barnford (Butterball), Grace Kirby (Female Cenobite).

I love the Hellraiser franchise and this movie is the reason. The first time I saw it I divided my time between saying Oh Wow and fantasizing about Ashley Laurence. The first 15 minutes of the film may be a bit slow but things get very interesting after that. And it isn’t until about an hour in that we get to meet the man that we will love to fear and hate through the rest of the series, Pinhead. After that this is an edge of the seat nail-biter. Incidentally I'd love to have a replica LeMarchand Configuration puzzle box if anyone feels so inclined!

To be fair, acting is a bit dry in this one for me. But the film makes up for it with a plot that has some nice twists and originality, some good special effects, and alien alternate dimension monster people that give a great case of the chills. Add some excellent blood and gore effects, some warped torture and violence, and you are off and running on a great horror ride.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds are looking a bit dated at this point but they in no way detract from the film. Special effects are wonderfully fun with Pinhead and his elaborate costuming, and Frank with his ever changing appearance and lack of skin. Dialogue is pretty good and helps smooth over some bumps. Sound and soundtrack are good.

If you have never seen this, be sure to see it before seeing the rest of the series. If you have never seen it and like horror flicks, put this toward the top of your Must See list and prepare yourself for a treat.

Obviously this one is really only okay for older teens and above.

Released: 1987
Reviewed: 3.28.16
Star rating: 5 out of 5
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi Horror, Supernatural Horror, Cult Horror, Fantasy

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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