Friday, 23 February 2018

Hellraiser VIII: Hellworld (2005)

So it's supposed to be meta now? What?

Directed again by Rick Bota, and based on a short story by Joel Soisson (who wrote Highlander: Endgame), which has nothing to do with this going to be any good? No. No it isn't.

So now, in this "universe" Hellraiser is a franchise, and there's a video game based on it. A group of friends - who are down one after the apparent suicide of Adam (who was obsessed with the game) - decide to attend a Hellworld party at a creepy mansion. The mansion was supposed to have been built by Philip Lemarchand, and is hosted by a man who doesn't seem to fit in. And this is where it pretty much all falls to bits.

Lance Henrikson

The friends spend the rest of the movie being hunted down by the host of the party, Pinhead, and the Cenobites, dying in horrible ways, which is all very confusing, and then the twist at the end of the film is the cherry on the cake. But we'll get to that.

So first off, in this universe, Hellraiser - Lemarchand - is real. But also a movie franchise. And a video game. Ooooookay. That's not confusing. So is this still a sequel? Are the other movies supposed to be documentary's? Or is this outside of the Hellraiser series? It makes my ears bleed thinking about it. Anyway. Probably should review something.

Let's start with the acting.

Even Lance Henrikson doesn't save this. The group of victims - sorry, protagonists - turn in a pretty shoddy delivery. Katheryn Winnick (Vikings) leads the pack and is followed by Christopher Jacot (A Town Called Eureka), Khary Payton (Teen Titans (voice)), Henry Cavill (Man of Steel), and Anna Tolputt (The Scar Crow). They act either badly, or are phoning it in. It's hard to tell either way. Henrikson (phoning it in) really doesn't bring anything to the table - sadly, as he can be a powerhouse when he wants to be. Even Doug Bradley seems to have only turned up for the paycheck.

Doug Bradley

Then there's the story line. Good grief. After the victims turn up at the mansion, the plot devolves into a Scooby Doo style chase around the corridors, with people being bumped off left, right, and center. And it's not Hellraisery. Lament Configurations may as well be absent within the entire running time. People are dying, for some reason.

It's messy. And then there is the end.

It was all a dream. I'm getting pretty sick of this, Hellraiser. How many more movies can it all be a dream? But hey, at least this one is a drug induced dream. Lance Henrikson is the father of Adam, and blames his friends for his suicide. So he creates an elaborate (to say the least) plan to gather them to the mansion, host a party, feed them hallucinogens, and bury them alive. What? Why? Who thought this would be a good idea?

Anyway, Henrikson, is seen at the end of the film in a seedy motel with Adam's belongings, and uncovers the Lament Configuration, summons the real Pinhead and gets torn to pieces.

And then (just finish already) he appears in the back of the two survivors car.

For reasons.

This is a mess of a film. It's wandered so far from the path of the original concept, that it doesn't know what it wants to be. The plot is nonsensical. The acting is absent. It's not scary. It misses the point.

Can it get worse than this? Can it?


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