In my last review, I mentioned that I only consider Halloween and Scream to be worthy horror franchises. Two things as a follow up. First, I looked at Hellraiser 2022 several times in the queue before finally firing it up to watch it. When Christine found out that’s what I was watching she said, “I don’t remember if I ever saw Hellraiser.” I have to admit that I’m not entirely sure myself. I might have watched it. Maybe I just absorbed the basic plot points from years of seeing clips on television and the internet.
Second, Christine finally admitted that she hated the new Halloween. Okay, that’s not entirely correct. She said it took her a week, but she decided that she didn’t like it. After a week myself, the thing that bothers me most is that Michael went from an unstoppable murder machine at the end of Kills to a murder hobo living in a sewer pipe without proper explanation. Otherwise, I’m okay with what I said last week.
The Decent: A Good Start
As an introduction to the Hellraiser universe, this movie fills that role nicely. I know that Hellraiser generally has a different vibe from other horror movies. It plays up the sadism much more than this movie does. However, we live in a different time now and I don’t think that many people are as enamored with watching sexual abuse play out on screen as maybe they were in the past. Sure, call me a melting snowflake who is woke (more on that in a bit), but I’m okay with the implication of the act without witnessing it firsthand. Besides, isn’t that supposed to make it scarier?
The Good: It’s Not Hellraiser from the Early 2000s
Again, having not watched the original Hellraiser (at least that I can remember), I never knew what I missed from the series. Like any of these franchises, though, it suffered some lean times towards the end of the initial popularity that got even leaner as they milked the cash cow for all it’s worth. So, I consider myself lucky that I came into the series during the trip back up to prominence.
The Great: Try Something New
Like Halloween Ends, this movie went in a different direction. Other than tone down the ultraviolence, a woman plays Pinhead in this iteration. Again, I’m sure some basement dwelling cave troll immediately went to some message board to scream about how Hellraiser is somehow now woke, but as usual I don’t see a problem here. I thought she brought a cool energy to the role and hope they do make more movies.
If they make another one, as tends to happen with these things, they will probably push the envelope a bit more. Perhaps, then we can see what people’s appetite is for the horrific “pleasures” normally dished out by the Cenobites. Until then, let them wallow in their misery. I, for one, enjoyed Hellraiser 2022.