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88% Score
by Horror Fans Based on 9 Reviews
Hellraiser

In Theatre : September 18, 1987
Director(s): Clive Barker

The feature-film debut of multi-talented Clive Barker, this grim and surreal project is based on the writer-director's own novella "The Hell-Bound Heart." The film opens with a chilling prologue in which globe-trotting pervert Frank (Sean Chapman) -- a connoisseur of sexual depravity seeking the ultimate sensual experience -- purchases a small, intricate puzzle box from an unseen dealer in an unspecified country. Upon solving the puzzle, Frank opens the door to a hellish alternate universe, and is promptly torn to ribbons by a network of hooks and chains; his strewn body parts are subsequently collected by the Cenobites -- grotesque, S&M-clad denizens of hell.

The story continues several years later, when Frank's brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) moves into Frank's abandoned house with his daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) and his new wife Julia (Clare Higgins). An accident causes some of Larry's blood to spill on the attic floor, which somehow triggers Frank's hideous resurrection. His body only half-composed, Frank seeks the tacit assistance of Julia -- with whom he had once had a torrid sexual liaison -- in restoring him to human form. Still secretly in love with Frank, Julia assists him by seducing men from the town and bringing them back to the house so her undead lover can drain their bodies of blood. Her increasingly furtive behavior arouses the suspicions of Kirsty, who had already moved to an apartment to get away from her despised stepmother.

After following Julia and her next potential victim home, Kirsty comes face-to-face with the still-incomplete Frank, narrowly escaping with her life... and with the puzzle box. After losing consciousness, Kirsty awakens in the hospital, where she manages to solve the box's intricate mechanism and summon a trio of Cenobites -- including their apparent leader (played by Doug Bradley and dubbed "Pinhead" on subsequent sequels) -- who are prepared to claim her. In desperation, Kirsty offers them a bargain, in which they agree to spare her soul if she will lead them to Frank. Kirsty soon returns home to find Julia with her father... whose behavior has become disturbingly unnatural. Realizing that her father has become Frank's next victim -- and that her uncle is now walking around in his brother's skin -- Kirsty hands Frank over to the Cenobites, who have particularly evil plans for their old friend.

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Related Hellraiser Movie Reviews
Critic reviews are fantastic and we have many great critics but our community members ARE the horror audience and it is their reviews that really tell you if a film is worth watching.

Hellraiser (1987) Review by jamhorner

This is one of those movies that I haven’t seen in a while, but before I viewed it, I loved it and I thought the acting was top notch, it was really bloody and it was scary. Now, after I’ve seen it at this ag...
Hellraiser (1987) Review by BlackTequilaKiss

Due for the remake treatment, I thought now was the time to check out the original once again and remind myself why even after all this time it remains such a treat to watch. Clive Barker is a visionary but his movies ca...
Hellraiser Review by MistressOf Horror

I think this is Clive Barker's best movie made. It truly showed what an imagination he has. A world of  nightmares and seductive  images of horrors .  His characters were like nothing ever seen b...
Hellraiser (1987) Review by The Creature

Hellraiser is awesomely directed by the brilliant mind of Clive Barker, who directed films such as "Nightbreed" and "Lord of Illusions". Hellraiser is based on his book, titled "The Hellbound Heart". Hellraiser is t...
Hellraiser Review by Steve Lewis

Pinhead really sticks it to you... After Frank Cotton had dissappeared, Larry Cotton moves into his house with his wife Julia Cotton.  Kirsty, Larry's daugther, comes to visit him in his new acquired ...
Hellraiser (1987) Review by azathoth

"Hellraiser" is based on the novella "The Hellbound Heart" authored by Clive Barker.  Barker also wrote and directed this film.  Our protagonist is Kirsty, played by Ashley Laurence ("Hellbound", "Hellseeker", ...
Hellraiser Review by Moviemaven

What's your pleasure, Sir?  Have you ever had the notion to experience the pleasure beyond pain?  Welcome to Clive Barker's world where the two are indivisible. Frank Cotton had this desire.  When he purc...
Hellraiser Review by Flesh4Franky

Quote from the film:  " Every drop of blood you spill puts more flesh on my bones. And we both want that don't we. "                 ...
Hellraiser Review by Googopqp

Every so often you watch a movie that is dark, atmospheric, gory, weird, and disturbing at points, and you love every single second you are watching it. I saw a movie like this once. It has called Hellraiser, and it is o...
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