Available on BluRay/DVD and streaming on Amazon Prime!

HELLRAISER: REVELATIONS (2010)

Directed by Víctor García
Written by Gary Tunnicliffe (based on original characters created by Clive Barker)
Starring Steven Brand, Nick Eversman, Tracey Fairaway, Sebastien Roberts, Devon Sorvari, Sanny Van Heteren, Daniel Buran, Jay Gillespie, Stephan Smith Collins

This is the ninth film of the HELLRAISER series, and like THE HOWLING, each time a new number is added to the end of these films, it seems to get poopier and poopier. Having experienced HELLRAISER in theaters when it was first released, I “saw the future of horror, and his name was Clive Barker” as the ads for the series promoted, it hurts me more to see the series fall into the crapper. But like a dog who is fooled when you mock toss a ball, I keep coming back to watch again and again, hoping that some filmmakers will come along and capture that magic Clive did with the first and arguably second films of this franchise.

Seems I’m going to be waiting a bit longer, though, because HELLRAISER: REVELATIONS neither raises hell nor reveals much.

Because found footage is the bees knees these days, the film starts out with a pair of rambunctious rich kids taking a road trip to Mexico. Of course, they have to film it all because, that’s what you do in these types of horror films. The kids accidentally kill a prostitute and soon they find themselves in the possession of a golden puzzle box. I guess that’s all you have to do to get the puzzle box these days. After one of them fiddles with the trinket, the doors to hell are opened, the Cenobites are let loose, and soon one of the guys is in search of blood and skin while the other is bound to get him said grue.

Though HELLRAISER: REVELATIONS seems to follow the same template laid out meticulously and artistically by Barker in the first film, it does so haphazardly. It’s kind of like a McDonald’s fry cook trying to follow a Wolfgang Puck recipe. Sure the ingredients are all there, but it just doesn’t taste the same. Here we’ve got the Cenobites, the box, the scraggly bum, the chains, the torture, the gong, the blue light. It’s just done so with less artistic attention and power. Even Pinhead, who is no longer played by Doug Bradley, but Stephan Smith Collins, lacks presence here. Collins’ makeup is great, but he lacks the ominous confidence, pomposity yet humanity that Bradley exuded with every poetic line. Bradley was the one thing that kind of classed up the rest of the HELLRAISER sequels. At least we could count on a good performance by him. Without Bradley, the appearance of the Cenobites lack any punch at all.

There are quite a few nice gore sequences. A new Pinhead-like Cenobite whose design is somewhat inspired is introduced while the Chatterer and the Twins return to sing back-up. But the gorgeous depravity and the perverse sweetness of the first two HELLRAISER films are non-existent in this by the numbers sequel. It seems originally the makers of the film INSIDE were supposed to be helming a new HELLRAISER film which was supposed to revitalize the series. This is most definitely not that movie.

Check out the trailer here!!