Perhaps word of the new Hellraiser movie evoked both pleasure and discomfort. This is the style of Cenobites, the other type of people who prey on desire and do not distinguish between pain and pleasure. But I know I only felt happy watching Hellraiser (2022).
After 10 full-length feature films, Hellraiser – like so many movie series that went on to get sequels – is just too cumbersome and full of lore. He needed what I’ll refer to as the Halloween 18 treat. That’s because David Gordon’s 2018 Halloween movie was the perfect way to revive the Michael Myers franchise, and dispense with whatever was on it, leading to a clean slate of clutter.
Now, Hellraiser (2022) brings the Cenobites, led by a new Pinhead (Jamie Clayton), and the mysterious and insidious mystery box (known as the Lemarchand’s Box), to the present day. Here, new humans will be manipulated, as Cenobites manipulate our desires.
Should you watch the new Hellraiser? Will fans of OG Hellraiser be disappointed with this revamp or find it a cause for celebration? Keep reading this Hellraiser (2022) review to find out.
This is a spoiler-free review, so don’t watch out!
- Hellraiser (2022) on Hulu, which begins in $6.99 per month (Opens in a new tab)
Hellraiser (2022) review: What works
The best part of Hellraiser (2022) will be its most controversial characteristics. By eliminating confusing-worthy sequels and offering a much simpler storyline than the original, this new Hellraiser feels more cohesive. The Puzzle Chest, with all its hidden weapons, is still an alluring and deceptive tool, and the humans trying to play with each other to use it, are still more elusive than ever.
Odessa A’zion is pretty compelling on the spot as Riley, the last girl who was already fighting her battle against drug abuse with pills. The whole premise and situation with the Cenobites and Lemarchand’s Box is so weird that the movie capitalizes on her confusion about it all.
Likewise, A’zion works with a good support team, or at least a group that does their roles well. Colin (Adam Faison) is the helpful friend, one who knows when to be human but also when the situation requires a big cry.
Nora (Aoife Hinds) doesn’t have much to do, but Hinds’ natural birth in supernatural moments is commendable. Riley’s boyfriend, Trevor (Drew Starkey), whom she met while in rehab, frantically lines up “We Have to Leave” well enough. very
And while the heroine, Cenobite – who we know as Pinhead (Jamie Clayton) – is fortunately not over-appearing in the film, Clayton makes most of her moments, with her understated and scary performances. Perhaps you think that she and her people are not pure evil. I should point out that her character is called the Priest in the credits, so the movie eschews the Pinhead name used in Hellraiser II and goes for something similar to the name The Hell Priest from Barker’s The Scarlet Gospels book.
Hellraiser review (2022): What isn’t working
Watch Hellraiser (2022) right after watching the original, as I did, and you’ll clearly see that the team behind it had a goal: to take a brilliant idea, unruly and sadistic, and put it into a movie format that’s less complex than my original. Depending on your point of view, this is likely a great thing or a bad move.
I’m somewhere in between these polar reactions. My gut says Hellraiser (2022) gets what it needs to do, but with some of its uniqueness lost. I don’t have a strong affinity for the original, but I can see how fans think this new model has been watered down.
This reboot is nothing like an intense Claire Higgins performance as Julia Cotton, who was driven by lust for her estranged brother-in-law Frank (who just so happens to be a diabolical part of his old self). Those moments when Frank’s body was reassembled? It went from that version, with the strange lust of this original movie.
Outlook: Should you watch Hellraiser (2022)?
Fans of the original Hellraiser will probably have an itch to see how their classics have been updated. If they want something totally weird and not just diabolical, I’m not sure their desires will be satisfied. I hope no one will give them a puzzle box with the promise of “rebooting Hellraiser to their desires”.
Those who aren’t tightly committed to the original methods – or jump straight into this reboot – will likely have an easier time with Hellraiser. As I noted in this Hellraiser (2022) review, it’s a fun, violent horror movie that will keep you entertained.