I don’t want to come off as some sort of movie snob or purist. There are many different ways to tell a story, and sticking to a rigid structure is not always the best course of action. Case in point, Hellraiser: Inferno was a detective mystery that had some Hellish aspects, and I think it worked. But I guess Miramax thought they could try the same formula and create another interesting movie out of a script previously unrelated to the franchise. But no. Hellraiser: Hellseeker sucks and I hate it. Welcome back to the Hellbound Halloween. We’re officially in the bad half of the franchise.
Hellseeker follows Trevor (Mr. Dean Winters, who I know as Brian Cassidy from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit but most probably know him as Mayhem from Allstate commercials), who is married to… holy shit. Is that Kirsty Cotton? It is! They got Ashley Laurence back (last seen in a brief video tape cameo in Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth)! And they… immediately kill her off when Trevor loses control of his car and drives it off a bridge. Okay, she’s technically missing and presumed dead, but that’s still a dirty thing to do to the original hero of these stories.
But oh, this movie has not yet begun to ruin Kirsty Cotton.
Due to a supposed head injury, Trevor is having trouble keeping track of what’s real and what is some sort of hallucination. We learn basically as he does that he’s been sleeping with three women–his boss, his neighbor, and an acupuncturist–and plotted with his coworker to kill Kirsty so he could get all her money. Glimpses reveal his relationship with Kirsty wasn’t as good as the opening scene suggested, with the big evidence coming from him passive-aggressively giving her a Lament Configuration as a gift and recording the whole thing, for some reason. Anyway, the ladies he fucked get murdered, the female doctor he’s been talking to doesn’t seem to exist, and we finally learn the truth of what the fuck is going on. You probably figured it out already–he killed Kirsty but was either severely injured or died in the process, and now he’s in Hell. Not exciting, but not the worst.
BUT OH NO! IT’S ACTUALLY SO MUCH WORSE! Trevor had forced Kirsty to open the puzzle box, leaving her at the mercy of Pinhead. But she makes a deal with the cenobite: she’ll give him five souls in exchange for sparing her own. This is Kirsty Cotton, who had just about every family member killed and tortured by these demons. Kirsty Cotton, who in the Boom! Studios comics (co-written by Clive Barker so it’s effectively canon) spent decades hunting down the cenobites and even ended up taking over Pinhead’s job in an attempt to save the lives of her friends and loved ones (I’ll explain that bizarre series later on). This movie says Kirsty Cotton made a deal with Pinhead, killed all the women her husband was fucking, then his coworker, and finally Trevor himself in a way that makes it look like a suicide. Fucking bullshit. Absolute garbage. I hate it.
And this is just the tip of the downward turn this series takes. Besides crediting Clive Barker for characters, this movie has two writers: Carl Dupré and Tim Day. Day co-wrote the seventh film, Hellraiser: Deader, while Dupre went on to co-write the eighth film, Hellraiser: Hellworld. And director Rick Bota directed both of those movies. Beyond those, the last two movies are the worst yet! And I have to rewatch them before the month is over. Oof… It really feels like I’ve made some horrible choices in my life, and now I’m being tortured by a malicious entity that enjoys my suffering. If only I could think of some analogy for this.
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