Hellraiser was one of the only movies my father forbid me from watching. I mean I grew up on Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street so when this movie came out my friends and I had to get it on weekend. My father insisted that he see it before we did because he’s also a huge horror movie buff. He took it back that evening to prevent us from getting to see it and told us that it’s not a movie we should be watching. Fastforward a few years later and I checked it out finally.
A woman and her husband move to his old family home where she meets the undead version of her brother-in-law, Frank, whom she’d had sex with behind her husbands back. He relays his story of debauchery and selfishness that nets him a small wooden puzzle box that would lead to “untold pleasure”. After solving the box, he finds that the untold pleasure is in fact a sadomasochistic version of Hell full of chains, hooks and some of the most sick and twisted shit anyone could imagine (I think I know someone who’s into this sort of thing too). When Frank escapes the Cenobites, he enlists the help of Julia to bring him people and kill them for him so he can absorb their blood and flesh to get a second chance at life.
Stephen King is quotes as saying “”I have seen the future of the horror genre, and his name is Clive Barker.” While I agree that Barker is pretty ingenious at times, I think Mr.King was wrong. Sure Barker has done some good things but most of it is garbage – This was the crown jewel in his career in my opinion. In a decade of horror movies, this movie went places nobody else would or could (at least in the form of a major release). He set the bar for sick and twisted that every current ‘Shock Horror” movie now uses today. The Cenobite designs are awesome and scream S&M dungeon hell which is exactly what he was going for. The gore was awesome though not necessarily cheesy. The characters come off a little flat though not necessarily due to poor acting in all cases. Even in it’s age, the movie still shows well. A must see for any horror fan.