Back then, Netflix was all by mail. Also I have no memory of any of the movies after the first one. Maybe there was one in space with a mirror box? Time for a rewatching.
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
I get on theme kicks with Netflix. Recently I’ve added all the “Hellraiser” series to watch after the family goes to bed. The first one is a classic horror movie. Clive Barker created characters and monsters and a story that just stay with you.
If you’ve never seen it, Hellraiser is based around a little puzzle box that opens the gates of hell to the person who solves the puzzle. Demons – disfigured and tortured humans, come for you and “tear your soul apart!!” Usually with sharp hooks on the end of chains that sprout from the darkness beyond.
In the first movie. a few drops of blood on the floor re-animate a body devoured by these demons. His lover lures men and bashes their brains in so the zombie thing can eat them to regain his flesh … supposedly to finish escaping hell once and for all. Lots of gore, good creature effects and, of course, Doug Bradley as the “Pinhead” demon who becomes iconic of the series. (non affiliate link)
The second and third pretty closely follow the first, but suck. #4 took the story line into the future and past at the same time, trying to explain and end the story and failing in both tasks.
Episode 5 gets interesting again. It follows a bad cop’s nightmare life, which turns out to be his own personal hell because he opened the box and is now totally screwed. This one is much more of a character film than just gore and screwed-up sidekick monsters. Actual actors and a story made for an enjoyable night of psychological horror, rather than gore and screaming.
Episode 6 was even better. Good actors again, a story that twist and turns, jumps and screams and reveals the ending (which we kinda figured knowing the history of these films). Here’s a hint… the hero isn’t really good and gets what he asked for.
VII kicked much ass. More gore (and a little old-school nudity) and still phsyco-thriller. We get glimpses into the heroine’s dark past, and she manages to foil the plot of two different bad guys. But it still sucks to be her.
There’s still one more episode to go, but I thought I’d kick this review out while I was thinking about it. One of the features showed an interview with Doug Bradley (The guy under the pins) and he said something like “you find a formula for movies like this that work. Then you repeat it again and again and again and again.” Then he says that they managed not to do that. if you subtract episodes 2 and 3, He’s right. The “pinhead” character plays a minor role in each of the films. Much less than your “typical” horror-movie-monster. Pretty much pinhead comes in flashes to spook you, then shows up at the end to let someone know the show’s over. Your in hell now. The story’s have been pretty varied and kept me interested. Although saying “I was watching Hellraiser 7 before coming in to work” does raise eyebrows, I’m enjoying the trip through the box and looking forward to the next one.
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