Mr. Barker is no more successful in making the big leap from literature to film than Norman Mailer. He's cast his film with singularly uninteresting actors, though the special effects aren't bad - only damp.
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Barker’s vision cribs equally from the mythos of vampires and zombies, but Hellraiser‘s overriding ridiculousness (and nagging budgetary shortcomings) can’t disguise the fact that the movie is at least unwittingly a product of the AIDS crisis.
Minor grisly fun, but don't expect the movie to linger when it's over.
Pinhead barely appears in Hellraiser, a film that, with its intense and uncomfortable family drama, might have even worked without him. With him, however, it becomes one of the most innovative and memorable horror films of the '80s.
This skillfully creepy film tells the story of some housemates who experience unwelcome visits from a partially decomposed former resident who rises from beneath the floorboards. Seems he wants the flesh and blood of the new residents in order to settle some old scores.
A serious, intelligent and disturbing horror film.
Utterly bizarre and entirely ridiculous – and yet effective, an imaginative Guignol festival, like the goriest of soap operas, in which one wrong move opens a portal to hell.
This is a movie without wit, style or reason, and the true horror is that actors were made to portray, and technicians to realize, its bankruptcy of imagination.