Hellraiser : Revelations (2011)

Let me tell you a little story. A story about idiocy. A story about fear. A story about good old American greed. See once upon a time there was a nifty horror film from the twisted mind of Clive Barker called 'Hellraiser'. This film was genre bending, even revolutionary in many ways. It wasn't a huge financial success, but it was successful enough to spawn eight sequels, that's right EIGHT! Each one of these sequels diminished both in creativity and profitability, until eventually the studio that owned the rights to the film series stopped producing them all together.  A funny thing happened though, as one day one of the studio underlings noticed a small clause in the 'Hellraiser' rights contract. If Dimension Studios didn't exercise their option (i.e. make a Hellraiser film), their option would revert back to the originator, in this case Mr. Clive Barker himself. Seeing dollar signs in the name and series reboot possibilities, Dimension decides that they need a new 'Hellraiser' film and as fast as humanly possible, less they lose out on the proverbial cash cow a reboot might prove to be.

So here we are with a 'Hellraiser' film that was thrown together in three weeks, written by a guy who's previously best known work was a couple 'Hellraiser' fan films. Even Doug Bradley, the man synonymous with lead character 'Pinhead' himself, the man who had played him in every single film in the series, even through the dregs of the last few sequels, Bradley was there. He chose to appear in the abortion that is 'Wrong Turn 5' over this film citing the fact that the script was so terrible.

Nico (Jay Gillespe) and Steven (Nick Eversman) are a couple of young guys headed to Tijuana for...well what young guys go to Tijuana for. Nico is a bit of a prick and Stephen is a big pussy, just so the dynamics are established. Steven drinks til he passes out, Nico kills a hooker in the bathroom store. Their car gets stolen. They are stuck in a TJ strip club. A vagrant (literally - that's his character name) spots them and decides they would be the perfect people to give his lament configuration to.

Wasting no time, Nico opens the box. Steven starts killing Asian hookers (he's still in Mexico mind you) in an effort to rescue Nico from the box.Getting enough flesh Nico only needs a mans skin. Stephen conveniently at that point decides to grow a conscious and refuses to kill a dude. I'm not sure what that says about the misogyny of the film, something, but who the fuck cares at this point. nico kills Stephen and takes his skin.

A full year later Nico and Stevens families gather for the most uncomfortable dinner in the history of, well, dinners. Nico/Steven shows up in the middle of the dinner. he makes out with his sister. She opens the box. The cars disappear from  the driveway for some reason. Nico/Steven forces the whole family into the configuration in an attempt to bargain with Pinhead. Unsurprisingly, this does not go well.

Reading the synopsis, it doesn't sound like a bad film. Watching everything transpire...it's a terrible film. The acting is atrocious. At one point Stevens dad (Steven Brand) just stops even trying to cover up his Scottish accent. Same goes with Nicos mom and her German accent. Three quarters of the way through the film Stephen goes on a tirade about bad parenting, and well I couldn't tell you because it's some of the worst acting I've ever seen.

It gets worse. The sets look ridiculous. I've been to haunted houses at local fire departments that looked better than the sets in this film. The inside of the lament configuration literally looked like the inside of a restaurants walk n freezer. All this pales in comparison to what they did to Pinhead. An icon of horror cinema is made to look like an albino weight watchers patient in a bad cosplay costume. There is nothing menacing about him. His lines are delivered with as much soul and feeling as a vacuum cleaner...and the piece de resistance? The families names are Bradley and Craven. Yup, as in Doug and Wes. It's such an amateur, first screenplay move (I should know i did it in my first screenplay too) and is indicative of the film as a whole.

This film exists for no reason other than allowing Dimension to retain the rights to a possible remake/reboot of the once proud franchise and it shows. There are student films being made by freshmen Chapman that better written shot and produced. Avoid this film, lest you remind Dimension the franchise actually exists and they decide to exercise their rights again.

1/2 *'s out of *****

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