I'm a fan of the film. It differs a bit from the story, but it works fine.
I agree, the movie tried, but it didn't quite get there, but it wasn't unbearable.
if they had followed the original draft Clive Barker had written, it would have been really well I think.
Here's a part of the script written by Clive, although the scene is in the final film, it's not done the same way.
13 - INT. CHURCH. DAY.
Declan turns his attention from the window to the altar.
There is a humming sound in the air, which gets louder as he walks down the aisle towards the altar. He climbs the two steps to the altar, treading the dropped flowers underfoot.
Now the hum is very loud. Beneath it, strange voices rise and fall.
He is within two or three feet of the altar itself. His breath has quickened. His eyes are wild.
He reaches the altar, the voices getting louder with every movement. He touches the altar. As he does so, a vision fills his head -
14 - EXT. THE WILD WOOD. DAY.
It is an image of the world Rawhead used to roam and rule. The camera moves at speed through a tangle of barbs and branches, as if it is pursued.
15 - INT. CHURCH. DAY.
Declan's eyes show white, as he is consumed by this terrifying vision. His hand still clutches the altar.
16 - EXT. THE WILD WOOD. DAY.
The camera continues to career through the trees. Ahead, there is a fire through the thicket. The runner makes for it, and breaks through the branches into a chamber of horrors. The camera moves from one apalling sight to the next. Skins and scalps hanging from the branches; a litter of bloody bones underfoot; a human head burning in the fire.
17 - INT. CHURCH. DAY.
Declan's hand is blistering as it holds on to the altar; his face is twitching. But he doesn't let go. In his mind's eye, he is still in Rawhead's lair.
18 - EXT. THE WILD WOOD. DAY.
The camera swings around the lair, looking for an escape-route. But before it can find one, there is a roar from the darkness of the trees. The camera swings round -
19 - INT. CHURCH. DAY.
Declan lets out a cry.
20 - EXT. THE WILD WOOD. DAY.
An awesome form moves out of the shadows towards the camera. we have only a few moments to grasp the size if its jaws, as the teeth appear from its bloody gums.
21 - INT. CHURCH. DAY.
Declan can't look any longer. he pulls his hand from the altar. His eyes spring wide. the vision has disappeared.
He stands for a few moments, trembling and nauseous, before he dares to look at his hand. There is a burn across the palm and fingers, bleeding and blackened.
Looking at it, he smiles.
Now, if you ask me, that would have been fantastic! What we got in the final film was a blurry pan through the forest, to an opening, to a fire, the camera spins around and pans into Rawhead's mouth. It's just not the same