From a visual perspective, the first of the Hellraiser franchise present the most rudimentary facade to an unsuspecting viewer. But what Clive Barker’s movie may lack in terms of visual effects by our highly demanding standards of today, it makes up in terms of psychological underpinnings that made the entire series a horror classic.
The movie has anything one could wish for, a smart heroine who is stuck into a situation of horror not because of questionable choices or clicheic responses that inundate the lesser works within the horror genre. Instead we have both villains and protagonists forced to exist a certain horrifying yet recognizable and believable isolated reality with their attempts to break through towards comfort miserably failing.
In the 1987 movie Hellraiser, based on Clive Barker’s earlier novel the Hellbound Heart, we witness the construction of a very original mythology and unique demons that may be scarier due to their psychological insights into human nature than to their supernatural abilities.
With an occasional nod at Aztec mythology and recognizable tokens of modern lore, such as vampires and Frankenstein, Clive Barker cemented his place among masters of horror with his creation of a different kind of villain.
Portrayed by the eloquent actor with the sonorous voice Doug Bradley, the antagonist Pinhead measures fairly well against any modern day villain. Completely terrifying, unforgettable, Pinhead surpasses your every day slashers and escaping him could be as easy, or as difficult as escaping one’s inner demons.
One reason I cannot recommend this movie highly enough, as well as its multiple sequels, is that the more I watch it, the more insight I receive into that darkly taunting hellish dimension from which the antagonist happily hails.
This is only a partial review on my part, I included a more thorough, in depth analysis on my youtube channel, and for those of you wishing for more, my video review can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7saq_L8j1Wk