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Overall Rating
3.39

Awesome: 31.94%
Worth A Look33.33%
Average: 1.39%
Pretty Bad: 8.33%
Total Crap: 25%

3 reviews, 54 user ratings


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Hellraiser: Inferno
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by Charles Tatum

"Great Scott (Derrickson)!"
4 stars

Scott Derrickson, the director of "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" and the remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" had to get his full-length horror/sci-fi film genre chops somewhere. He did that by directing and co-writing "Hellraiser: Inferno," the fifth film in the "Hellraiser" series. Not only is this film on par with Clive Barker's original nightmare, it shamefully went straight to video.

Craig Sheffer is outstanding as Joseph Thorne, our anti-hero. He is a Denver detective with a knack for solving complicated puzzles and cases. He also has a knack for snorting cocaine, stealing crime scene evidence, and visiting prostitutes. He ignores his wife and young daughter, wrapping himself up in every case. His partner, Tony (Nicholas Turturro), is more grounded, with a wife and two kids of his own. In the beginning of the film, the pair investigate the brutal murder of an acquaintance from Joseph's high school years. The man was literally torn apart, and also found at the scene was the finger of an unidentified child, and a strange wooden puzzle box. Joseph takes the box, later picks up a hooker, and after another night of debauchery, solves the puzzle box in a seedy motel while the hooker sleeps.

Joseph launches into a nightmare where he hears a child call for help, and hallucinates grotesque creatures. He awakes and leaves, but returns to the room after getting a call from the prostitute, who is violently murdered while on the phone. Joseph cleans the scene of any evidence he was there, but plants some items belonging to Tony to control the situation and the partner he should, but does not, trust. Joseph investigates the hooker's murder, his acquaintance's murder, and finds himself hunting down both the missing child whose fingers are being found at the crime scenes, and a mysterious figure with the street name the Engineer. In the meantime, a featureless killer (save a hideous mouth) hunts down the people close to Joseph.

Derrickson has crafted an ugly looking film along the lines of "Seven." He crosses the taboo line in that children are victims of this world (and the afterlife). He also rivets the viewer, as the case's turns become more and more unexpected. Derrickson cowrote the screenplay with Paul Harris Boardman, and they come up with both a clever police procedural as well as a spooky demonic film.

Craig Sheffer plays Joseph incredibly well. There is nothing sympathetic about him, and Sheffer's cold distance works. Joseph is dead inside, coming alive when pursuing his suspect, but not when dealing with his family. The rest of the cast do great jobs, with even small roles like Nicholas Sadler as Joseph's snitch Bernie standing out and making quick but lasting impressions. A special mention should go to James Remar as Joseph's police counselor. His calm demeanor and appearance (he looks like Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart") will fool you, and Derrickson wisely uses him just long enough.

Doug Bradley, as always, is excellent as Pinhead, the lead Cenobite, but fans of the series might be disappointed in how little he is onscreen (a couple of minutes at most). Again, Derrickson and Boardman use him when needed, not turning him into a quipping villain with no menace. This film is Joseph's story, a thoughtful direction the series had to take in order not to repeat itself, unlike so many other sequels in this genre (can anyone tell me the difference between the middle three "A Nightmare on Elm Street" entries...didn't think so).

While some of the computer generated special effects are a bit weak, the climax runs a few minutes too long, and Joseph's voice-over narration is as necessary as Harrison Ford's in "Blade Runner," "Hellraiser: Inferno" is by far the strongest entry in the series, full of horror and interesting ideas, as well as some excellent performances and suspenseful plotting. Good stuff all around.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4579&reviewer=325
originally posted: 05/04/10 08:44:36
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User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell the only good hellraiser sequel is the scarlet gosphels 1 stars
6/29/14 dmfnyce this movie gets the finger 2 stars
10/02/10 archont Inferno eschews fake blood and latex for a frightenning psychological trip. Very ambitious. 4 stars
9/15/10 Chris McGinnis Doesn't really follow the Hellraiser serious, but still awesome! 5 stars
12/04/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
3/08/08 Donald D If I want to see "Jacob's Ladder"...um...I'll just go watch "Jacob's Ladder." 1 stars
10/20/07 chistianmonk As a born again christian, this movie should be the #2 movie behind THE PASSION OF CHRIST 5 stars
12/20/06 Matthew Little This movie is fantastic..."A" 5 stars
11/11/06 cody Different is always the best , the film had good effects and acting, it had to many endings 2 stars
10/14/06 hells angels this was the best hellraiser movie! i do not care what any 1 else says about it............ 5 stars
10/09/06 K.Sear Wow! A much needed breath of fresh air. 5 stars
10/04/06 Sugarfoot Turns Pinhead into morality tale, it's still better than #4 but still... 2 stars
10/03/05 Biz-e Boooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
9/30/05 ShabbaRanks Lame, dull, stupid, bad acting, cheesy effects, lifeless script...next to no Pinhead. Turd. 1 stars
9/29/05 Jakub Definitely, without a doubt, the most BORING of the series. At least Chatterer is back! 2 stars
8/05/05 John Earl A worthy addition to the Hellraiser saga 4 stars
3/04/05 the pixi not perfect but a good new direction closer to the book 4 stars
8/31/04 Tuomo Haatainen Nice movie, it was actually a bit scary at times, unlike any other hellraiser movie. 4 stars
7/30/04 Josh Standlee Very entertaining, but it needed more Pinhead. 4 stars
5/14/04 Metathrom Excellent, surreal movie with a clever plot. I wanted better cenobites though. :( 4 stars
4/10/04 Fayme Awesome movie 4 stars
3/18/04 Umbrella Corporation. 1979... He came home, 1987 the puzzle is solved... 2004, MICHAEL MYERS VS. PINHEAD!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/17/04 PAYNE_KillerZ Pinhead may've not been in it for long but, a character's descent into MADNESS... Yes!!!!!! 5 stars
2/08/04 Atrophy666 Hey I liked it Scott 5 stars
12/22/03 the Grinch Hey Lou, at least I can SPELL! Who the fuck are you, PRINCE? 4 stars
11/02/03 American Slasher Goddess Hellraiser meets NYPD Blue. Pinhead makes a five minute cameo. Truely bad. 1 stars
9/25/03 moira didn't make any bloody sense, also confusing 1 stars
8/02/03 Double G Great 5 stars
5/18/03 lou safire ok film but the best is no 1 , u are an inadequte critic , an it shows 4 stars
4/04/03 someone - 5 stars
2/25/03 smelliemellie ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/14/02 FoRo This movie was fucking cool. and suck ass is you. lol 5 stars
8/28/02 Bob MacBryce Agree with the Grinch completely. Although i really liked the ambient music too. 5 stars
4/27/02 maximal01 Yeah yeah. (Almost) makes up for that abomination that was "Hellraiser 4: Bloodlines". 4 stars
4/09/02 Bob MacBryce Seen them all. This one rules. Learn to live with the fact that the eighties are over. 5 stars
3/07/02 Alan Smithee Not as bad as I was expecting, but still a far cry from the first film. 3 stars
2/10/02 B. Kwon It was very different from the others, but strangley enough I really enjoyed It!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
1/12/02 Andrew Carden At This Point The Series Had Gone On 3 Too Many Sequels. 1 stars
1/11/02 deimos420 too fucking cool for words 5 stars
11/03/01 Dave W This movie was awesome....I don't know what you're talking about 5 stars
9/18/01 Tony the tiger with commentary by Steven the snake A surprise 5 stars
8/25/01 JesseL Liked every Hellraiser a lot, but this one stinks. 1 stars
8/21/01 ice werewolf great movie! kept me interrested from start to finish, and what an ending! 5 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk I was surprised to say the least. Interesting way to further the series, but S-To-Video!!!! 4 stars
8/02/01 Elgyn Good idea - bad execution (no pun intended). Dull. 2 stars
7/29/01 the Grinch You loved the first four? Well...that says it all, doesn't it? 5 stars
5/16/01 Rampage Those horror movies are staring to piss me off. Time for a new trend! 1 stars
5/10/01 Shawn Lawrence Maybe it would be good if they didn't cling to the hellraiser name. nah... 1 stars
4/26/01 Basil A lot better than I thought it would be. 5 stars
3/11/01 Hollister Fracus This was a total piece of shit! I loved the first four, but this sucked. 1 stars
3/05/01 Suzie Q Pretty gross. I mean, getting my back ripped off with little hooks isn't my idea of fun! 5 stars
1/26/01 Diego Romero Who comes up with this shit?A guy with a brain 5 stars
1/03/01 AaronZombie Good effects, and a good atmosphere, but boring, and bad acting. Skip it. 2 stars
11/12/00 Ground Zero who comes up with this shit?! 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  03-Oct-2000 (R)
  DVD: 19-Apr-2011

UK
  11-Feb-2002 (18)

Australia
  N/A (R)




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