This is a tough one. Hellraiser: Hellworld is a Hellraiser movie, but it's not really a Hellraiser movie, except that it sort of is. You know something's just not right when Pinhead shows up and just lops off a dude's head without uttering a single one of his gleefully evil aphorisms, not even a quick "Time to play." The Cenobites are all about the sweet pleasure of pain, the beautiful anguish of suffering, the exquisite knowledge that comes with the most intimate exploration of the flesh - but Hellraiser: Hellworld is about death - pure and simple death. And let's face it - there's just no fun in that. Basically, this is a slasher film - until the end, when the filmmakers sort of make a mess of things by redefining the nature of everything we have just seen. It doesn't really work, and - despite a last-minute palliative - sort of leaves a bad taste in the mouth of us Cenobite fanatics. Clearly, the Hellraiser series has lost its focus.
It's not exactly original, but I like the basic storyline. Imagine that there is an addictive, online game called Hellworld, and it's based on the Cenobites we know and love, the puzzle box, etc. A group of friends - who lost one of their other friends two years ago when his obsession with the game consumed him - can't resist the temptation when they win a ticket to a private Hellworld party. Their host is a wonderfully creepy fellow played by Lance Henriksen, who adds a much-needed sense of menace to events as they unfold. After a gnarly tour of the place, the friends wander off to themselves and explore the big Leviathan House - and you know what happens to horror film characters who wander off on their own. The deaths aren't all that satisfying, though, as that's all they are - deaths, messy but much too quick. Eventually, we're left with two characters (one of whom, fortunately, is the film's designated hot chick) who try to figure out what exactly is going on and just try to survive. Then comes the ending, when everything is thrown on its ear, some justification for Pinhead's odd behavior is offered, and a final attempt to appease Hellraiser fans falls a little flat.
You don't need to have seen all of the sequels to understand what is going on here - as long as you have a basic understanding of the Cenobites, you're good to go. As a slasher film, Hellraiser: Hellworld isn't all that bad and does feature a decent amount of blood and gore. As a Hellraiser film, though, this is just a real oddity. It doesn't exactly hurt the series all that much, but it certainly does nothing to enhance and build upon the Hellraiser legacy.
on October 27, 2011
Hellworld is the film that killed my long-spanning interest in the franchise for over seven years. It not only manages to rank among some of the worst films I've ever seen in my life, but it also throws away the Hellraiser mythology, and completely insult the fans in the process by making them look like a bunch of moronic horny teenagers.
on April 9, 2007
For whatever it's worth, I am a big fan of the series. And if this film wasn't associated with the franchise, then the review would be gauged differently. Unfortunately, this film simply does not belong under the same title. It is simply a low-budget generic horror flick which borrows the name HELLRAISER, but does not merit further comparison. This film is a big disappointment on several levels. Most notably, it has very little to do with the Hellraiser story, and even Pinhead has a small role, his limited presence relegated to an explanation too stupid and lame to indulge, though I won't spoil the plot for those still curious. Secondly, the draw of the storyline was a website/web-based VR game called Hellworld, which draws in the players to their own doom. I like the premise of a website or video game with supernatural overtones, and even will get a look at movies which turn out not to be so good. Again, the premise of Hellworld will prove to be a considerable disappointment.
Like I said, this would have been a middling, unimpressive though tolerable film if it had just been of a nondescript generic origin. Since it tries to milk the HELLRAISER franchise for audience, then it also has a standard it should and will be held to, and should be judged accordingly (2 stars instead of 3). So instead of spoiling the movie, I will give my opinion in hopes of preventing your waste of time & money.
You know what? Forget that. You seem like nice people so I will do you a favor (if you are interested) WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD...
... Hellworld is fake (just a rumor started), and Pinhead is a hallucination triggered by a drug. Also, the main male lead is a incessantly whiny, mopey, and irritating douche who we were hoping would get offed, but instead he survives and ends up with the hot female lead. 1 star instead of 2.
It is a shame that Lance Heinrickson is becoming the icon for movies that made one too many sequels (HELLRAISER, PUMPKINHEAD, PREDATOR, ALIEN). It does not bode well that Kari Wuhrer, lovely though she is, is now the icon for movies whose sequels come to an inglorious end (PROPHECY), and who is starring in the latest/last HELLRAISER installment (HELLRASIER: DEADER). Though good judgment tells me to avoid that one also, like the puzzle box it allows our intrigue and curiosity to draws us into an unpleasant situation.
on July 29, 2011
Since this one's been out a while, I'll leave out the review of the actual movie...this is for those who are curious how the blu ray presentation is.
So far I've hated Echo Bridge's horror blu rays...it's no secret that they've been doing some poor and sloppy work from the mastering to the graphic design. But being a loyal Hellraiser fan I decided to get this anyway as a potential replacement for my DVD.
I first put it in and was on the brink of complaining...soft, kinda grainy picture, yellowish and faded. But then I put in the DVD for comparison, and that's how that opening scene looks. I could tell the blu ray is sharper...not night and day, but you can see a difference. After watching some more, I decided I'm pretty happy with it. It isn't really demo material for your HDTV, but that could very well be due to the quality of the source material.
Picture is cropped to 1.78:1 while the DVD is 1.85:1...doesn't make much of a difference to me. Audio sounded nice all the way thru - 5.1 surround, bassy where appropriate.
There is only one special feature - the commentary from the DVD. I don't like listening to commentaries over movies, so I'll never use that. They left off the behind the scenes thing...not a big loss, but it's something I probably would've watched again. So... pretty much a fail in the special features department for me.
It has the movie in decent quality. If that's all you're looking for, this is a worthy purchase. I wouldn't recommend paying much more than $15 for it unless you love it and have to have it. I'd say this upgrade makes me hate Echo Bridge a little less.
on October 11, 2007
You really can't blame Rick Bota for his last 3 Hellraiser installments. After all, he manages to add a true air of creepy grittiness and nice visuals despite miniscule budgets and overall lame scripts.
That being said, the screenplay to the 8th Hellraiser installment is far from a continuation of the original Clive Barker concept from the first 2 (or 4, if you're generous) movies. In order to halfway enjoy this movie you have to go into it expecting a typical slasher horror flick. Once you accept that, the movie is decent considering its budget.
One reviewer said that there was nothing redeemable about this movie - I disagree. 3 stars for the smoking hot chick that leads one of the dudes to his doom. ;)
on August 1, 2012
Given the nature of the last four Hellraiser movies, I've felt for the past two weeks like I've been in one of them myself. Everything is disconnected, it all has vague connections to reality, I see hints of familiarity, but then, without warning, I find myself somewhere else with a sense of déjà vu and lost time and oh look, there's Pinhe--oh wait, he's gone again. And then the dream starts over, like watching an old 8mm film on which someone has spilled their Pepsi and the syrup from the drink has gummed up the works and then I leave the room to get a drink and I come back and oh look, there's Pinhe--oh wait, he's gone again. Then the dream starts over again, this time somewhere else and I'm surrounded by different people and oh look, there's Pinhe--dang, missed him again. But this time Lance Henrikson is there, so that's always good, at least. And Henry Cavill managing very well to NOT pull off a convincing or consistent American accent. All I can say is I hope he does better in THE MAN OF STEEL.
Anyway, so HELLRAISER: Hellworld is the 8th installment of this franchise and the 4th in a row to begin life as something other than a Hellraiser movie. Originally, Hellworld was a story by Joel Soisson called "Dark Can't Breathe." But apparently it's become the in thing to take a movie that's not a Hellraiser movie and make it into one anyway, like Smokey's mother in FRIDAY. "That's not enough." "Make it enough."
The story this time revolves around a group of friends of indeterminate age, a group of 5, the player, the black guy, the goth chick, the pretty girl, and the angry guy (usually this character is the nerd, and I have a feeling that Christopher Jacot's "Jake" character is definitely smarter than the rest of the gang, but in this story he's more angry than anything), all of whom are mourning the death of their friend Adam who died as a result of his addiction to an online game called Hellworld, which is basically a role-playing game centered around the Hellraiser mythology.
Two years after the funeral, the gang is still playing, and they all win invitations to a Hellworld party, held at the Leviathan House, and hosted by Lance Henrikson who is, as usual, 10 kinds of cool and 15 kinds of scary as sht!
The Host takes the gang around the house, filling them in on its history. It was the second crowning achievement of Philip LeMarchand and has been during its history both a convent and an insane asylum. Now it's just Hellworld party central. The Host gives everyone a faceless mask with a number printed across the forehead. Everyone gets cell phones. If you see someone amid the crowd you like, just dial the number on their forehead and sneak off somewhere to do whatever it is horny young people do in movies like this. Or rather in lesser movies, because dangit this is Hellraiser, and from the beginning this franchise has established itself as being something more than its contemporaries. How the mighty have fallen.
So the gang all go their separate ways, lose themselves in the crowd, and one by one begin to fall victim to the machinations of the Lament Configuration. Except, in this movie, the puzzle box, the Cenobites, Pinhead himself, it's all just part of a made-up mythology. So how can Pinhead be appearing to the "kids" only moments before they die?
The answer to this and other questions is FAR from original, but I have to admit, even knowing what it was before I watched the movie didn't ruin the experience for me. In fact, I probably liked it even more BECAUSE I knew ahead of time what was what. I think otherwise, if I'd gone into this movie cold, I would have simply dismissed it as one more reality-altering mind warp Hellraiser sequel. Instead, this one plays like a typical slasher movie, but with a very different climax and resolution. The payoff here works. It's a disappointing addition to the Hellraiser franchise, but as a movie in and of itself, I think it works. But really that just makes me wish I'd seen this as the "Dark Can't Breathe" story instead. I think I can figure out pretty much what details would have had to be changed to make the DCB to Hellraiser transition, and I can see what plot details were probably true to the original, and, yes, I think I'd have liked the original story better.
This is Rick Bota's third time directing a Hellraiser movie, and I think this is probably the best job he's done. He doesn't get any better a performance from this cast than he has either of the previous two movies (with the obvious exception of Dean Winters in Hellseeker), but at least he manages to make the real world/hell transitions a LOT smoother and less grating, which goes a long way.
Again, Doug Bradley has almost nothing to do in this movie--even LESS than he did in his 10 minutes of screentime in Deader--and it's getting really old. I could see some justification for the 5th movie being a retrofitted non-Hellraiser script if they felt it was time for another sequel but hadn't written one yet. Once I can understand. But 4 times? Come on, man, you mean to tell me there are NO actual Hellraiser scripts in Hollywood? Maybe something that returns the series to its roots, where the Cenobites were an actual force to be feared? I believe the original idea was those who opened the box were seeking to expand their understanding of the limits of pleasure and pain and the Cenobites were there to administer it. That was a Hell that intrigued me. But from Hellraiser 5-8 Hell is just a Mobius strip of bad dreams and comeuppance. Big friggin' deal. I want mythology, I want progression of the SERIES, I want consistency and continuity. I don't think that's asking too much.
HELLRAISER: Hellworld is an interesting idea, an okay movie, but it does absolutely nothing in helping to return the Hellraiser franchise to required-viewing status. But at least it had Lance Henrikson.
on August 26, 2013
Whenever a Great movie spawns multiple sequels you are guaranteed that everybody will have an opinion on which movie is the worst.
But here are some clear concrete reasons why this movie is to be avoided unless your the type who must experience everything possible.
1) This originally wasn't even a Hellraiser movie. It was an idea that movie writers couldn't sell to the studios until some "Genius" said "Hey lets tweak it 5% and slap a proven name on it and pass it off as Hellraiser." *gag*
2) This might be the best reason why to miss this. Pinhead and the cenobites have less than 5 minutes of air time (Approx) in a 95 minute movie... And technically they really aren't even really in the movie until the last few minutes...
You see this movie tells you that videogame makers (I love videogames but not here)make an online videogame based on the Hellraiser mythos.
It gains a following. a group of friends go to the funeral of a friend who killed himself because he was obsessed with the game.
Then they all go back to playing it until everybody wins an invite to a SECRET Hellraiser Party held in this huge house somewhere.
They arrive and all these "Hellraiser Fans" are stripped down to horny teenager stereotypes.
The Gang of Friends are drugged by some guy and they start tripping and dieing...
There is a secret of who actually kills them and how...but I won't spoil it for those who decide to watch this as it is the only part of the movie that was sorta good...and yet horribly ruined the movie at the same time because you realize too late that this creative twist proved you were conned by the hellraiser name.
I watched this...and here is my last word.
If you can get this dirt cheap or free go for it...but other wise watch all the other Hellraisers. Even Watch "Revelations" trust me that movie didn't deserve the hate it got...If you wanna know why read my review on that movie...I gave Revelations 4 stars because I ACTUALLY WATCHED IT UNLIKE ALL THE PEOPLE WHO POSTED 1 STAR REVIEWS BEFORE IT WAS EVEN RELEASED WHEN THEY FOUND OUT PINHEAD WASN'T BEING ACTED BY DOUG BRADLEY.
Honestly Amazon should not allow people to review products when there was no possible way they had experienced the product.
on February 26, 2006
It is sad that these new movies went the wrong way. Pinhead is only 60 seconds in the movie. All actors are really bad, specially Chelsea(Ms.Katheryn Winnick) she is so bad, the movie feels like a home made movie.
PLEASE SAVE YOUR MONEY !!!!!
on May 23, 2013
Lance Henriksen really helped this movie. He adds so much to any and all films he does. He's the only reason this was 4 stars and not 3.
It stayed more or less within the known facts of the Hellraiser series to the extent that it attempted to use them at all. It updated the series by relating it to a game called Hellworld. Interesting idea. That sort of makes it all right to deviate from the real Hellraiser movie since few games are exact matches to the movie they mimic and vice versa.
The plot was okay and much of the acting was good (Lance was GREAT of course.) I liked Winnick the best and Cavill the least of the young cast members. Doug Bradley as always was great as pinhead, though it seems to me he had fewer pins this time than previously. I'd have to go back and look at that in the original, but it just seemed different to m.
The script had its moments of good dialogue and action, and in the end, that's all I have come to expect from this type of movie. After all, its number 8! At least it took a different tack this time with the Hellworld game concept.
All in all, I'd recommend it to Horror fans and even Hellraiser fans, though Hellraiser purists are not going to like the deviation from the original story. Of course, pretty much all of the recent ones have deviated quite a bit from the original. I'd too would like to see a remake of the original with additional material to explain things better or at least a sequel that really stuck to the story line and filled it out a lot more. I hope those who take my recommendation will enjoy it!
on March 27, 2013
I did enjoy the Hellraiser movies and wanted to complete the collection, Very different to most movies but these have kept in line with each other and haven't strayed to far from the original storyline. Plenty of nail biting moves that keep you clued to the chair waiting for the next thing to pop up around the corner. Actors did a great job playing their roles and convincing you it was really happening. Story goes as five gamers are invited to a special party thrown by Hellworld, the unforgettable terror they receive is unspeakable and with Lance Henriksen playing in the movie it's got to be fabulous. Well no more clues as not to spoil it. The special effects are fantastic helping this movie being rated an A grade plus. It's creepy and full on horror and suspense so go get the movie, pick up the popcorn and put your feet up and relax while watching this marvelous thriller. Don't forget the pillow so you can hide from the television. Enjoy