The Friday Night Horror Movie: Hellraiser (2022)

hellraiser 2022

I don’t know why I thought this would be good. I don’t really love the original, and while I did enjoy the sequel this franchise is just not something I’m all that interested in exploring. Yet, I have to admit I was intrigued by this reboot from Hulu. I don’t know why exactly, except that the idea of redoing the original in a more modern, even elevated way, sounded interesting. Last week I watched Prey, Hulu’s entry into the Predator franchise, and rather loved it so I decided to give this Hellraiser a try.

It is not good. As it is a reboot of the original the story follows fairly familiar tracks, but there is enough difference to keep it, well, not interesting, but at least it doesn’t feel like a retread. It follows Riley (a pretty great Odessa A’zion) a recovering addict who is struggling to pull it together. Needing rent money she agrees to follow her boyfriend Trevor (Drew Starkey) on a little robbery gig. Naturally, the thing they steal is the funky puzzle box. Then all, ahem, hell breaks loose.

I’m not sure familiar with all the lore associated with these films so I don’t know where this one breaks from tradition or adds to it. Here when you figure out the puzzle the swishes out a blade and cuts you. This unleashes the Cenobites upon you and changes the box into configuration 2. If you are holding the box when it has moved into configuration 6 then the Cenobites grant you a wish, or something.

The story is pretty dumb. The elevated aspect of the horror is that Riley is an addict and that makes it more harrowing, or something. The best part of the original is that it felt like a low-budget horror made with love and a renegade spirit. The Cenobites were strange and sexual – they are like S&M freaks turned up to 11. The gore was practical and very fleshy. Here the budget is bigger but it feels plastic. The Cenobite costumes are smooth and not at all terrifying. There is a lot of blood and gore, but it is mostly made from bad CGI and lacks the visceral feeling of the original.

What’s left feels more like the 8th sequel of a tired franchise made sometime in the late 1990s, not a modern reboot with something new to say.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s