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It's the Booze Talkin: The future of Hellraiser can be on the small screen!

01.19.2018by: JimmyO

Aside from the typical theatrical experience, there was a time when you’d find a cool looking VHS box, you'd rent it, and you were likely disappointed by what you just watched. However, today we are seeing a surprisingly impressive list of titles that go straight to the small screen. This includes the decent - but not great - Leatherface, and the little doll that kills sequel, Cult of Chucky. VOD has found a way to bring familiar horror icons to fans in the comfort of their own home with a little more quality than what we used to see. Yet that is not the only way to revisit an icon. As good as some of the choices are now with VOD, there is something that we've been seeing a whole lot of when it comes to bringing back the classics. I think you are all aware of Ash vs Evil Dead, Bates Motel and the small screen take on The Exorcist. Horror has found a new home and it's not at a theatre near you.

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The original HELLRAISER was a nightmare come true for horror fans. It shocked and frightened moviegoers in the best of ways. While it didn't make a ton of box office bucks, it thrilled people enough to warrant a part two. Thankfully, HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II managed to create a decent argument that a sequel can be nearly as good, if not better. The continued adventures of the Cenobites and Kirsty Cotton added a freakish new villain to play along with Pinhead, as well as a few excruciatingly horrific images - and yes that is a compliment. The first two films had it right. Perhaps much of that is because the creator of this nightmarish story was heavily involved. Clive Barker didn’t write and direct the sequel - only the first - but it was clear that his vision was being honored.

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For this fan, HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH didn’t live up to what it could have been - although Barker was an executive producer here and for the next sequel BLOODLINE. In fact, as they continued to turn out sequel after sequel, the story became less than thrilling. Yes, you could find hideous images galore in everything from HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE to HELLWORLD, but they all just felt like cheap knock offs that lacked any of the heart and soul of the first two. Even with Doug Bradley still playing Pinhead, the campy nature of the series never came close to what made the original so damn creepy. Certainly there was a ton of gore and perhaps a little camp the first couple of times, but they took the sordid material seriously enough and it was more frightening because of it. Every damn time Julia brought home a man to seduce only to be sacrificed to Frank, it had me anticipating just how demented the shite was going to be when it hit the fan. I want a return to that.

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Over the past decade, give or take, television has become something truly special. You can take a concept and break it down into a 6 - 10 episodic journey and leave little fat. Recently we've seen a number of familiar faces in horror take this and run with it. Greg McLean brought us back to Wolf Creek for the terrific series based on the movies featuring the anti-Crocodile Dundee, Mick Taylor. The Exorcist proved that you can take that familiar story to brand new places. And of course, Ash vs. Evil Dead successfully parlayed the original Sam Raimi flicks into something that is just as exciting and still inventively gruesome. In many ways, this new take on familar genre icons has proven to be yet another way horror fans can get their fix of their favorite features. Ash works as a sequel to the movies, and it has given fans a ton of new characters to root for besides Mr. Bruce Campbell's kick ass anti-hero. Some might say it has improved the franchise by expanding its wild world.

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So how do we return to the macabre magic of Barker's "The Hellbound Heart" without reverting to tired sequels? Obviously I loved the first two HELLRAISER films, but most everything that came after was either terribly inconsistent or just plain boring. You have a bunch of sequels that forgot what made this work. You had cheap production values, questionable acting and silly story lines. What if we took HELLRAISER to the beginning? Bring back the mystery of the puzzle box, and like Ash vs. Evil Dead, give the Cenobites a brand new place to play. There are a number of directions you could go, but I'd love to see the return of Ashley Lawrence as Kirsty. In fact, I'd love to go back to where we left off after HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II. Bringing Clive Barker's vision to Starz, or another channel that would allow the gorific artistry to shine, we could have something quite brilliant. Bring Hellraiser to TV!

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Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but the future of Hellraiser should be on the small screen. Bring back the believable and small scale story, and let characters like Julia, Frank and Kirsty return. And what would be even more satisfying!? Just like John Carpenter and his involvement with the upcoming HALLOWEEN sequel, bring Clive Barker back in some form. And most importantly, give HELLRAISER the respect and attention it deserves. You could easily accomplish this by creating a series that embraces all that made the first two films so memorable. While I'd love to see people like Ashley Lawrence and Doug Bradley return, it would also be exciting to see a return to true horror and not just gross out blood and guts. Frankly, I am legitimately looking forward to seeing what Hellraiser: Judgment will bring to the table, but still, this hellish vision could benefit greatly from a serious reboot - and not at the movies!

Extra Tidbit: What do you think the future of Hellraiser should be?
Source: AITH

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