Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth Reviews

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October 18, 2015
Not as terrible a movie as I would've anticipated. Of course it's not as good as the first sequel, which actually ended up being pretty good. I've always thought that Pinhead, as a horror icon, and I've already written this in my review for the second film in this franchise, has always been treated far more seriously than the Freddys, Jasons or Michaels. I'm not saying that the sequels were better in quality than some of the sequels in any of the aforementioned franchises, but Pinhead is infinitely more effective as a horror villain than because he's treated as someone that people actually fear since he will pretty much bring about, I apologize for this terrible usage of the film's title in the review, hell on earth if he does get his way. Let's just get this out of the way from the get-go, the acting in this movie is, honestly, absolutely awful. It's not like Hellraiser 2 had Oscar-quality acting, but Hellraiser 2 is Breaking Bad to Hellraiser 3's the Twilight franchise. I'm obviously overstating the point, but the acting from everyone that isn't named Doug Bradley is horrendous. Doug Bradley himself is pretty great as always, I mean the character is pretty one-dimensional itself, but this film, at least, tries to incorporate some of backstory, involving who Pinhead was before he back the leader of the Cenobites. It's weird, because it's obvious that Pinhead is a pretty nefarious and evil individual, but Doug Bradley brings a certain elegance and class to the Pinhead character, it's the strangest thing. It's not even the fact that he's well-spoken and eloquent, it's all about Bradley's presence that makes the character work even if he's not as over-the-top or as goofy as Freddy Krueger. The character designs for some of the Cenobites, not all, is excellent. Some of them are a little goofy, to be fair, like the Cenobite with the camera sticking out of one eye is pretty goofy, as is the Cenobite that spits out CDs. I think those are the ones that I liked the least, the rest of them are really well done, in my opinion. The film, leading up to the climax, honestly, isn't anything special. I mean there's some B-movie qualities to the film, you can at least laugh at the shitty acting and some of the obvious audio flaws, like trying to fit in voice overs even though the lip syncing isn't up to par. Once the shit hits the fan and Pinhead, and the other Cenobites, make their way to earth then the film really picks up. Like there's some really strong visuals here. Like Pinhead doing the christ pose in a church in front of a window with cross on it while he says 'I am the way'. That scene is probably the best scene in the entire film, but it's the type of scene that the religious conservatives will be offended by. Then again, what reason would a religious conservative have to watch this film. But, as an atheist, I have no such qualms and I thought it was a pretty awesome visual that is bound to get a reaction. I thought that if the film had been as consistently good as the climax was, then it would've been a better film. The film has some real cool moments and some surprising backstory, but I don't think there's enough 'hell on earth', so to speak, to make the film good. Not to mention the acting is fairly atrocious. With that said, honestly, I thought this movie was perfectly fine. It's watchable but not necessarily mind-blowing. I'm sure that it's considerably better than some of the later sequels, though.
June 2, 2015
A couple decent set pieces shrouded in idiocy and some of the worst acting ever put onscreen.
½ May 24, 2015
I think the best way to describe this film is that it is like a tale of two films. The first, comprising the scenes with Doug Bradley's presence, is outstanding; the second, where he isn't present...features a relatively inexperienced cast who have some cringe worthy acting moments.
½ March 27, 2015
Saw it in theaters when it first came out back then and still found it trying to reach a plot and unnecessary...
March 15, 2015
The last Hellraiser film that Clive Barker had any official involvement with, although he reportedly only contributed some story ideas which were largely ignored and did not make it into the film. This was really the beginning of the end of the Hellraiser franchise. It bears little similarities to the prior films, both in content and quality, and comes off as a cheap cash grab rather than trying to expand the Hellraiser mythos. The first two films also had a kind of visual elegance to the graphic violence, but this film is merely gory. Besides that, I think my main complaint is that Pinhead looked ridiculous in brightly lit scenes, taking away most of his scary mystique. Disappointing all around and just about as bad as I remembered it.
November 9, 2007
This third installment in the Hellraiser series was the best yet. While it never was more then a decent film, it did enough to make it a worthwhile horror movie with a pretty deranged killer, Pinhead. Like the others, the past history of this whole ordeal is brought up often and in more detail to show the viewers the backstory about how things came to be this way. I enjoyed how things took place in the real world this time instead of like the first two films which mainly took place in a crazy, outer world full of strange unexplainable demons. There were still some ridiculously dumb parts but at least having Pinhead be on earth and seeming more like a true slasher murder, it brought something more to the film. This one left off with a lead in to the next film and lets hope they build off this one and make the series even better.
½ March 14, 2011
another supermarket DVD 2.99 DVD combo pack purchase
November 4, 2014
Another sequel with a different director not surprisingly results in diminished returns. The strongest aspect of Hellbound: Hellraiser II was the continuity of the characters and story with the first movie. Sadly, this movie discards Kirsty and her story, for the most part, and replaces her with a new protagonist. Despite the fresh set of characters, the movie starts of respectably. The new main character works well; she is a filed news reporter, who stubbles on the path of some unexplainable dark magic and inquisitively digs deeper. It is unclear what the result of the second movie was exactly, and it is not clear for some time here either. Dramatically it turns out the Pinhead has split into two separate forms. One is his past identity that rediscovered in second, and the other is the demonic evil in him. The evil half aims to free himself and rule over humanity. A little more explanation would be nice, but this is all respectable at this point. It is not until Pinhead comes to earth that things plummet. Suddenly, the dark tone and story with consequences from the first two and a half movies go out the window, and it turns into a Freddy Kruger-like joke. New poorly thought-out Sinabites emerge to change the pace; they are ridiculous and awful. Numerous over the top intentionally corny kill scenes kill the mood. It is almost as if the director changed at the three-quarter mark. The movie climax and finale are just bad and ruin a decent start. Fans of the first two will feel let down. The only people who might approve are fans of Freddy and Jason, which is really a disappointment, even for a third movie.
½ November 2, 2014
This edition in the series was gory and showed us new demons but that was about it. Should have had a better story.
October 20, 2014
Basically throws the rules the previous two movies had set up out the windiw! Pinhead is a shadow of his former self, spouting blasphemous puns and creating technological Cenobites that are verging on the ridiculous
½ September 25, 2014
Fans of the franchise created by imaginative British author Clive Barker know that the story was sufficiently summed up at the end of the first film. But since the first rule of Hollywood is that nothing this profitable never dies we now have "Hellraiser 3", and while it's by no means great, it is the last film in the series that really tried to be.

The problem with a film that was made purely in pursuit of profits is that there really isn't a story to be told, and that's the one thing that plagues this well made but completely unnecessary picture. Anthony Hickox was the go-to guy in the early 1990's for skillfully made but cheap sequels, and the guy really has a flair for them. The conclusion of this is a lot of fun, even if it is a bit of a riff on "Carrie," because you get to see Pinhead and his compadres wreak havoc in our world for a change.

However, so much of the set-up feels very familiar. The Kevin Bernhardt character is interesting and reminiscent of Sean Chapman from the first film, but he's disposed of all too quickly. There's an interesting backstory here involving the actor who has portrayed Pinhead in all of the films, Doug Bradley, getting a rare chance to shine in his human form, but it doesn't do enough to add to the mythology of the franchise.

The original Cenobites are traded out for humans-turned-demons this time out including a DJ killing people with CD's and a cameraman spouting silly one-liners, and none of that really works either. "Hellraiser 3" is good only when compared to the desperate films that would follow. This is too much of a let-down.
½ September 23, 2014
The revelation of his own former humanity has resulted in the Cenobite Pinhead (Doug Bradley) being split into two distinct entities: his former self, World War I British Army Captain Elliot Spencer (Doug Bradley), and a manifestation of Spencer's id, which takes on the form of Pinhead. While Spencer ends up in limbo, Pinhead is trapped, along with the puzzle box, amongst the writhing figures and distorted faces etched into the surface of an intricately carved pillar - the Pillar of Souls. The pillar is bought by the rich and spoiled J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt), owner of a popular nightclub called The Boiler Room. During her investigation, an ambitious young television reporter, Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell), slowly begins to learn about Pinhead and the mysterious puzzle box. Joey is introduced to the pain the box can bring when she views a teenage clubgoer being ripped apart by the box's chains in a hospital emergency room. Joey tracks the box and a young woman named Terri (Paula Marshall) to The Boiler Room nightclub. Terri had previously stolen the box from the nightclub. Video tape interviews are recovered from the Channard Institute of one of Pinhead's former victims Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence). Joey and Terri learn through the videos about the demonic Cenobites and the power of the Lament Configuration puzzle box and that it is the only means of sending Pinhead back to Hell. Pinhead remains dormant until one night several hooked chains shoot out of the pillar and rip into one of the club goers, Sandy, whom Monroe had just recently slept with. After killing Sandy, Pinhead consumes her flesh and her distorted face appears on the pillar. Pinhead convinces Monroe to bring him more club members so he can feed on them and be freed from the pillar. Meanwhile, Joey is contacted by the spirit of Elliot Spencer, who tells her that this "Pinhead" is a separate entity than the one encountered by Kirsty previously. Without Spencer's humanity to act as a balancing influence, this Pinhead is completely evil and has no sense of order. Rather than abide by the laws of the Cenobite realm, he will indiscriminately wreak havoc on Earth for his own pleasure unless he is stopped. In order to defeat him, Joey must reunite Spencer's spirit with Pinhead, fusing them back into a single entity...

The third act of the Hellraiser series gives us both high marks and low marks. The storyline has suddenly taken some sort of teen slasher turn and gives us a bit of a weak plot/foundation with plenty of gore. The oh so lovely Terry Farrell and the same goes for a young Paula Marshall adds female flair to the story, and Doug Bradley´s Pinhead does have a few rememberable scenes (like the church scene when he mimics the Jesus Christ pose). But, the direction and photography is a way too B-classy, the acting pretty uneven and the design of the "new" Cenobites is not really pleasing. "Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth" is sort of so so.
August 29, 2014
The bloodiest in the franchise!
July 25, 2012
The gore and creativity is great. This is Pinhead's biggest role and it is done well. However, the script and acting need work. Besides Pinhead, many of the other character's conversations were idiotic and unbelievable.
January 25, 2014
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½ December 5, 2010
The mysterious box and Pillar of Souls now passes to a nightclub owner with a reporter snooping around for her big break story. Okay but series already becoming somewhat redundant and stale. A good hard rock soundtrack though, with Motorhead hilighting closing credits.
March 20, 2014
Hellraiser III is everything I thought Hellraiser II would be. So a reporter who is in dire need of big break (Terry Farrell) may have bitten off more than she can chew when she investigates the back-story of a young man that was ripped apart by chains. This is a big step down from the first two movies, and let me tell you why. For starters, the lead actress is one of the weakest acting talents of the Hellraiser movies so far; sure, this isn't a series that is known for its award winning performances, but seeing her here makes me feel bad for calling out any stiff acting from the first two installments. Next, this has almost nothing to do with the continuing story set up by the first two; believe it or not, Hellbound made me realize how much I was actually getting invested in these characters. Here, everything that wasn't Pinhead got dropped like it was deadweight. And speaking of Pinhead, while Doug Bradley is chewing up scenery left and right (and is easily the biggest and only reason to watch this), they drastically changed his character motivations; he used to be shrouded in mystery and only looking to take his pound of flesh from people that tampered with the puzzle box, while here, he becomes this laughing homicidal maniac, a la The Joker. All of the replacements to the Cenobites are pretty lame, and so much about this feels like it was made by a completely different team that never shared in that original vision. While this isn't something I would call terrible, it definitely fails to deliver on everything that you want out of a Hellraiser movie.
March 10, 2014
Considering its ghastly reviews, the film is decent. Although the plot is sometimes confusing and utterly pointless, the film still centers around Pinhead and The Cenobites thirst for souls. Still a grood slasher film.
March 10, 2014
Considering its ghastly reviews, the film is decent. Although the plot is sometimes confusing and utterly pointless, the film still centers around Pinhead and The Cenobites thirst for souls. Still a grood slasher film.
November 18, 2007
"That's a wrap" on what could have been one of the greatest horror franchises ever.
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