***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Hellraiser - 3 out of 5
When it comes to horror films, you have several options: You can have ones that are complete failures or you can have ones that are good--but even the good haves have sub-categories. When it comes to good (even mediocre) horror films, despite whatever sub-genre you want to put it into, there really are only two types of scary movies: Gory ones and spine-chillers. Gory ones usually lack any story that has substance and just puts a lot of blood and guts and killing into it and the spine chillers are more about scary the crap out of you through ambiance and playing off primal fears like the unknown and the dark. Hellraiser falls into the category of gory.
Even when I watched this film when I was a young man, I never found the movie to be particularly scary--it's just really gory and now that I'm older, the gore doesn't look that convincing (neither does the special effects but I try to keep in mind the movie had a very VERY small budget). The film centers around heavy themes of sadomasochism as the story follows a man who purchases a unique puzzle box (by the way, I have a replica of it!) that he uses to open the gates of hell and the man is subject to all sorts of torture by the iconic Pinhead and his other demon pals called "Cenobites." The man, Frank, actually finds this almost arousing as he later describes. After Frank's death, the woman he had an affair with enters the room he died in and, after an accident involving her husband, some blood hits the floor where Frank's body was torn apart by the Cenobites and he comes back to life, craving more blood to reform himself.
And then all hell starts to break loose.
The story is interesting enough but never is the film really frightening. Aside from giving us one of horror films' greatest icons, there really isn't much to this film. Just some leather-clad demons who have a thing for piercings and torture and some blood. But because this type of lifestyle appeals to some people (I'm not condemning or condoning here) the film became a cult hit and spring-boarded Clive Baker into the warm embrace of the horror film fanboys and ended up creating many sequels (all of which I will get through and review, by the way) and a new remake coming out in, you guessed it, 3D!
Okay, so the film doesn't scare me but Pinhead is freaking cool and the story is pretty original as far as horror films are concerned. And those facts alone are enough for me to give this one 3 out of 5.