Review of Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)

15 Jun

Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002) is a straight-to-video thriller/mystery/horror film and the sixth film in the Hellraiser film franchise.

Directed by Rick Bota (Hellraiser: Deader (2005), Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)).

Written by Carl V. Dupre (Detroit Rock City (1999), The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000)) and Tim Day (Hellraiser: Deader (2005), Roulette (2003 Short)).

Starring: Dean Winters, Ashley Laurence, Doug Bradley, Trevor White, Rachel Hayward, Michael Rogers and others.

The movie starts and we see that Ashley Laurence is back, that’s great, Hellraiser was at its best with her. She is in a car with her husband and they crash into the water. Why? Because they start kissing while driving a car, that’s not an accident, that’s suicide. Laurence drowns.

You start thinking „Oh, it’s a dream, no way they would just use her for five minutes and then her character dies. Right?” Wrong. During the whole movie she appears for like 10 minutes total.

After the crash, the husband wakes up in the hospital, gets sedated, wakes up during a brain surgery and then wakes up again, so the brain surgery was a dream. Or was it? It’s less than 10 minutes into the movie and I’m already confused, a great sign.

What is cool about the movie, is that it looks like it’s shot in the early 90’s and except for the scenes in the office, where the guy works, there’s not much that would make it seem like it’s not. Ok, there’s a CG eel that crawls out of the guy’s mouth at one point, but the CG is bad enough to not disrupt the 90’s feel.

Then this guy starts getting hallucinations every couple of minutes, so if anything weird happens, I instantly doubt if that’s real. And as the movie goes on it gets even more fucking confusing. 30 minutes into the movie, the guy just wakes up at work and I’m not sure if I’m just thrown back to the last time I saw him at work, like 15 minutes ago.  Did I just spend 15 minutes watching him dreaming?

You gradually understand that our hero is a cheating bastard and, as we know, in Hellraiser movies these don’t have the best of fates. Even more, the guy is just this total asshole and the only reason you sympathise with him, is that you’re forced to, since everyone around him are even bigger assholes.

Seriously, the movie is so fractured that when at one point the guy wakes up from a hallucination that turns into a dream, from which he wakes up to have another hallucination, I just gave up and stopped caring. How am I supposed to feel any suspense when I know that the movie spends a minute in reality and then it sinks into five minutes of some nightmare jumpscare world.  All the scene transitions are him waking up.

However, for an unrelated script, just like Inferno, this does play on the pleasure/lust/whatever else aspect of the series and the tone is even more similar to Inferno than the previous ones, but it’s still ridiculously hard to watch. It’s a psychological thriller both for the main character and the viewer trying to make sense of this mess.

Pinhead and some cenobites do appear briefly, but they’re both unimpressive and unimportant. Just thrown in there. Ashley Laurence appears again at the end in a plot twist, that isn’t awful, but I just didn’t care at that point.

Overall, visually decent, but terribly annoying to watch. It’s torture on your brain that is used to more or less cohesive films. It’s a stupid movie, not recommended.

Pictured: The influence of Hentai on Hollywood(‘s straight-to-video section).

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