BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003549Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Hellraiser (20th AE)
DVD disk
Nov 26, 2007 By: Quigles
Hellraiser (20th AE) order
Director:
Clive Barker

Actors:
Andrew Robinson
Clare Higgins
Ashley Laurence

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An adulterous wife discovers her former lover born anew, chased by demons after unlocking a box that's capable of transporting people to their hellish world.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
According to a group of fans I chatted with concerning the HELLRAISER series, the first film is the only one with any sort of a decent storyline. Now having finally seen it, I'm scared to think just how bad the sequel's stories must be for them to have said that this was the only good one.

In terms of gore, special effects, and twisted imagery, HELLRAISER is a horror lover's wet dream. The atmosphere is so morose and the visuals so macabre, you can't help but feel like needing to take a shower while watching it. Truly, it's impossible find horror movies as f*cked up as HELLRAISER anymore. For these reasons, I love it.

Everything else, on the other hand, simply left me bored. The film focuses much more on the family's story than anything involving the creepy, otherworldly Cenobites, and it's all just so time consuming. The whole subplot with the stepmother killing people to help heal Uncle Frank felt like a mix of horror and a really bad soap operaŚmaybe not in the idea, but in the execution.

Gracefully, the third act eventually kicks into gear and has that not-so-normal "puzzle box" opening a dimensional door into sadomasochism, and that's when the fun really starts. By this point, some of the story elements don't really make sense, and also allow for a number of convenient and contrived plot developments (good thing the Cenobites are seemingly incapable of taking a box from a freaking girl, despite apparently being telekinetic), but none of that matters. Clive Barker's creations and horrific imagery are the only things you'll be focused on; they're weird, cool, and disturbing, all at the same time. Hell, if you're lucky, you might even forget they come hand-in-hand with such an unrelentingly dull and tedious story.
THE EXTRAS
There have been two previous DVD editions of HELLRAISER, neither of which contained much in the way of additional content. For any fan's money, this is the version to pick up if you don't yet own it already.

Audio Commentary (with writer/director Clive Barker and actress Ashley Laurence): Repeated from the last release, this is a candid

Mr. Cotton, I Presume? (16:12): An interview with actor Andrew Robinson (who plays the main male lead, Larry), as he discusses his involvement in the film and his career.

Actress from Hell (11:58): An interview with actress Ashley Laurence (who plays the young hottie Kirsty), talking about her work on the film, as well as her work as an artist. She sounds a little pretentious, but at least she's honest.

Under the Skin (12:31): Repeating from the previous DVD release, this is an interview with Doug Bradley, who plays Pinhead. Both informative and entertaining.

Hellcomposer (18:18): An interview with musical composer Christopher Young, who is fully deserving of his own piece due to the film's kickass score.

Hellraiser: Resurrection (24:23): Also repeating from the previous DVD release is this EPK making-of featurette that's loaded with interviews, including Clive Barker and more.

Also included are 3 different Theatrical Trailers, 4 TV Spots, and 4 Still Galleries.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I won't deny the impact this film has had on horror today, and I won't argue the creativity of Clive Barker's hellish world, but those two things in and of themselves do not make a good movie. Most importantly, you still need a solid underlying story and interesting characters, of which this film has neither (even though Kirsty did get me to start rooting for her by the end). It took me such a long time to finally see HELLRAISER, and now I'm left wondering what all the fuss is about.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!