Last year for October I watched all the Hellraiser films as part of The Hellbound Halloween. That's 10 movies about Pinhead and his fellow cenobites, with a brief break near the end because holy shit they somehow got progressively worse as time went on. So when I heard that the long-awaited Hellraiser reboot was dropping in October, I knew I had to talk about it. And so here we are on a Saturday while the weekdays are taken up by October of the Living Dead.
Even with Movie Night taking a hiatus and then back with a relaxed schedule for a while, I still watch a lot of movies in a year. I don't mean that so much as a brag, but as a defense in this case. Devour is a psychological horror film starring Mr. Jensen "Dean Winchester" Ackles, and its poster caught my eye enough that I put it on for Movie Night. Simple enough, right? Well, turns out we had watched it back in 2018 and none of us remembered a single detail about it. Not the best look!
I honestly don't know what to say about this movie. Neil Breen is an auteur with a specific vision on the merging of humanity and advanced technology, and he wants to share that vision with us. Doesn't matter that he's an awful filmmaker and his movies are utterly incomprehensible, I guess.
Trailers lie all the time. Sometimes it's for good reasons, like Avengers: Infinity War hiding how many Infinity Stones Thanos had when he fought Captain America. And sometimes it's for bad reasons, like Slender Man cutting a bunch of scenes that would explain what the hell was going on while apparently forgetting that they were left in the trailers. Then you have a movie like Run which lies like a fucking pro.
Now wait, you might be saying to yourself. Didn't he already cover this? Well, yes and no. Yes, I started this week with a post on the 1920 silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. But no, today's post is on the 2005 remake that I can't absolutely confirm is a shot-for-shot remake, but it's the exact same movie. Except the characters now talk. A lot. And it's not good.
It's December, which on this blog means... more Caligari movies? Hm. Last year, December was nothing but Christmas and/or winter holiday movies, but this year I'm breaking that pattern up a bit. See, I've been meaning to do these three Caligari movies for months now, so I'm forcing myself to do them now. Santa and all that will be coming eventually, but so will at least two breaks from the format since Spider-Man: No Way Home is coming out this month and there's another, non-winter movie I watched that I want to talk about. With that out of the way, let's dive into The Cabinet of Caligari, a movie hampered by its title.
One of my goals for 2022 is to cover more franchises on the blog. Outside of events, most of what I do are stand-alone movies and that has not been conducive to clearing out my list of "movies I've mentioned on the blog but haven't covered yet." But it's never too early to start a project, so let's have a mini event this week, starting with the horror classic, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari! What's the theme? All in good time...
Last year I said that The Blair Witch Project is a great film, and I will always stand by that statement. Sure, it unleashed a plague of cheap found footage garbage, but can you really blame the good thing for all the cheap knockoffs that follow? Speaking of cheap knockoffs, this year we're talking about Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, a mistake on just about every level. Sure, that sounds a bit unfair, but how else am I supposed to feel about a movie called "Book of Shadows" that doesn't ever feature--or even reference or mention--a spooky and/or witchy book? So the title is a lie, right out the gate? Fan-fuckin-tastic.
Hellraiser: Hellworld is a real turning point in the Hellraiser franchise. Not only is it a bad movie in itself that was filmed back-to-back with Hellraiser: Deader, but it's also the last time that the incomparable Mr. Doug Bradley would play Pinhead. What a completely lackluster ending to such an iconic performance! It's actually a little sad, and exhausting in a way I can't really describe. I'm sure I'll figure out my feelings by the time we reach the end of this installment of the Hellbound Halloween.
There's something about franchises--particularly big horror franchises--where it sure seems like each one has a film that just refuses to stick in my head. I wrote about Children of the Corn: The Gathering just last year, but even then I still only remember the barest of details without looking at the post. Something about a fever...? In that same vein, was it Leprechaun 2 or Leprechaun 3 where he was at a pawn shop? And A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is just a total blank to me. The point being I've seen all 10 Hellraiser films before, but had no memory of what the hell Hellraiser: Deader was about. But now I've rewatched it and can safely say that I'll most likely forget every detail of this boring movie--again--by next month, if not next week.