Original title:Hellraiser
Director:David Bruckner
Running time:120 minutes
Release date:07 october 2022 (France)
A young woman stumbles upon supernatural forces linked to a puzzle box called the Lament Configuration, responsible for her brother's disappearance. These beings, called Cenobites, are led by Pinhead.

Mulder's Review

Certain horrific cinematographic sagas remain anchored in our memories whether it is Nighmares on Elm street (Freddy Krueger), Child's play (Chucky), Friday the 13th (Jason Voorhees) but also Hellraiser (The Cenobites). The Hellraiser saga spans more than thirty years with ten films including this eleventh film which is a real reboot to the point of explaining in its last minutes the creation of Pinhead, the main leader of the cenobites.  Based on the novel of the author Clive Barker entitled The Hellbound Heart, this particular horrific universe has been in the hands of ambitious directors such as Tony Randel, Anthony Hickox, Kevin Yagher or Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange (2016), The Black Phone (2021)); it was necessary to wait more than four years after the previous and rather unsuccessful part Hellraiser: Judgment (2018) to finally discover the eleventh part of this cinematographic saga that has become a cult for many spectators

Making a clean sweep of the previous films, the scriptwriters Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski readapt for the Hulu channel belonging to The Walt Disney Company the very particular universe of Clive Barker. To our great pleasure, Hellraiser is not devoid of many violent scenes and is not intended for a wide audience fed on Disney films. After having signed segments of the films The Signal (2007), V/H/S (2012) and Southband (2015) and directed two successful films The ritual (2017), The night house (2020) the director David Bruckner succeeds in the audacious challenge of delivering a film clearly superior to the previous opuses and especially allowing to give life to the work of Clive Barker here credited as co-producer.

After an introductory scene taking place in the past during a party given in the mansion of a philanthropic millionaire, Roland Voight (Goran Višnjić), we witness the killing of a guest who tried to play with the famous mechanical puzzle box.  The action picks up six years after these events and we discover a former drug addict Riley McKendry (Odessa A'zion) who lives with his brother Matt (Brandon Flynn) and their roommate Trevor and Nora. These four individuals are going to find themselves in spite of them to face the cenobites connected to this puzzle box. 

Those of us who have read Clive Barker's books and seen the previous films will appreciate the many changes visible in this film, notably the different configurations of the box and the fact that Pinhead is now a woman. In the same way, the careful direction is accompanied by very successful special effects in which we find these famous chains cutting the human flesh with the same care that a great chef would cut his meat on his stall. 

While the previous films, except for the first three, lacked ambition and were content to apply the rules of the original trilogy, this film manages not only to transcribe Clive Barker's morbid universe with care, but also to bring the cenobites back to life with careful make-up and exciting scenes. Such a film would be perfect to celebrate Halloween. Certainly this new part puts the cinematographic saga on the right track and we hope to be able to discover the next parts just as successful and especially we hope that this film will be seen by the public in France.

Directed by David Bruckner
Screenplay by Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski
Story by David S. Goyer, Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski
Based on The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker
Produced by David Goyer, Keith Levine, Clive Barker, Marc Toberoff
Starring Odessa A'zion, Jamie Clayton, Adam Faison, Drew Starkey, Brandon Flynn, Aoife Hinds, Jason Liles, Yinka Olorunnife, Selina Lo, Zachary Hing, Kit Clarke, Goran Višnjić, Hiam Abbass
Cinematography : Eli Born
Edited by : David Marks
Music by : Ben Lovett
Production Companies : Spyglass Media Group, Phantom Four Films
Distributed by Hulu (United States)
Release dates : September 28, 2022 (Fantastic Fest), October 7, 2022 (United States)
Running time 120 minutes

Seen on October 7, 2022

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