Hellraiser - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hellraiser Reviews

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½ April 10, 2017
Gave this another look on Blu-ray, and it's every bit as good as I remembered, even if the ending still stands as a real head-scratcher that comes out of left field.

Barker's visions aren't quite at 100% in this film, but it's an admirable first feature and I was surprised by how little screen time the Cenobites actually have, especially considering their enduring popularity. There are some truly inspired visuals, particularly the scenes leading into the Cenobites appearance, the lights traveling up the walls, the mist drifting in, it's all very atmospheric.

Highly recommended.
April 7, 2017
Silly at times, still a great movie!

Remember, whatever you do, do not watch any sequels.
½ March 26, 2017
A true horror classic with visually impressive scenes of demons and gore, and a hell of a plot about a mystical box. Very original movie.
February 21, 2017
Dark, disturbing and beautiful. Hellraiser is one of the strongest directorial debuts of all time. Clive Barker has pulled out all his macabre tricks and given the world a terrifying and original horror film. Never before had a cinematic hell seemed so real, visceral and frightening.
February 20, 2017
Great just great.....amazing gory fun love pinhead and the centobites can't wait for judgment
February 6, 2017
Loved the prosthetic work. And maybe... Maybe, back in the day it was good. But some parts were just kind of silly.
January 25, 2017
"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.
November 9, 2016
Great classic film. Great performances, plot, and practical effects make Hellraiser a unique and stand out classic. Let down slightly just by some audio and image not aging too well. Though would still recommend to anyone that likes good movies
November 6, 2016
This movie was ok, but it wasn't good enough to make me want to watch a second one.
October 22, 2016
By the late 80's the horror genre was in a bit of a downfall after the slasher boom that preceded it. We still got a few classics towards the end of the decade and one of the best was Clive Barker's Hellraiser. Adapted from his own novel, The Hellbound Heart, this low budget shocker never enjoyed the mainstream success that fellow franchises like Halloween and Friday the 13th saw for very obvious reasons. Hellraiser is an extremely gruesome film with some truly haunting imagery, but it's also smart enough to build a good story around all the gore. It works as a horror film, a dysfunctional family drama and a sadomasochist nightmare all rolled into one. There are plenty of nasty moments (even by today's standards), but the film also has some wonderful cinematography, strong performances, a terrific score, and, obviously, introduced us to one of the genre's most memorable villains in Pinhead. Clive Barker created a horrific work of art with Hellraiser, and perhaps the best compliment one can say is that all these years later there's still absolutely nothing else like it.
½ October 21, 2016
This movie has no character development and a poorly thought out plot. It's so bad it literally makes me angry.
October 19, 2016
It lacks a cohesive story and convincing performances, but "Hellraiser" is a campy cult horror film that's [h]elevated by it's eerie atmosphere, grotesque demons, and grisly scenes of torture.
October 15, 2016
Over the top horror? Intimidating villains? Count me in! Unfortunately, I assume that someone in Hollywood is meeting with some greedy studio executives to get this remade! Don't try it!
½ September 28, 2016
Unless it's delivered with a smile, body horror isn't much my forte. When tongues aren't firmly in cheek a la "The Evil Dead" or "Re-Animator," I couldn't care less about pounds of gore and goop being splattered about with unsightly griminess. Because the viewing of a film that gets its jollies from toying with its characters' bodily functions is already psychologically heavy enough as it is, important is a sense of humor that assures us that its maker is a cinephile with a dark vision and not a disturbed self-proclaimed artiste provided with a decent enough budget by a surprisingly willing studio.
Not that I'm primed to call Clive Barker, the mastermind behind the ins-and-outs of the unpleasant "Hellraiser," disturbed per se - that'd be insulting to his quote unquote array of talents. What I'd prefer to call him is a faux horror maestro with a bad habit of believing that horror and gore are synonymous. He presents his images of bodily destruction and moral incineration not with a side dish of dread nor with a sprinkling of tension but with flat detachment. Like the more grotesque works to come out of David Cronenberg's oeuvre, with images of "Videodrome" and "Dead Ringers" coming to mind, we leave "Hellraiser" feeling uncomfortable, dirty. This is an ugly film, devoid of emotion and human decency.
Its special effects are magnificent, all convincing gobbledegook that make the right impressions. But aside from the proficiency of the art department, the film makes for a brutal experience, able to inspire depressed winces and blatant misery but not much else. How could it rouse anything else, anyway, if the movie follows an unhappily married woman's (Clare Higgins) sinful quest to complete the reincarnation of her undead lover (Sean Chapman) by killing innocents?
There is more to the story, I suppose. That said undead lover got himself killed in the first place by purchasing an exotic puzzle box able to transport him into the underworld (which eventually becomes a major plot device), and that said unhappily married woman is currently married to her deceased boyfriend's brother (Andrew Robinson). But I'd rather not get into the details of "Hellraiser" because it'd do nothing besides force me to relive the torment I experienced during viewing.
Unlike the thrill-seeking zeitgeist of most horror movies, the film flops around in a puddle of dejection and carnage, never to do anything besides arouse disgust. "Hellraiser" has ample opportunity to be something more than a dour mood piece - it could have fun with the introduction of its side antagonists, the Cenobites (a legendary bunch led by the instantaneously recognizable Pinhead), and it could use its gore as an exaggerative measure to complement the eccentric nightmarishness of its central conflict. But Barker seems to prefer static suffering to persuasive emotional manipulation, which might be fine for him and for the not-so faint of heart but not so much for anyone who craves pulse pounding fear in their horror movies.
Because this is a behemoth of evil targeting the gag reflex more than the mind and the heart, I'm more inclined to recommend staying clear of its callous ways. Its protagonists are thinly sketched, its antagonists one-note in their maleficence. But if flesh ripping and blood spewing and concepts of never-ending trauma is up your alley, "Hellraiser" is more than likely a movie worth seeing. That just doesn't mean I have to like it for everything it somehow manages to do right.
August 29, 2016
80s is alive and killing!!!! kkk great!!!!!
August 21, 2016
A cult 80s horror movie. Its story is pretty disturbing and well executed with graphic special effects and gore.
August 20, 2016
Gory, strange, and required watching for any horror movie fan. This movie does not hold up after all this time so maybe an updated remake is called for...
½ August 16, 2016
Hellraiser is one hell of a unique horror film! It's not the most horrific movie you'll ever see, but even for today's standards this film has it's charm.
August 7, 2016
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.
July 27, 2016
1931's Dracula Is One Of My Favorite Films.
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