Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)

hellraiser-hellworld-pinhead

Reading the synopsis for Hellraiser: Hellworld I was excitedly hoping for the franchise’s own version of Tron. Sadly, Tron this is not. It’s not even Tron: Legacy. The videogame thing is merely a set-up to get a bunch of thankless young actors (not entirely true, Henry Cavill is there too) in a weird Eyes Wide Shut style house of shagging but with a miniscule budget and bad club music. By this point the Hellraiser series has settled into a format not too dissimilar from Freddy’s Nightmares (remember that show?) where Pinhead and his diminishing gang of cenobites are little more than overseers to an otherwise unrelated plot. The connection to the other movies and franchise at large is arbitrary and pointless, adding absolutely nothing to the continuing mythos and gaining nothing by including it, except of course some brand recognition in the title.

You do have Lance Henrikson though, for some reason, meaning that there’s something to puzzle over beyond the stupid fucking plot. In fairness, the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. Returning for his third consecutive entry in the series, director Rick Bota knows where he’s coming from and tries to ensure things don’t tip into self-importance. He lets the actors ham it up when necessary, lets the tone bend all out of shape to keep things a little interesting. It’s not his fault. At this point the filmmakers just flat-out stopped committing to the core values of the franchise and left any semblance to Clive Barker’s sensibility in the dirt. It’s no surprise that Doug Bradley hung up the pins after this one. I think I’m going to have to stick with my fellow countryman and ditch Revelations, making this the final entry in my Hellraiser deep dive. This isn’t quite the worst of the franchise, but I’ve got as close to the bottom as I’m willing to go.

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