Hellraiser (1987) Review
Written 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 age, I can say that it doesn’t have the same effect on me as it did before, but it still was a good movie. It’s about a deranged man who was supposed to be trapped in a puzzle box, but somehow escaped and now he must feed on other humans to sustain his body. His previous girlfriend helps him out in leading men into his trap. The problem is, the being that inhabit that world want him back and will do anything to get him.
The acting in this movie was not all that good and was a bit too drawn out and overdramatic at many times. For the most part, the only good acting came from the actors that played the Cenobites, and even for those kinds of characters it was a bit too mellow and somber. I think Clara Higgins, Ashley Laurence and Oliver Smith, who played Frank Monster, would have portrayed the most overreacted roles in the movie. As an upside, there were great supporting roles by Sean Chapman and Andrew Robinson, who both did a pretty good job playing the supporting characters.
What I want to mention, that should get some credibility, is the excellent set design and general décor the movie. It’s a fantastic blend of fantasy scenes and gothic decorations, with a bit of a S&M touch to it. Specific sets that should be noted are the attic of the house (A great example of gothic style), the set with the turning blocks of wood and chains (a great example of S&M meets gothic design) and the hospital sequence, which is a great example of horror fantasy. It’s one of the things that really stood out in this movie that I don’t think many people notice.
Now to brass tax; the horror and the gore is so overdone in this movie that it’s practically blinds the movie from anything else, but that’s exactly why I love this movie. There are so many great scenes where there was an excessive amount of bloody violence including people getting pulled apart by chains, skinless people eaters and a strange room with skin and chunks of meat nailed to wooden boards. Aside from the gore, there were some scary moments in this film that include that “thing” between the walls of the hospital, that sequence creeped me out a bit. Even the Cenobites had a pretty freaky design, mostly Butterball and Chatter. Even with the unnecessary amount of blood and guts, it’s still fun to watch.
Overall, this was a weird and wild ride that is both strangely erratic and horrifically gothic and gory. It’s one of those movies that you expect to have a lot of production value and revolutionary set pieces and animation, and though it’s not it still blows you away with some pretty good sets and a whole lot of blood and guts. With the acting aside and the complicated plot, this movie is not all that bad and is perhaps one of my favorite movies. I would recommend this movie to anybody who loves Clive Barker for one, and to those who love a good gore film. However, this is not a horror film that suits every horror fans fancy, but you have to like the genre. As for me, I still love this movie aside from the cheesy acting and excessive unnecessary gore.