Well, he we are. Last stop. The final Hellraiser movie. Hellraiser: Revelations. The Omega. The infamous ashcan film. The Hellraiser film panned hardest by fans and critics alike. Even Doug Bradley, beloved actor for Pinhead since 1987 opted out because this was below him. He showed up for Deader and Hellworld to collect a cheque and offer thirty seconds of his face and voice, but this was too much of a hack gig for him to take. I want you to think about that as we dive into this thing.
Hellraiser: Revelations starts the way every good Hellraiser should start: with shakey found footage of dipshit teenagers (played by twenty-somethings). Two guys, Nico and Steve are on their way to Tijuana (constantly pronounced TI-OU-HHHWA-NAH) for a vacation, and they’re ready to record all of their crazy escapades. While out partying one night, Nico drunkenly kills a prostitute with a toilet (yes, really) and while trying to drink away the rest of the night (as I did after watching this) they’re offered an intricate puzzle box by a grubby homeless man. Totes obvi, this is the Lament Configuration, and when they start messing around with it, Pinhead and the Cenobites appear to reap their flesh and souls.
Turns out, all this footage has made its way back to Steve’s parents who are having a dinner party with Nico’s parents. They’re all mourning the loss of their boys while Steven’s sister, who has not yet seen the tape, wants to find out what really happened to them. She gets her hands on the Lament Configuration because apparently it somehow came back to L.A. into Steven’s room and once she begins solving it, Steven appears! His family, shocked and astounded to see him alive brings him inside where he can recount the events of that fateful night in Tijuana first hand.
This movie fucking sucks. Like, big time sucks. Not in a so-bad-it’s-good way, but in a low budget and even lower effort, spend most of the time flipping through Instagram looking at butts and memes on your phone instead of watching it kind of way. This is worse than The Bye Bye Man. There, I said it. But unlike the Bye Bye Man, there’s nothing to laugh at here. It’s just vapid, boring, and uninspired.
But it confounds me. Not how bad it is, that much I have down pat. Dimension Pictures just don’t give a shit no mo’. But there are some unusual and unexpected things that happen in the story of how this movie was made. First off, is that this is the first original Hellraiser script written since Hellraiser IV: Bloodline in 1996. Why they decided to make it from scratch (more on this later) rather than just modifying some other shelved horror script as they’ve done for the past 15 years is beyond me. If you know you’re making an ashcan film just to keep legal rights, why bother paying somebody to write you a whole new script?
Even then, after they knew that they made a terrible, terrible movie they decided to premiere it and release it on Blu-Ray! It’s not like it made any money, everybody knew this was going to be total shit. Guess how many people showed up to the premiere. Zero. Nobody showed up that it’s actually hotly contested if there even was a public showing at all. Doomed to irrelevancy from the start, and still they for some reason Dimension Films decided to keep up the act that they were producing and releasing a proper movie.
We’re nearly 600 words in, and I haven’t even mentioned what about Hellraiser: Revelations I dislike. God, it’s honestly so fucking bad. The plot itself is mostly a rehashing of bits and bobs from the first Hellraiser. People stealing other people’s skins, weird incest-y scenes, and people actually using the Lament Configuration for pleasure-seeking. Unfortunately, Hellraiser: Revelations is still 9 degrees removed from the original and handles these less than pleasant subjects and events with much less tact and subtlety than Clive Barker did back in 1987. So again, why pay someone to write a new script? Why pay someone to write a new script that’s almost beat for beat a script that was already written over 30 years ago?
The only, the only fraction of an element from this movie that redeems it in any way, shape, or form is the actor who plays Pinhead. Dear God, he’s just the worst. But hes so far removed from Doug Bradley’s amazing performances, that he comes across as unintentionally hilarious. His costume looks like it’s been purchased at Wal-Mart or a pop-up Halloween store and his schlubby demeanor really drives home the least intimidating Pinhead to date.
Oh my god. We’ve done it. IT’S OVER. I’M FREE! It took me almost a whole year (seriously, my first Hellraiser review was posted January 16th, 2017) but I did it! Now you can’t say I never amounted to anything.
I’m going to go drink forever now. Bye.