When I heard they were rebooting Hellraiser I set my expectations rather low. I expect a modern retelling of the original story. Instead what we got was a new story with a twist. This movie could have easily just been another sequel it didn’t need to exist as a reboot. The hype surrounding that is what drove me to watch it in the first place.
Right off the bat it goes for the first kill off screen. That was a bad omen for the film. It shows the chains but it doesn’t really show the body being torn asunder like in the original. The first movie had body parts strewn about like newspapers at a hoarders house. This movie was squeaky clean in comparison.
Immediately we shift from a rich person trying to unlock the secrets of the puzzle box to a couple having sex. A graphic sex scene that served no purpose other than to be gratuitous. There was sex in the first movie but it drove the plot. It established the main characters. This was nudity for nudity’s sake.
Next we’re treated to a domestic squabble between an addict sister and her over bearing brother trying to keep her on the straight and narrow. This established the relationship between the brother and sister but that was about it. In what felt like a rush the girl was somehow opening the puzzle box while flying high as a kite on drugs. She thought she was hallucinating so what does she do, throw her self into her boyfriends bed for another unnecessary sex scene. Then following a fight with her brother who finishes the puzzle box he disappears as the cenobites take him to hell presumably.
The sister spends the rest of the movie trying to solve the mystery of the puzzle box in order to resurrect her brother. One more kill is all we’re treated to before the cenobites make their move. It’s here I realized the movie wasn’t even going to bother showing us any gore. The gore was a big part of the first movie, not to mention the murders that took place. The sister was given a choice, sacrifice herself or offer her friends as tribute to the god.
Once she discovers the truth she opts to sacrifice her boyfriend who double crossed her earlier in the movie. Then she choses not to save her brother after all the people she let die, well three if you count her brother. Four kills in total if you don’t count the off screen kill at the beginning which was even more gory, as toned down as it was, than the offscreen kill of the brother who just screamed and left some blood in the sink.
There was one innocent person who died during the course of the film but again they barely showed anything. A quick torture scene, some off camera screams and we move onto the next scene sans gore yet again.
If you are going to reboot one of the goriest horror movies in Hollywood history the least you could do is serve up some satisfying kills. Instead were treated to what feels more like a murder mystery than a horror film. Off camera kills aside, the story was pretty boring. At one point I was so bored I turned the film off and wrote it off as a failed reboot. I decided I had nothing better to do today so I finished it against my better judgement. By the end of the movie I was so disappointed I knew this was not an instant classic like the original. There was barely any intrigue. The cenobites were hardly scary at all, showing up a couple times in a dream like sequence to further the plot but the rest of the movie they might as well have been props they were used so little. No explanation about demons and angels, no speeches about the depths of pleasure and pain mixed together. No lines about tearing ones soul a part. Nothing of note. This movie should have just been another lame sequel not an attempt at a reboot.
I hardly feel like wasting my time giving this a proper review but for the sake of my own sanity I will give it 2 out of 5 stars. This was a terrible movie that barely had anything more than token nods to the classic it was supposed to be rebooting. I found nothing positive about this movie. It was trash.