Hellraiser...By far one of the most unique and original horror movies ever.Simply put there is nothing like it and there will probably never be anything like it again.No need to go completely over the story,cause if any so-called horror fan hasn't seen this,then shame on them.But I will offer some of my thoughts on this masterpiece from Clive Barker.
I know that certain younger and not so knowledgeable horror fans think Hellraiser and right away think that Pinhead was the main part of the story.What they don't know is that when Barker and company created this they somehow never foresaw how the "lead cenobite" would become so talked about and so popular.One of the reasons the lead Cenobite ie Pinhead worked so well in the first 2 is because he doesn't command much screen time to be effective and memorable.His unique look and few words of wisdom are classic and that voice remains engraved in your brain long after viewing.But what really made Hellraiser such a good movie was that is was basically a family drama with love,lust,betrayal and murder along with elements of the supernatural.You had the wicked and cold hearted Julia who is so unhappy in her marriage that she'll literally do anything to get out of it,you have Larry,the obedient,clueless husband and then of course Frank,the selfish brother whom with Julia has had an affair with and fallen for.And of course Kirsty,Larry's loving daughter who knows something isn't right with Julia.And of course we have demons,puzzle boxes,monsters and chains!
The real villains in this are of course Julia and Frank.Julia is so immensely unhappy in her marriage that she clings to the memories of her affair with Frank and at one point even ignores Kirsty so she could remember without being interrupted.And the ultimate sacrifice ends up when she agrees to "feed" Frank victims, basically by whacking guys who think they have a chance with her after meeting her somewhere over the head with a hammer,all so Frank can become whole again.That's some messed up shit right there and those scenes to me are the most disturbed ones in the film.The two of them are just so damn evil and definitely more evil then the cenobites.
Ahh the cenobites,they come for you when you open the box and like Pinhead says "Demons to some,angels to others".The unique look of these cenobites is just another amazing part of this film.Butterball,Chatterer,the female cenobite(who I think was never named)and of course Pinhead all are horrifically magnificent.The thing that really stands out from other horror movies,most notably ANOES,Halloween and F13 is these cenobites aren't going to hunt you down unless you open the box and they aren't really even that evil,their goal is to give people new looks and experiences of pleasure and pain.Basically a can worms,if you open it,you gotta deal with it.
The score of this film is done brilliantly by Christopher Young.So many standouts in this film but this might be the main ingredient that makes so many scenes effective.The best use of this is the scene where Frank comes up from the floorboard,it's actually a waltz.
The gore in this film is another standout star.Hook's and chains tearing your flesh slowing apart is quite disturbing to watch.Imagine a hook going into your skin,pretty painful,now imagine that hook slowly pulling and tearing apart your flesh...ouch.One of the final scenes which features a person getting torn apart completely by these hooks is so well done and looks so realistic you can only shake your head in amazement.
Hellraiser when all said and done is a battle between Kirsty,Julia and her Uncle,the cenobites are merely there to enhance this family tragedy.
The Picture:Once again,like ANOES,this is the best Hellraiser has ever looked.The picture overall is much sharper and the detail is amazing.Just look at all the bloody body parts hanging on the chains to see what I mean.There also isn't a lot of grain in the darker scenes and speaking of the darker scenes,the blacks and dark blues of this film seem much deeper as well.
Audio Commentary-With Clive Barker,Ashely Laurence and Peter Atkins
Actress From Hell – An Interview with Ashley Laurence
Hellcomposer – An Interview with Composer Christopher Young
Hellraiser: Resurrection-Clive Barker describes what went into making this story
Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on 'Hellraiser' -Doug Bradley describes and talks about his memorable Pinhead character
Trailers and TV Spots -self explanatory
The Blu-ray 9/10
A must have