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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 19.67%
Average: 18.03%
Pretty Bad: 6.56%
Total Crap: 4.92%

2 reviews, 49 user ratings

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by Scott Weinberg

"Wow! Wet and gory and dark and a real treat for horror fans"
5 stars

A real modern classic. It features many things absent in most of my favorite horror films: Plot, atmosphere, acting, and a scary story. Novelist Clive Barker proves he can handle directing a movie, at least better than his buddy Stephen King.

Larry and Julia are recently wed and move back to an old house belonging to his family. Unfortunately, Larry's dead brother's corpse has been rotting in the attic and all it takes is a steady flow of blood to regenerate his body. This wonderful skill is thanks to this cool little puzzle box, which also acts as a portal to an evil dimension. This dimension is home of the Cenobites, and Pinhead is their boss. So through the magic of flashbacks, we learn that Julia and Frank had a lot of "naked time" together in the past. Julia begins luring men up to the attic and killing them, since Frank needs the blood, you see.

Just this stuff would place Hellraiser in the upper plateau of recent horror movies. But when the Cenobites show up looking for Frank and terrrorizing Larry's daughter, Kirsty, things really get fun. There's lots of gore and chains ripping flesh and nasty women ramming hammers into some horny guy's head.

Hellraiser deserves a lot of praise for giving horror fans the goods without playing it cheap. It instills some real dread here, and dread is a compliment when describing a horror movie. For example, there's an early scene when Larry is pulling a couch up a flight of stairs. We are shown a nail on the banister and it's proximity to Larry's straining hand. It lingers, and we anticipate a nasty injury. It's a small scene but an intense one. Clive Barker is not half bad here. He obviously cares, since he's directing one of his own stories. He knows how to scare people, and restraint is an alien term to him. The scene when Frank regenerates himself is a real sloppy mess, and again, that's a compliment.

You ever get the nervous feeling before you watch a horror movie with a nasty reputation? Yeah, I did until I was about 12, but it's a cool feeling. I dare some squeamish people to rent this, and I bet that not only will you like it, but you'll probably like horror movies a lot more. (Look for the unrated version.)

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originally posted: 11/16/99 13:59:55
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User Comments

7/22/17 Chaz Walter One of the GREATEST horror films of all time. Definitely in my top 2. 5 stars
10/30/16 morris campbell innovative & grisly horrorhounds check it out 4 stars
1/30/16 Alexis H A masterpiece of horror that will haunt your soul 5 stars
9/26/12 mr.mike Decent horror flick that did not rock my world. 3 stars
3/03/10 Richard Brandt A triumph of perverse imagination over budget 5 stars
8/17/08 JM Synth Powerful and inventive 5 stars
11/02/07 Total Crap Innovative, sadomasochistic. This is the coolest horror movie I've ever seen. 5 stars
10/15/07 fools♫gold Incredibly classic 5 stars
11/15/06 zac I haven't seen this movie but after reading this it seems better than TCM the 70's version 5 stars
11/02/06 cody Clive barker deliver a soild gory and shocking horror flim, but it little overated 3 stars
11/02/06 bobby clare higgins, clssic british stage actress, is very fetching in this forgettable POS 3 stars
10/09/06 K.Sear Meh. Not terrible, not great, just a pretty average horror flick. 3 stars
10/04/06 Sugarfoot Quite possibly the greatest horror movie of the 80's. Recalls Vincent Price style horror. 5 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist A good classic, I would'nt mind owning it!!!! 4 stars
7/11/06 William Goss Weak story, truly demented visuals, and palpable dread. Nightmarish, but mildly overrated. 3 stars
12/07/05 Indrid Cold Plot is too weak to make it truly great. Still, very well done, especially the visuals. 4 stars
10/03/05 Biz-e Not great, not horrible...Cool ideas not present well. 3 stars
9/30/05 ShabbaRanks Good little Halloween flick...not as good as everyone says, though. 3 stars
9/29/05 Jakub Not bad, but highly overrated. Great concept, mediocre execution. Fun, but no classic. C+ 3 stars
9/03/05 Eden Hated it on my first viewing but i was wrong 5 stars
4/01/05 Richard Box One of the best British Horror Films in the last 30 years. Apart from 28 days later. 5 stars
9/21/04 Samuel sick and just, fantastic. 5 stars
8/18/04 Paula A great must-see! It gets better with every viewing! 5 stars
7/26/04 Josh Standlee Friggin' awesome to the max! 5 stars
6/25/04 Suz An excellent spine chiller 5 stars
4/18/04 valerie hart its ok but great for real horror fans its totaly gory and sick not good if ur squeemish 4 stars
3/18/04 Umbrella Corporation. PLZ! Micahel Myers VS. Pinhead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 stars
3/17/04 PAYNE_KillerZ Not bad... But it could've been better & the ending is questionable...!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge This movie makes me WET. Pinhead is the king!!! H.R 2 is even better, all beyond that SUCK. 5 stars
11/02/03 American Slasher Goddess One of the most original horror movies of the 80's. 5 stars
8/31/03 DHite Sucked. The concept had such great potential, but it played out really poorly... 2 stars
8/02/03 Double G f 5 stars
7/10/03 gman ggggggood on ya, barker 5 stars
7/04/03 Kyle Holy shit, this kicks ass. 5 stars
6/16/03 Jack Bourbon The crappiest trash of all of the trashy crap out there. Hated this one. ICK! 1 stars
1/28/03 Thrash Loved the movie 5 stars
4/27/02 maximal01 Hellraiser is scary as, well, hell; and the Cenobites are like nothing else you'll ever see 5 stars
3/07/02 Alan Smithee While the acting could have been better at times, overall this movie is pretty twisted. 4 stars
1/16/02 David A. Science Fiction and horror just don't mix. This thing was lame. 2 stars
1/13/02 J. An average horror film. Nowhere near as terrifying as its fans will have you believe. 3 stars
8/07/01 Joe Zappa "HELLRAISER" may be a cult classic, BUT IT TOTALLY SUCKS ASS! 1 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Psychotic...romantic...Clive Barker's most original work with buckets o' blood for all. 5 stars
8/02/01 Elgyn A modern horror classic. A little slow-moving, but it`s still great. 5 stars
6/11/01 Stephanie M. Horton A Great Movie For Any Horror Fan 5 stars
6/08/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Clive Barker is a genius. Period. 5 stars
4/12/01 Andrew Carden Hellraiser is extremly scary and worth the rent if you're up to it. 4 stars
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  18-Sep-1987 (R)
  DVD: 21-Apr-2009

  11-Sep-1987 (18)

  22-Oct-1987 (R)

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