Hellraiser: 6 Thoughts I Had While Watching Hulu’s Horror Movie Reboot


SPOILER WARNING: The following article involves many major and specific plot details from Hulu hellraiser film.

Clive Barker is the kind of horror writer who not only aims to scare or confuse his audience, but to open his mind to concepts that may be unfamiliar to him or often overlooked. For example, I think 1987 hellraiser (based on his short story the infernal heart) is one of the most thought-provoking, let alone the best, horror films of its time – not just as a unique tale of romance driving people to sinister deeds, but as an introduction to the lore of another world of demonic cenobites. So, I’m not surprised that Hulu’s new reimagining of the classic has the same effect.

Directed by acclaimed horror filmmaker David Bruckner and written by his The night house scribes Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, the 11th installment in this brutal supernatural fantasy franchise follows a young woman who comes into possession of a strange puzzle box that introduces her and her loved ones to a terrifying world of pleasure and pain. . My overall opinion of it (which matches its overwhelmingly positive critical reception) aside, this visually stunning and horribly horrifying new horror movie gave me a lot to think about when I streamed it on Hulu. I have such sights to show in the breakdown of thoughts on hellraiser below.

Hellraiser's Wailing Setup

(Image credit: Hulu)

Looks like the Lament setup got a makeover

The face of the hellraiser films is obviously the “Lead Cenobite” who has come to be known as Pinhead (originally played by Doug Bradley before Jamie Clayton took on the role with refreshing trepidation in the new movie). However, the franchise’s other most recognizable symbol is a Cenobite-summoning puzzle box called the Lament Configuration, which is getting a major overhaul (both aesthetically and usably) for the reboot. The very foreground of the box looks identical to the cubic design of the original before the camera pans to reveal a new rectangular shape.

We eventually learn that the box can actually be reconfigured into different shapes (whose mechanics are probably impossible in the real world) and, with each new shape, the user then becomes a sacrifice for the Cenobites. The box is first seen here in a mansion owned by entrepreneur Roland Voight (former Emergency room Cast member Goran Visnjic), who lured people into his house to unlock the next setup and lead him one step closer to fulfilling the Cenobites’ precarious promise of pleasurable stimulation. Speaking of Cenobites, they also got their own makeover.

Jamie Clayton as Pinhead in Hellraiser.

(Image credit: Hulu)

Cenobites have never looked so grotesquely scary

I didn’t think we’d ever be able to make a bunch of demons for some and angels for others like cenobites even more creepy and heinous than they were in 1987. distinct metal objects with flesh meticulously ripped off to show off muscles and ligaments under their BDSM leather suits? Well, they actually kept most of those other elements intact, but removed the leather suits.

Yeah, those cenobites stand before you stark naked, but it took me a second to realize that – not just from the dim lighting, but their large patches of missing skin and their ritual symbols etched into the remaining flesh looked like to clothes at first sight. . I also noticed that the new Cenobites all have one common element to their design: the pins – the same pins that go around Jamie Clayton’s Pinhead head. This item is updated from Doug Bradley’s iteration, however, giving them a bead-like head and making them removable, which was quite hard to watch.

Jamie Clayton in Hellraiser

(Image credit: Hulu)

Initially, making Cenobites look like a hallucination was clever

The first time Cenobites appear in the new hellraiser is also unique to the 1987 original because, at first, you could easily be convinced that they aren’t real, given our protagonist’s troubled past. Odessa A’zion plays a recovering drug addict named Riley, who comes into the Lament configuration when she and her boyfriend, Trevor (Drew Starkey), steal it. After she returns to the apartment she shares with her brother, Matt (Brandon Flynn), and others later that night than usual, they have a fight and he kicks her out.

Riley then turns to her old coping mechanism – unidentified pills she had hidden in her car – and decides to enjoy it at a nearby playground, where she then tries to figure out this new puzzle box. . This, of course, makes some real weird shit appear in front of her in the form of the Cenobites – which, in their current state, probably look particularly gruesome and, to make matters worse, look like nothing more than an effect secondary to her secret hiding place when she tells the story later. However, Riley mentions in another scene that she didn’t take any hallucinogens, which makes her determined to figure out if there’s more behind what she saw.

Bloody sink in Hellraiser

(Image credit: Hulu)

I felt like I had a “Stephen King’s It” flashback for a second

It’s not uncommon for horror movies to share certain stylistic elements or even trace specific elements with each other, especially when we’re talking about a reboot of a famous property…like now. However, there was a moment in the new hellraiser it reminded me of an iconic scene from an entirely different horror franchise that involves a sink full of blood. Yes, I’m talking about the crimson explosion in young Beverly Marsh’s (Sophia Lillis) bathroom from 2017 This.

After Riley’s episode with the Cenobites, Matt finds her passed out on the playground and, while trying to wake her, grabs the Lament Setup, cuts her hand on her protruding blade (sealing her fate as the next sacrifice of the cenobites), then goes to the nearby bathroom to clean the wound. Before the demons make their entrance to lure him into their realm, a dazed Matt notices that the blood he’s just rinsed in the bathroom sink is starting to bubble up from the drain, which annoys me. initially convinced we were about to see a new take on that macabre moment from the aforementioned 1980s Stephen King adaptation. Luckily, that turned out not to be the case, which would have been a departure from the Cenobites’ more low-key MO for capture, anyway.

Roland's Mansion in Hellraiser

(Image credit: Hulu)

Oh my God. Roland’s house is a giant wailing configuration

The whole second half of hellraiser takes place at Roland Voight’s mansion, which Riley’s investigation of the Lament setup leads him to find covered in, essentially, a metal cage bearing an awfully familiar and distinct aesthetic. After Riley manages to sneak inside, she finds the large central hall from the cold open and looks up to find a skylight that not only resembles the design of the Lament configuration, but the metal structure moves in. done with the flip of a switch.

It’s true. For Voight, owning the Lament configuration wasn’t enough, and he had to convert his home into a larger-than-life replica, perhaps hoping it would bring him closer to contact with the ruler of Hell himself, Leviathan. Also, at this point, we got the impression that the wealthy occultist is dead, but he actually suffers an even worse fate and the first of two he would actually suffer in the movie.

Goran Visnjic in Hellraiser

(Image credit: Hulu)

The Process By Which A Human Becomes A Cenobite Is Incredibly Horrifying

We find out that all of Riley and his friends’ suffering has, for the most part, been part of a plan by Voight to reconnect with the Cenobites so they can heal him the way they “rewarded” him. six years earlier: strapping a bizarre contraption across his chest and back that literally twists his nerves and keeps him in constant pain. In the end, he manages to have the machine removed, but before he can celebrate freedom, he is impaled by a chain and pulled towards Leviathan to become the next Cenobite.

Now Previous hellraiser movies have shown us how humans are turned into cenobites (like when the opening scene of Hell: Hellraiser II showed us Pinhead’s origin), but nothing more graphically disturbing than what happens to Voight. In the final scene, we see him – now completely hairless and naked with chalky white flesh – waking up to see particular areas of his flesh slowly ripped off and folded over his hands, arms, feet and mouth, which act as an anchor to crucify him into a phallic-shaped golden structure. This is how he’s destined to live for eternity, and while I don’t really feel bad for him, it wasn’t easy to watch.

However, hellraiser is a great new entry in an already great year of horror movies that I think I’ll watch again in the future – perhaps as a double feature along with the original film. You can broadcast the new hellraiser on Hulu (opens in a new tab) yourself right now.


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