By Jerome Reuter
Revelations, is the 9th installment in the Hellraiser franchise. It also happens to be the absolute worst, and nothing more than a pile of garbage. A sad and futile attempt, to cash in on the once proud legacy of Clive Barker. So, why is this one as horrible as it is? Let’s find out.
First of all, there’s the absence of Doug Bradley. Ever since Bloodlines, every sequel in the franchise has been a direct to video release. These efforts, all have a similar formula to them. Bradley reprises his role as Pinhead, sometimes for only a few short scenes, and you have a new Hellraiser installment. In my opinion, Bradley is the only actor capable of portraying Hell’s most devious Cenobite. In ever installment, no matter how lackluster it may be, he always does his best. After all, you don’t spend years in the theatre to give a dull performance. Bradley flat out refused to have anything to do with this one.
The Pinhead from Revelations, is nothing that even closely resembles the original. Aside from the poor make up effects, he has the on screen persona of a wet paper towel. Watching him in this film, was akin to watching a Kindergarden class attempt to reenact Hamlet. (yes, it really is that terrible)
One of my biggest problems, was the story itself. None of the films have been good since Hellbound, but this one’s just terrible. The story centers around some found footage. As I’ve pointed out several times before, this has been done to death at this point. Two boys from a wealth suburbanite family, take a spring break in Mexico. After a few adolescent slip ups, they encounter the Lament Configuration. Their story is told through flashbacks, and an old camcorder their parents happen to have. (convenient, no?)
There are many things I expect to see in a horror film. One of the absolute last, are the hijinks of some entitled teenagers. They deserve whatever is coming their way.
It’s poor writing, and a far cry from the mythology of the first two. However, it gets much worse. It’s one thing using found footage in a Hellraiser film, it’s another to recreate the opening of the box from the first one. The sequence in which the box is opened, is lifted straight from the opening of Hellraiser.
I wish I could say the insanity stopped there. I wish I could say a lot of things. The borrowed cliches continue, with no end in sight. Much like Frank, one of the boys is brought into the realm of the Cenobites. It’s left to his wimpy friend to bring hime back to the world of the living. You can only guess how this is done, by shedding the blood of others. (gee, where have I seen that before?)
The wimpier friend takes upon murdering Mexican prostitutes, to bring his friend back to life. I’m not even joking, one of the boys even recited Frank’s line of “Blood, more will bring me back.” I suppose if you can’t come up with new dialogue and ideas for a sequel, just borrow from the first.
This one even borrows the “skin stealing” theme from the first entry. Which leads to one of my biggest complaints with this one. The weaker of the two friends is bumped off, so the Frank copycat can have a skin. Aside from it being completely unoriginal, it’s done completely wrong. In the first film, and even The Hellbound Heart, it’s implied. It’s best to let the audience draw their own conclusion. After all, they’re a lot smarter than the filmmakers of this one.
I can say with complete honesty, this has no redeeming qualities, none whatsoever. At this point, the Hellraiser franchise is a dead horse. I’ll say one thing, it does make me want to read The Hellbound Heart, all over again.