Written 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 house. But nobody knows how Frank dissappeared. He has opened hell through a toy box and has been laying in waiting in the house for years until one day his brother, Larry, has unintentional revived him from hell. Demons or Cenobites are in search for him after they make a deal with Kirsty but she has gotten way over her head and doesn't know what to believe and what to believe.
First I have to say this. The original is better than the rest of the low quality sequels made after this. Clive Barker knew what he was doing in the original and no other director could capture his vision. You have worthy tries but other than that it just doesn't amount to greatness.
Anyways, back to Hellraiser. An awesome storyline. It's really fresh and different. You can't get tired of the story and you would watch it over and over. The characters are so colorful and interesting as well. We see numerous character backgrounds such as Frank's, Julia's, and Pinheads. I wish they would have covered more of the other Cenobites's histories though. The whole dialogue from Pinhead was creepy and chilling. It was calm yet frightening with the tone of his voice to the pace of how he said his words. "I have such sights to show you." They are somewhat in ways con artists. Telling you about all this beauty and visions that to them are torture and pain of the flesh. Also, I wish there was more elaboration on the toy box. We don't get to see where it came from or how it was made and why it does what it does until Hellraiser: Bloodline.
I can honestly say that I felt the intensity from the normal characters such as Larry and Kirsty. They shared the father and daughter love you would see on cheerful daytime sitcom such as Family Matters. Also, the hesitance between Larry and Julia was there even before Frank came back into the picture. You see, Julia and Frank had a little "thing" before she and Larry were married during flash backs, including an intense sex scene. So, in a sense, Julia and Frank were starting back from where they left off.
The music had a theme that stayed with Pinhead throughout his entire sequels so basically he has a reaccurring musical theme just like all the other horror icons. The cinematography was superb. I enjoyed the DP's camera angles and the lighting during the chain room where the cenobites lerked. The light coming through the holes in the walls, the chains rattling back and forth, and a sort of gloomy mist that casts shadowy figures of the cenobites when they weren't in the light. Just magnificent! The special effects were modern for it's age. I would say about the same as Nightmare on Elm Street. This included a bit of animatronics and very well done makeup on reviving Frank and the Cenobites. The pain inflicted upon the viewer at the very sight of the demons, including Pinhead and Chatterbox, is only a slight hail to their designer's creativity. Demons like this have never been seen before, a truely unique outlook on the dimension of hell colliding with that of our own world.
A remarkable film and every horror fiend should own a copy of Clive Barker's Hellraiser.