Hellraiser

Written and directed by Clive Barker

Released: 1987

This is Barker’s First Major work. He had previously done the shorts Salome and the Forbidden. With this film he really kicked down the door and let the world know he had arrived.

Hellraiser is based on the novel The Hellbound Heart.

The film starts With Julia and Larry moving into the house Larry had brought with his now disappeared brother Frank.

Whilst moving in Larry cut his hand on a protruding nail. The blood dripped on the floor. As it soaked into the floorboards it reanimated a creature below. The creature turned out to be the remains of Frank. Julia discovered Frank in the attic and agreed to help him return to his former form by supplying him with blood. She started to pick up strangers in bars and take them home to nourish Frank;  each kill put more flesh on to Frank’s skinless body.

Larry’s daughter arrived at the house whilst Frank was finishing of one of the victims, frightened by what she was seeing she picked up the closest thing she could find to throw at Frank to make her escape. Upon seeing how much Frank wanted the Gold box she now held in her hand she throws it out the window and runs.

Kirsty awakens in a hospital bed still in possession of the gold cube. As she runs her fingers over it electricity passes over its surface. As she continues to handle it, it opens and as it does an opening appears in the wall in her room. She goes through the opening and comes face to face with a strange demonic creature. She turns and runs back into the hospital room; she fumbles with the box again and closes the opening. This is when the Cenobites appear and the world is introduced to the iconic Pinhead (played by Doug Bradley) stating “you opened it, we came”. Wanting to escape she realises they had previously taken Frank in a similar way, she strikes a deal to return Frank to them for her freedom.

Kirsty rushes back to her father’s house and is confronted with her stepmother Julia and Frank now wearing Larry’s skin as the final act to make him human again. Kristy runs up to the attic with Frank in hot pursuit. In the attic Pinhead and the Cenobites are waiting. Frank realising Kirsty has set him up try’s to kill her but a flying hook on a chain flies though they are piecing Franks hand as more chained hooks do the same securing Frank in place ready  to return him to hell.

The effects in the film are very good even by today’s standards, let down only by the dodgy lightning/ energy strikes that signify the arrival of the Cenobites. The many stages of Frank’s resurrection are amazing you feel you’re really looking at a skinned person. The wardrobe and prosthetics used for the Cenobites and Pinhead are very good and visually pleasing and helped to inspire a number of the fetish attires of today. It is unfortunate that it takes over an hour of the film to see them and they are only in a few scenes. The tearing of Frank’s skin at the end of the film is also very pleasing.

The writing, direction and whole mood of the film is very good and takes you on a journey that you wouldn’t expect from the opening scenes. Doug Bradley does a very nice job of bringing Pinhead to life with his calm voice, that is not what you’d expect from looking at him and makes a refreshing change from the standardised gravely evil sounding voice you’ve come to expect from horror’s villains

This is a must see for any horror fan

“We will tear your soul apart”

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~ by shadowlord187 on August 26, 2010.

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