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.
All things must come to an end, and both the Hellbound Halloween event and the Hellraiser franchise count as part of "all things." I've covered 9 movies about Hell and Pinhead (with a brief interlude of other stories by Mr. Clive Barker), and Hellraiser: Judgment is the last. It's a bit of an over-exaggeration to say that the quality of the franchise decreased with every sequel, but the last half is more bad than good. Gary J Tunnicliffe--who also directed Hellraiser: Revelations--wanted to make a really good entry, and he ended up with two of the worst. Kind of like how Simon Kinberg wrote both X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Dark Phoenix! Nerd burn!
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.
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.
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.
Whoa! We're halfway there! The Hellbound Halloween continues with the fifth movie in the Hellraiser franchise, Hellraiser: Inferno. This is the first film in the series not to be released in theaters, and also the first where it's really, really obvious that this was originally an unrelated script before the cenobites were tacked on. As a result the execution is... polarizing. It's a very strange movie, but I think I can safely say it's the best Silent Hill film yet!
The Hellbound Halloween continues! It's a reference to The Hellbound Heart, the story by Mr. Clive Barker that Hellraiser is based on, by the way. This is the last film in the franchise that Barker had a direct hand in, which is a little concerning since it's only the second film. Yup, from here on out the quality steadily decreases--although I remember Hellraiser: Inferno being decent--until we hit the bottom of the barrel with the last two. But that's something we'll touch on later in the month; right now let's end Julia's reign of evil!
Happy Halloween... month! It's October, which basically means it's already Halloween. It also means it's time to whip out my annual "review a horror movie each weekday while also covering a big horror franchise" event! This is a spiritual successor to “Chwineka Watches 31 Netflix Horror Movies for October” (or CW31NHMO for short), so don't expect a concise name for the idea as a whole from me. Anywho, the second annual event is The Hellbound Halloween, where I cover all 10 currently released Hellraiser movies and a few more morsels from Mr. Clive Barker. So let's dive into what's probably the horniest big horror franchise out there!
Here we finally are, the last arc in the first season of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry. Or is it series, since the next series/season has a different subtitle, title song, and end credits song? I'm honestly not sure, just like I'm honestly not sure what's really going on in this series. But not necessarily in a bad way? That's the intent, what with it being a mystery series and all, but damn, it would be nice to get some actual answers. Good thing this is a so-called answer arc! So let's jump into Atonement and finish off the first season. Series. Whatever.
The first four chapters in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry, are referred to as "question arcs." I think it's a great name because I have a whole bunch of questions as to what the fuck is going on. But now we've entered the so-called "answers arcs." I went into the Eye Opening arc completely unprepared for what I was about to see and learn, thinking it was going to follow the pattern I had assumed was there based on the question arcs. Is every question answered? Absolutely not, but I learned enough new things that I realized I've been working on some faulty logic about what's really going on here. This arc is six episodes, so this'll run a little long!