CONTENT WARNING: SIBLINGS MAKE OUT IN THIS
Film rights are a can of worms. They are the reason the Marvel Cinematic Universe was created without mutants, despite the Avengers and X-Men both being owned by Marvel. It’s also partially why Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are no longer Magneto’s children (as of time of writing, the Trial of Magneto may have a weird ending). Whenever you hear about film rights, it’s typically never a good sign. That’s the case with Hellraiser: Revelations, a rushed entry in the Hellraiser franchise made so Dimension could keep the film rights. The Hellbound Halloween has hit its lowest point. This is why I took a break from this franchise for a week.
Two families, the Bradleys and the Cravens–I see what you did there–are mourning the loss of their sons, Nico and Steven. The duo went down to Mexico for drunken debauchery and recorded everything. They even recorded Nico killing a girl in an unspecified way and then forcing Steven not to delete the footage because… it somehow also implicated Steven, swearing them both to silence? Really is so their families can see and therefore we can see, because the film is partially found footage. Also recorded is Nico opening a Lament Configuration and summoning… oh. Oh no. Is that really your Pinhead?
I mentioned that the production on this was rushed, and I mean really rushed. Mr. Doug Bradley–the man who played Pinhead in the previous eight films–was approached to reprise the character, but thought the script not receiving a second draft to be a bad sign. Even I edit these posts at least once! So he was out and replaced with Stephan Smith Collins, who is… I don’t want to body shame, but he’s not a good fit for Pinhead. I’m not saying he’s fat by any stretch, but he’s bigger than the fairly lithe Bradley. He just looks wrong in general. Plus he somehow overacted and underacted, and the whole thing is just #NotMyPinhead.
Back to the story, Steven shows up suddenly, saying he and Nico were taken by the cenobites and only he escaped. Then he makes out with his sister, Sarah, even grabbing her boob. Fucking. Gross. But it’s okay! Because that’s actually Nico–her boyfriend–wearing her brother’s skin! Granted she didn’t know that and is rightfully shamed for the incest, but still. The real Steven has become what I call Pinhead Jr., taking squares of skin from his victims and having Pinhead Sr. nail them onto his flesh. Nico/Steven has Sarah solve the puzzle box in an attempt to trade her life for his, but Pinhead isn’t having it. Nico dies, Sarah’s mom is dragged to Hell in Nico’s place, and all the other parents die. Sarah survives because Pinhead senses darkness in her, and the movie ends with her grabbing the box.
For better or worse, this is one of the scripts that was apparently actually written to be a Hellraiser entry, so it has elements of the franchise. Nico solves the box in a way very reminiscent of Uncle Frank from the first film, there’s a homeless-looking Puzzle Guardian who gives Nico the box, and one of the new cenobites is a combination of Female Cenobite and Chatterer. Too bad the story fucking sucks! This was only made so rich people could keep the film rights away from other rich people with no real desire to make a good movie; just one that checks the boxes required to count as a Hellraiser film. Apparently director Gary J Tunnicliffe wanted to make a “true” Hellraiser film since he was disappointed with the later additions to the franchise, which makes this movie being such garbage so sad. He got another shot with Hellraiser: Judgment, but I’ll get to that failure soon enough. The Hellbound Halloween is almost over! It’s been… certainly something.
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