Monday, May 8, 2017

Hellraiser (1987): Through the Eyes of Cat


Number Rolled: N/A
Movie Name/Year: Hellraiser (1987)
Tagline: We have such sights to show you.
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 94 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Cinemarque Entertainment BV, Film Futures, Rivdel Films
Producers: Mark Armstrong, Christopher Figg, Selwyn Roberts, David Saunders, Christopher Webster
Director: Clive Barker
Writer: Clive Barker
Actors: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman, Oliver Smith, Robert Hines, Doug Bradley, Nicholas Vince, Simon Bamford, Grace Kirby
Stunts: Jim Dowdall, Bill Weston

Blurb from Netflix:  After losing his earthly form to demons from another dimension, an undead man asks his ex-mistress for human sacrifices to rebuild his body.

Going into this movie, I knew I’d watched one of the Hellraiser series a long time ago. I was just thinking it was one of the sequels. It might have been the original, after all; as I found quite a bit of the movie very familiar. There were some specific scenes that had stayed with me, so unless they were explored in later iterations via flashback, this had to have been it. All the same, I’m not sorry that I watched it again. 

Clive Barker (Nightbreed, Candyman, Lord of Illusions) excels at the horrific and bizarre. I’ve had the pleasure of reading a handful of his books. This film was his directorial debut. He certainly held to that old adage for writers to ‘stick to what you know’ – the movie was based on his novella titled “The Hellbound Heart.” (It’s said that the book’s name was shot down as a title because it would evoke a romance, rather than the desired horror movie expectation.) There would have been no one better to bring that story to the screen.

This film is extremely high on the grisly gore factor, so it’s definitely not something for anyone squeamish to watch – but because of the nature of the special effects at the time, it likely isn’t quite as grotesque as modern horror bloodbaths can get. Still, it’s on the high end of gruesome. For the time period, these effects are rather spectacular. I think a little allowance has to be made by today’s audiences to take that into consideration.

Horror, for this movie comes in more than one form. There’s the violence and gore factor, yes; but there are also horrific choices that are character driven. I was left questioning the motivation of at least one of the characters – was it love, merely lust, or perhaps just a power trip? Perhaps that might even be answered in one of the sequels I’ve yet to watch. One of them is actually currently available on Netflix. It’s a bit older than the range we usually draw from for our list, but I’ll likely give it a whirl just because

All in all, this film has definitely earned its place as a horror classic, and I’d have no problem recommending exploring the puzzle of Pinhead and his grotesque Cenobites.

Writer/Director Clive Barker with the Cinobites
Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score  – 65%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 73%
Metascore - N/A
Metacritic User Score –N/A
IMDB Score – 7/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5

Original Trust the Dice Review by Selina can be found here.

Movie Trailer:

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