Directed by Victor Garcia (Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007), Mirrors 2 (2010)).
Written by Gary J. Tunnicliffe (Megalodon (2002), Hansel & Gretel (2002)).
Starring: Tracey Fairaway, Jay Gillespie, Sebastien Roberts, Sanny Van Heteren, Steven Brand, Nick Eversman, Stephan Smith Collins and others.
This movie has received roaringly negative reviews, mostly due to Clive Barker bashing the movie on Twitter (for a good reason, but not having seen it), Doug Bradley not returning as Pinhead and the low production values. But beyond this, I personally didn’t find it that bad.
It opens with two guys filming themselves driving in a car. And I instantly thought “Oh, god, this is going to be a found footage movie”, but it isn’t. It shows that their car is stolen (which has no real effect on the plot) and then we see them opening the box and Pinhead appears. Then it turns out the mother of one of the guys is watching this on a video camera.
The parents of the other guy come over and it turns out they like to hang out together after their sons have been missing for a year and have a casual dinner. There’s also this chick that is the sister of one and girlfriend of the other guy and she goes to her brother’s room and watches some stuff on the camera. We then get to suffer through a jagged and pointless narrative when we constantly change back from standard to the handheld camera footage.
The boyfriend guy bangs another chick and then somehow kills her, while the other passes out. It’s very confusing, since we get a reaction shot from the sister after the killing part, which wasn’t filmed. Thank god, that’s the end of the videotaped shit, at least we don’t have to see it. The sister finds the puzzle box and starts playing around with it as her brother suddenly appears and everyone is mildly surprised by this. This is a running gag, as a character gets shotgunned in the stomach, but stays alive throughout the rest of the film, looking only mildly displeased with the turn of events.
We also get random flashes of Pinhead doing various hell-like things, like posing by some chains. He also is making another pinhead cenobite and stuff like that. The new Pinhead is kind of silly. I thought that after the first two movies, they were starting to light Pinhead too brightly and he lost his menace. Well this time we’re back with a Pinhead, who not only lacks the gravitas of Doug Bradley, but also looks sort of chubby for some reason. Is it really so hard to make a guy with pins in his head look scary?
The most pleasant surprise for me was the return of skinless make-up, it doesn’t look as good as in Hellraiser II, but still, it’s pretty bad-ass. And this actually signifies the return to the roots of Hellraiser, it has lack of skin, it has these darkly perverted hidden desire elements, it has some incestuous tones, all the good stuff. It feels a lot more like a Hellraiser film, than the previous, at least, four, probably mostly due to an original Hellraiser script and not a rewritten unrelated one.
So considering the film being rushed by the studio, because of copyright issues and having a very low-budget, I didn’t find it disappointing. The bad response to this film surprises me, since I would imagine fans recognizing it being closer to the original Hellraiser ideas, than those Rick Bota directed ones, which if they were children, wouldn’t be accepted in the orphanage for quadruple amputees.
Overall, a bad movie, but not one of the worst of the series. For a 300,000$ budget and three-week production, it has relatively impressive special effects and a decent twist. Not recommended, unless you’re a Hellraiser fan, who hated the previous three installments.