Another horror franchise reboot? Sure. Why not.
This time Hulu and David Bruckner bring more gore and gloss to Clive Barker’s 1987 cult classic, Hellraiser.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Hellraiser, the protagonist — in this case, a recovering addict, Riley (Odessa A’zion) — comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon a group of sadistic beings called the Cenobites. And that’s when the bloodbath begins.
To be candid, I was never a huge fan of the Hellraiser franchise. The sub genre of torture porn is not really for me.
However, when it comes to horror, I believe that this genre tends to push the limits when it comes to refreshing its stories, adding in layers of rich discourse and diverse characters.
And so, I gave Hellraiser a shot.
Although the overall Hellraiser experience hasn’t changed, the reboot is an improvement from its other installments but Hulu’s Hellraiser did not enhance its storytelling.
I am sure fans will be excited by the gratuitous amounts of gore and superb visual updates. The Cenobites, as well as Jamie Clayton’s Pinhead (the iconic leader who is featured in this review’s hero image) are terrifying. I applaud Clayton for taking this icon to new heights, becoming the most compelling character of the film (and outdoing Doug Bradley’s original version).
However, the most painful element of the film is the screenplay. It’s predictable, overlong, and at times, cringeworthy. I do think Bruckner’s reboot does a solid job of reintroducing the lore to a new audience, however, the rest of the Hellraiser revival is just passable.
Hellraiser is an average watch if you need something new for a spooky movie night-in, but otherwise, this won’t haunt your dreams for too long.