Hell Is Raised

So, I’d never seen Hellraiser or Hellraiser II.  Just never happened.

Well, I really, really dug it.  I appreciated it for relying on a great deal of gore, yet having the psychological aspects of the film serve just as important a role in delivering the scare or the creep factor.

One word to describe both films would be raw.  Raw in its sexuality.  Raw in the price people pay for indulgence.  And that’s a great evolution from the slasher genre which pits young teens doing what young teens do and then they get axed (or macheted or chainsawed or sleeping bagged against a tree).  In these Hellraiser flicks, the victims are people looking for a rush and who choose to LITERALLY dance with the devil to experience carnal fulfillment or power.  By opening the puzzle box they court a world that blurs the line between S&M pleasure and pain.  The effect, 20 some years later holds up.  Lots of blood.  People with no skin getting it on.  It most assuredly creates is own affect on the viewer.  About the only flaw from a production value perspective are the digital fx at time, which is highly forgivable.

My only real complaint about the film (and this is where Ryan Andrews schools me) is the role of Pinhead.  While I’d never seen these films before, I was aware of them.  And I kind of associated Pinhead to be on the level of Michael, Jason and Freddy.  So my only complaint is, he didn’t have enough screen time for me.  ( I get why, he’s the vehicle for the victims to provide their own undoing).  He’s a just a wicked cool looking character with a great voice who didn’t get on screen enough.  Kind of like Darth Maul.

So, check out these films.  Totally in.  I’ll check out III soon.

But next, I tackle the first three Nightmare movies.  Full disclosure – never a huge fan.  And, if people would take emotion out of the equation, I think people will find Jackie Earle Haley to be a creepier Freddy.  (I know, this is like saying Phantom Menace is you’re favorite Star Wars to fan boys.)


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