Critics Consensus

Elevated by writer-director Clive Barker's fiendishly unique vision, Hellraiser offers a disquieting - and sadistically smart - alternative to mindless gore.



Total Count: 42


Audience Score

User Ratings: 69,489
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Movie Info

The directorial debut from horror novelist Clive Barker stars Sean Chapman as a man who buys a strange Chinese puzzle box in a sex shop only to discover that its solution opens a portal to Hell.

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Sean Chapman
as Frank Cotton
Clare Higgins
as Julia Cotton
Andrew Robinson
as Larry Cotton
Ashley Laurence
as Kirsty Cotton
Oliver Smith
as Frank the Monster
Antony Allen
as 1st Victim
Leon Davis
as 2nd Victim
Mike Cassidy
as 3rd Victim
Frank Baker
as Derelict
Niall Buggy
as Dinner Guest
Gay Baynes
as Evelyn
Dave Atkins
as Moving Man
Oliver Parker
as Moving Man
Pamela Sholto
as Complaining Customer
Doug Bradley
as Lead Cenobite
Nicholas Vince
as Chattering Cenobite
Simon Bamford
as `Butterball' Cenobite
Grace Kirby
as Female Cenobite
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News & Interviews for Hellraiser

Critic Reviews for Hellraiser

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (5)

  • Utterly bizarre and entirely ridiculous - and yet effective, an imaginative guignol festival, like the goriest of soap operas, in which one wrong move opens a portal to hell.

    Oct 11, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Minor grisly fun, but don't expect the movie to linger when it's over.

    Jan 11, 2008 | Full Review…
  • [Writer/Director Clive] Barker's dazzling debut as a director creates such an atmosphere of dread that the astonishing visual set pieces simply detonate in a chain reaction of cumulative intensity.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • This is a movie without wit, style or reason, and the true horror is that actors were made to portray, and technicians to realize, its bankruptcy of imagination.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 0.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It's a dark, frequently disturbing and occasionally terrifying film that suggests Barker's vision hasn't quite made the conversion from paper to celluloid.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Part of the film's excellence comes out of its taboo-ness, depicting everything from abusive love to the sometimes dangerous links between sex and death, pain and pleasure.

    May 1, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hellraiser

  • Oct 25, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2012
    Barker has a clear vision but the story was a little all over the place for me. I can see the draw for the fans but for others, it just can't hold the story or horror together. I clearly didn't hate it and applaud the vision.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Oct 12, 2012
    Another 80s horror classic ruined by many half-assed sequels. "Hellraiser" has an excellent concept and offers plenty of gore. Everything from the atmosphere, script, and characters are great. The story is disturbing and unpredictable. Some of the special-effects are cheesy but that is not surprising considering the time the film was made. If only Clive Barker could have directed some of the sequels.
    Eric S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 24, 2011
    The demons look very interesting, but that's about where the entertainment ends. It's essentially just a pretty boring B-movie.
    Joey S Super Reviewer

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