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Friday, October 30, 2009

Hellraiser (1987) - Clive Barker

Clive Barker is a horror genius, from his books to his films. He is one of the greatest minds in horror history. That being said we are going to be looking at one of his most well told tales, Hellraiser. This story is based off of his book The Hellbound Heart. This movie was my earliest delve into the horror genre. I remember staying with my dad and watching this movie late at night from the hallway in secret. It scared the shit out of me. I couldn't sleep, every time I closed my eyes I could see chains coming out of my walls tearing me apart. Yeah, this movie has scenes that stay in your memory. At least my own. 

A family moves into a relatives home after he goes missing. It doesn't take long for the family to figure out what has happened to the former occupant. Kirsty, the teenage girl of the family, figures out that her uncle Frank had been sleeping with her father's wife. She decides to investigate and she finds herself tied up in a terror-iffic tale of adultery and murder with the antagonists as some horribly disfigured demons leading the way. You are introduced to Pinhead, Chatterer, Butterball, Leviathan, and Female. All of the most famous Cenobites from Barker's universe. 

Clive Barker's tales are always pushing the question, "What is your pleasure?" This movie is no exception. The thin line between pain and pleasure is the driving force behind the movie. There are some scenes that really drive this home. The opening scene for example where Frank offers himself over to the "ultimate pleasure" is the most outstanding example.

Outstanding special effects and a really chilling soundtrack are all the parts needed to make this a scary movie staple. Hellraiser is definitely one of the greatest horror franchises of all time, they did fall off a few movies into it though. The franchise suffers from the usual, done to many times deal. In my opinion they fell off after the second movie. What I like about this is that the Cenobites aren't your normal villains. They are really just workers for Hell, doing Satan's bidding. 

Director: Clive Barker
Country: USA
Style: Psychological Body Horror

Did ya know...
It took six hours to apply the prosthetic Cenobite makeup on Doug Bradley.
The budget of this movie was $1,000,000. It earned about $20,000,000. It was the directing debut of Clive Barker, who had made only two short films before this. The Chatterer and Butterball Cenobites had dialogue in the original script. However, when their make-up made coherent speech impossible, their lines were given to the Female Cenobite and especially Pinhead which helped to cement his reputation as the film's trademark character.