on August 18, 2002
the return of kirsty. but not in the way we all expected. while most of the movie is focused on her husband trevor. it starts out with him and her riding in a car going down a road when the car flies of the bridge and crashes into the water. trevor escapes but kirsty is traped in the car. Much like INFERNO, trevor must find the answers to what really happened to kirsty as her body is not found and what is really happening to him. Once again Pinhead and crew have a small role and in the end we all learn the twisted truth about kirsty and her relationship to trevor as reality is turned upsidedown and nothing is as it seems. Trevor must face his past that he has "forgoten" as kirsty has her revenge for all the heck shes been though. The truth about how kirsty has been changed since HELLRAISER:HELLBOUND is shown and her true relationship to Pinhead and crew is brought to the forefront. How you view kirsty will be changed after seeing this movie as all the pain shes been through finnaly takes its toll on her. great movie and a truly great surprise ending!!!
The Hellraiser franchise holds a special place in my heart. I will never forget the first time I saw the opening chapter in the series of films inspired by Clive Barker's nightmarish visions. Watching the original "Hellraiser" now is a mixed bag-some of those special effects look a bit hokey, but others still come across as chillingly effective. Who can forget the glistening visage of Uncle Frank? The lascivious Julia? Or the first appearance of the ominous and verbose Pinhead? The second installment improved on the first, as the film whisked the viewer away to the abode of Pinhead and the Cenobites. A gruesome, perverse picture, "Hellbound: Hellraiser 2" raised the expectations about future entries to a fever pitch. Up next came "Hellraiser 3," a personal favorite of mine even though legions of fans have subsequently disowned it. The series moved into the latter stages of its life from this point forward, taking bold steps in an attempt to expand far beyond anything that viewers had come to expect. "Hellraiser: Bloodline" moved the action into the future while simultaneously looking at the past in an effort to tell the history of the Lament Configuration, the box that unleashes Pinhead and his infernal minions. Then came "Hellraiser: Inferno," a film that toyed with concepts of memory in a way that is a sort of precursor to "Hellraiser: Hellseeker."
The sixth entry in the indomitable "Hellraiser" franchise employs techniques eerily reminiscent of films like "Irreversible" and "Memento" without showing scenes backwards. Trevor Gooden (Dean Winters) and his main squeeze Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) aren't getting along that well. They argue incessantly about the things a couple always argues about, but unfortunately they do so while driving a car. When tempers flare Gooden takes his eyes off the road long enough for the car to do a header off a bridge into deep water. The story picks up from this point forward, following Trevor as he recovers from injuries sustained in the accident. Sadly, good old Kirsty didn't make it through the crash, and now Gooden faces questions from the police. The two detectives who question Trevor try and use the old good cop/bad cop routine to extract a confession from the man. Gooden has no idea why the police are voicing suspicions about the accident since he had no reason to try and harm his loved one. The ongoing investigation is a minor inconvenience anyway because Trevor Gooden feels bad physically and emotionally. He suffers from crushing headaches and other ailments as a result of the crash, although the doctors seem to think he shouldn't have any problems.
Then the hallucinations start, frightening visions of gory violence and weird apparitions that leave Gooden feeling confused and alone. His encounter with a cute neighbor in his apartment building leads to a murder he knows nothing about. In come the cops again, asking increasingly ominous questions about what Trevor knows. Everything is turning weird, with time skewing off into past, present, and future directions. Gooden worries he's losing his mind, and he's right. What he should have asked himself was to whom would his mind go. Fans of the "Hellraiser" movies already have a good idea who's going to turn up in the end to claim Trevor Gooden. Yep, it's Pinhead, that urbane, witty denizen of Hell who always finds time to pop up on earth to lecture the mortals on the evils of bad living. It turns out that that accident might not have occurred the way we thought it did, that maybe Trevor isn't the aw shucks sort of guy we thought he was. 'Tis a pity when a good seed goes bad. Or does it? I won't spoil the shock conclusion for you, but "Hellraiser: Hellseeker" holds its cards tightly to its vest. The film is a roller coaster ride that doesn't let the secret out until the final frames.
Director Rick Bota did a good job crafting yet another entertaining "Hellraiser" sequel. He imbues his film with a stark, washed out atmosphere that more than adequately expresses the bleakness Trevor Gooden feels after the accident. Bota also knows that a movie wishing to attach itself to the Pinhead canon must have a vicious bite in terms of gory violence. A whole host of sharp objects express themselves in various ways in the film, much to the delight of gorehounds looking for yet another movie to tease the palate. Even the acting is better than you would expect for a low budget straight to video horror flick. Ashley Laurence, returning to the role that made her semi-famous in the horror world, does a better job acting the seminal part of Kirsty Cotton than she did in the first two films. She might be a bit older, but she's still easy on the eyes. The only downfall to Laurence's appearance is that she doesn't have more than a few scenes. Pity. The director should have made greater use of this actress. Moreover, Doug Bradley as Pinhead once again appears only briefly, a big disappointment to fans of the man with the face of a million nightmares.
The DVD edition is quite good for a straight to video movie. You get a commentary from Rick Bota, a special effects featurette, alternate scenes that give Ashley Laurence greater screen time, and a bunch of trailers for films like "Imposter," "Backflash," and "Hellraiser: Inferno." This sixth installment is the last of the "Hellraiser" films that have been released; two more are slated for release within the next year and a half. I hope they give us more Pinhead and more over the top gore. I think I will go back and start watching the series from the start again. You should, too.
on April 14, 2006
Hellraiser VI - Hellseeker~ Dean Winters is a really well made sequell in the hellraiser series. Ashley Laurence is back for the first time since hellbound. The special effects are quite well made and the script is great being that the movie has a 3 million dollar budget. The music is great for the movie and sets the mood perfectly even to well sometimes. The entire videoe camera scene is so frightening and the psychological drama is totally creepy. It is kind of ironic that he goes to a chiropractor considering that pinhead has pins all over his head. The dialogue is not as poorly written as most horror sequells and is quite good. Pinhead only plays a small part and can almost be seen as doing a small cameo. I highly recommend this movie to all hellraiser fans and fans of great movies.
on March 25, 2016
Overall, I was pleased with this as a direct-to-DVD horror film, but maybe disappointed as a major Hellraiser fan. In either case, I'd still recommend it. But only AFTER seeing all of its predecessors.
***************How it fits in the franchise***************
Directed by Rick Bota (Haven, Hellraiser VII-VIII), this sixth installment to the Hellraiser franchise follows in Inferno's (2000) footsteps by presenting another stand-alone story. Hellraiser was a dark chamber thriller fueled by lustful desire, Hellbound more of a curious exploration of Barker’s Hell-ish Labyrinth and his Cenobites, Hell on Earth was a troped-up action/horror movie chronicling Pinhead’s own escape from Hell, Bloodline was an anthology story illustrating the creation and lineage of the Puzzle Box, Inferno a crime thriller neatly packaged in the dark trappings of the Puzzle Box, and now we find yet another murder-mystery crime thriller. There is an admittedly significant drop in quality in the third and fourth films from the original two, and yet another such drop for the fifth and this sixth direct-to-video installments, but it remains comforting that we never seem to find the same story recycled and retold with different victims.
A major fault of Hell on Earth and Bloodline was the nuisance of over-exposition. I didn’t find that to be a problem here. But the most noticeable flaw was that this sixth franchise story is the first not to expand the Hellraiser mythology, rather operating on the same theme as Inferno. Whereas parts 1-4 revolve around the Box or Pinhead (Doug Bradley), parts 5-6 are illustrative of what experiences befall those damned souls who open the Box. As a result, we see much less of Pinhead and focus more on our curious and potentially damned soul. Trevor's journey begins as a rational investigation fogged by amnesia, shifts to something supernatural and psychologically pervasive, and ultimately steers us into what feels like a surreal dreamscape of his life.
Parts 1-3 of this franchise should be watched in order. After seeing them, there seems to be no consequence to 4-6 out of order aside from the fact that Bloodline is much better than 5 or 6. This film is nothing special, nor is it even a “good” Hellraiser story. But I take it for what it is and appreciate of it what I can. I didn’t regret watching it.
After suffering a car accident and losing his wife Kirsty (Ashley Laurence; Hellraiser I-II, Lurking Fear), Trevor (Dean Winters; John Wick) awakens in a hospital mostly amnesiac and, for what he can remember, his story strangely doesn't match the police.
As if a mix of post-traumatic stress and disorientation, flashbacks and hallucinations occur in the form of brutally macabre surgical scenes, fond memories of his wife, scenes of infidelity and nightmare-like fever dream sequences of vomiting live lampreys, brutal beatings, murder scenes and electrocutions.
Pleasure and lust have always had a place in Clive Barker's Hellraiser canon but much as we saw in Inferno (2000), director Rick Bota (Haven, Hellraiser VII-VIII) takes a less inspired path to include such content in the form of affairs and intra-office trysts. It's as if Trevor was being haunted by his mistresses although he has no memory of their exploits or drive to continue them. Voyeurism becomes a new theme as well, and long-drawn creep factors have been replaced by loud noisy jump scares that abound in the form of barking pitbulls and drowning specters in vending machines. None of them with any sense of context or build-up.
Our reintroduction to Pinhead (Doug Bradley; Exorcismus, Hellraiser I-V) is pretty fun. He emerges from an anatomy poster, pulls a pin from his head which elongates, and "acupunctures" his relaxed victim. It has an air of 90s badness to it, but 90s badness done right! And when Pinhead properly meets Trevor, the scene is a distinct throwback to the original Hellraiser (1987). Nice touch.
This sixth franchise installment links back directly to the original Hellraiser (1987) when we learn that Trevor, among his amnesia-lost past, had given a Puzzle Box to Kirsty as a gift. And much like part 1, Kirsty makes a deal with Pinhead to spare her. Also borrowing the style of part 1 is that in this film we see much less of the Cenobites than we did in parts 2-5, making this more about Trevor's journey of infernal self-discovery. We only find Pinhead, a brief appearance by Chatterbox, and his four new infernal monks --one with coils of wire, one plus-sized woman, one with flash stretched over its face, one without eyelids. Only two of them are named in IMDB as , Stitch and Bound. But the Cenobites seem to hardly matter in parts 5-6 outside of Pinhead himself. <<sigh>>
An unfortunate trend in this franchise is that the effects go from "Holy S*** Awesome" (for their 80s era and even today) in parts 1-2, to pretty good in 3-4, to typical direct-to-DVD in 5-6. But fret not, it's all still quite entertaining and Pinhead's tissue-rending hooked chains get their pound of flesh.
Overall, I was pleased with this film as a direct-to-DVD horror film, but maaaaybe a tad disappointed as a major Hellraiser fan. In either case, I'd still recommend it. But only AFTER seeing all of its predecessors in order (at least 1-4).
on August 16, 2004
With each review I read, it seems that every Hellraiser fan hates Hellseeker. Well, I'm a big fan of the Hellraiser series and this is my third favorite (behind Parts 1 and 2 of course). The main reason why I believe this gets so much negative criticism is because the storyline is almost exactly like the previous Hellraiser movie, Inferno (Pinhead is barely in either movie as well). The first time I watched Hellseeker, I knew exactly what was going to happen after only 5 minutes in. Basically, if you've never seen either movie and have to decide which one to get, it comes down to this: Which actors do you like better? Craig Sheffer and Nicholas Turturro (Inferno) or Dean Winters and Ashley Laurence. Personally, I choose the latter.
This brings me to my next point, the acting. Many people hated Winter's performance and thought he was a terrible actor. While I'll admit that his acting wasn't the best in this film, he is an amazing actor. He did a great job on the show "Oz" and was the best actor in the film "Snipes". Also of note is the fact that Ashley Laurence (from the first three films) is back in the role of Kirsty Cotton. She looks absolutely stunning now and did well in her role.
If you don't over-analyze it, Hellseeker is just an entertaining film. There wasn't very much gore like the previous movies, but it's understandable due to the low budget and they did a good job with what they had. The DVD is nice too. It isn't loaded with special features or anything, but the menus look good, it has commentary with the director, and alternate/deleted scenes (also with optional commentary by the director). There's one deleted scene in particular that most fans of the old movies will like (It's one where Kirsty and Pinhead are alone, discussing the Cotton family). Overall, if you're looking for a nice psychological thriller that provides an original spin on the franchise, Hellseeker is well worth your time.
on November 2, 2002
Will the real pinhead please stand up? This series is starting to lose me abit. Just who is the real pinhead anyway? Is he the monstrous entity we saw in 1-4 or the preacher man we get in inferno and this film? Personally, i liked the old pinhead better.
Like inferno, hellseeker sees fit to give pinhead 5 minutes of screen time so he can pontificate to some morally bankrupt shmoe. And there are the cenobites. Ceno-whats? You mean those guys pinhead drags around that you might miss if you close your eyes for a second. oh, i digress.
The plot is decent enough but again, a little more of the hellraiser mythology in there would have been nice.
Kirsty (1,2, briefly in 3) is in the car with her husband and it goes over a cliff. The husband awakens and his wife is missing. Is she dead? On the bottom of the lake perhaps? Did she just want to get a way from it all or is she hding somewhere? And hey, why are all these women all over our confused hero? And why are they dying? The best friend..acting a little stange..whats up with that? And the cops...those darn cops. whoa! Thats my skull your cutting off there doctor!
This is one bizarre film and for that it gets 3 stars. Its one of those movies that could have been really, really good. Instead its average.
on October 24, 2013
When it comes to 80's horror, Hellraiser has always been just a little more dark and eclectic than the more obviously famous films(Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween etc..).
The first two Hellraiser films rank amongst my favorite horror films of all time. But then something weird happens... maybe the money ran out from the studio or something, but the third film ("Hell on Earth") starts off really strong and then completely jumps the shark. The fourth film ("Bloodline"), is the last one (I think?) that even remotely resembles what was up until then what I consider a Hellraiser film to be. That film is like a weird amalgam of a really great horror flick (the story line of how the box came into being), and a really REALLY bad one (the current day and space-station sequences). Plus it has that kid in it from the Shining remake with the weird upper-lip. He just bugs me.
That brings us to the next three [direct-to-video] films, where this film, Hellraiser VI:Hellseeker, resides. I read somewhere that these next three films were all based upon scripts that the studio didn't think were strong enough on their own, so they threw in some Pinhead and ta-da, it's a Hellraiser movie! This makes sense to me at least, because I really like this and the film before it (Inferno), but always thought the placement of the usual HR characters in the films were nonsensical.
I guess where I'm going with this is that if you view this film as a stand-alone horror film, it's actually really good in a lower-budget sort of way (ditto for Inferno). I've seen way-worse come out of a studio with a much higher price tag. But if you try to connect-the-dots and fit it in with the first four films, it'll just leave you sad, alone, depressed and confused, yearning for the sanity of a horror franchise that once was.
Well maybe not all that.
on June 29, 2003
I was truly and pleasantly surprised by the sixth installment of the Hellraiser saga. In the horror genre, it is typical for sequels to turn into parodies of the original (e.g., Friday the 13th and Leprechaun went as far as placing the hero in outer space!) as the producers struggle to create a bigger and "badder" version of the same story. That is not the case with Hellraiser. But while there is no attempt to make a bigger and badder Hellraiser, clearly the story has morphed from the sheer horror of Hellraiser 1 into a more surreal, suspenseful drama ending with the ultimate horror: the ironic hopelessness of being forever trapped in a living hell. This transformation was most evident in Hellraiser: Inferno, which some found hard to follow with all its clever twists. Hellseeker is easier to follow, but every bit as eerie and surreal as Inferno. The strong points of Hellseeker are its ability to keep you guessing, the surprising yet logical conclusion, the overwhelming feeling of eeriness from beginning to end, and the scriptwriter's ability to keep key elements of the Hellraiser history intact while exploring new characters and a new approach. The weaker points, and they are few, are some pacing problems about half way into the movie where the story almost crawls to a halt, and at the ending, where Pinhead literally has to tell you he is going explain everything. It's almost as if the director felt that without Pinhead's intro, the movie would have been lost on the viewers. (Please give us some credit!)
By the way, what was with the packaging? The description of the story on the back of the DVD is way off target (did the person who wrote that even see the movie?).
on November 22, 2004
This is an excellent film which takes things in a different direction than some of the other sequels but has a great plot and cast. Some fans wont like the direction this one takes the series in. I thought it was clever and I like the changing nature of the series. This is superb entertainment if you can accept it on it's own terms.
on December 3, 2015
This movie shows the true dark side to human nature. So don't trust anybody (not even this reviewer). I didn't even know that actor Dean Winters existed, until I saw him in TV commercials. Guess I missed this one when it was at the theaters. It was nice to see Ashley Laurence even though her appearances are only at the beginning and ending.