Tuesday 16 January 2018


Hellraiser Revelations

Despite being a huge Hellraiser fan, I've put off watching this movie for a long time. I've heard nothing positive about this movie whatsoever, with the general consensus amongst fans that this is the worst addition to the franchise. Having really disliked the previous four movies, I felt that my time was too valuable to watch this, and it'd be better spent doing pretty much anything else. However, with the hype of a new Hellraiser movie due in 2018, and my relentless will for the franchise to return to former glories, I decided to rip off the plaster and give Revelations a watch.

The movie starts off with some found footage of two guys who go off to Mexico to drink themselves into a stupor and attempt to shag as many girls as possible. One of them ends up having sex with a prostitute, in the bar toilets no less, and somehow kills her, apparently by accident. Both guys go missing and their belongings, including the camera with the footage, are returned to their respective families. Fast forward to the present day where both families are having a meal together. One of the mothers has been watching the video footage in private, and won't let anyone else see it, causing some tension. Out of the blue, one of the lads shows up at the house after being missing for a year, and that's when things start to get complicated. I'll leave it there to avoid spoilers for those who haven't seen the movie yet.

What I have to give props to Revelations for, is that it was written for the Hellraiser franchise. The 'straight to DVD' movies (V-VIII) were all based on stories that originally had nothing to do with Hellraiser. They only saw the light of day because they were shoddily re-written to become Hellraiser films by shamelessly squeezing in both the puzzle box and Pinhead into the story, so they could stick a Hellraiser logo on the front of the DVD to make a few quid out of the fools like me who will still watch them. I hate those fucking movies. They have nothing to do with the Hellraiser world, and the people behind them clearly didn't understand the franchise, or even care about it one iota. So, for me, having a new Hellraiser script written as an actual Hellraiser movie was a positive step forward.

So, here comes the controversial sentence that will shock many fans: I quite enjoyed Hellraiser: Revelations, and thought that it was the best one since Hellraiser: Bloodline (IV). That's not saying much though. It was still nowhere nearly as good as any of the first four movies. The script was written as though it was trying to please the fans by borrowing certain concepts from the originals, but did not have enough of it's own concepts to make it special. It wasn't bad though, and as the film was only 75 minutes long, I didn't get bored.

Revelations also marks the first time Pinhead has been played by someone other than the legend that is Doug Bradley. Considering the pieces of shit movies he's played Pinhead in before, for him to have turned this one down must have been a massive slap in the face for the producers. This time Pinhead is played by Stephan Smith Collins, but is voiced by Fred Tatasciore. Naturally, this was one of the reasons that fans poured scorn on the movie. Stephan has a very different look to Doug, and in my opinion, this was bad casting, as Pinhead simply doesn't look like the Pinhead we know and love. Choosing an actor who looked a bit like Doug did twenty years ago would have been a smarter move, but given the circumstances surrounding the movie's tight schedule, they probably went with whichever actor was available at the time.

The biggest problem with the film was that it was shot on a very low budget and was rushed. The whole thing was filmed in just three weeks. It exists only so that Dimension Films wouldn't lose the rights to the franchise, so they did the bare minimum. Considering these factors, the parties involved clearly did the best they could with what they had, and what we're left with is a poor Hellraiser film, that could have been so much better if it had been given a reasonable budget. That's what stings the most. It could have been really good, but the studio didn't care enough to invest in it.


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