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Showing 1-10 of 31 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 187 reviews
on August 26, 2013
In 2000, the "Hellraiser" series made the direct-to-video transition following the disappointing commercial performance of Bloodline. This may have been cause for many fans to grieve, and sure enough, "Inferno" doesn't seem to be among the more popular additions to the series, but personally, I consider this entry to be a revival for the franchise. However briefly, "Inferno" returns the series to a pure horror standard by abandoning the sci-fi blend of the last two features. While the trademark gore has been toned down, you're still looking at a violent, scary movie here.

The story: Corrupt detective Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer, A River Runs Through It) sees the sleazy, cushy life he's created for himself turn into a nightmare when a brutal crime scene leads him to the Lament Configuration - opening the door to a mind-bending case regarding a mysterious "Engineer" and terrifying apparitions.

"Inferno" is a stand-alone story in the "Hellraiser" universe: it's the first movie which neither follows the plot laid in the original film nor attempts to significantly develop any existing character. The movie plays from the protagonist's perspective, hardly referencing any past canon and making every new discovery about the Cenobites scarier. What I love most about this is that it throws a new shroud of mystery over Pinhead & Co.: after seeing the Cenobites thoroughly deconstructed in the last two movies, it's great to have them presented as enigmatic monsters again.

Director Scott Derrickson would eventually find mainstream success with movies like Sinister, but he shows off his ability to create a very chilling atmosphere in the low-budget realm. Personally, I think this is the most frightening of the series since the first movie. There are some moments which disengage you - the CGI inserts are noticeably dated, and there's a totally incomprehensible scene wherein Thorne is accosted and beaten up by two karate cowboys - but by and large, a consistent mood of dread and foreboding persists. The scares themselves exist within this mood: there are very few jump-shocks, and most of the truly scary moments come from the creepy imagery (e.g. the old man in the wheelchair) and the macabre revelations (e.g. the mattress). There's a definite Jacob's Ladder influence, here.

"Inferno" is one of only a handful of movies I've seen use audio to convey its most brutal scenes. There are three instances wherein a Cenobite (Ray Miceli) tortures his victims to death off-screen, and I'll admit to needing to mute the DVD for those parts. Fair enough, this isn't an even trade-off for the almost artful bloodletting seen in the past flicks, but there's still some of that to be seen and I like to think that it makes an impression. The initial scene featuring the female Cenobites is relatively stomach-churning.

The acting is pretty good. Craig Sheffer plays his role better and better the most anxious the character gets, and James Remar (Django Unchained) has a few atmospheric scenes as a psychiatrist-priest. Doug Bradley's Pinhead speeches steal the show.

You must decide for yourself whether you want to watch this one. Fans of the originals can let it be and not worry about missing any pertinent story bits, but general horror fans can hop right in. Despite my squeamishness, I like it a lot and would recommend it to viewers looking for a chill.
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on October 30, 2015
Pinhead returns in this sequel to the Hellraiser series. I didn’t think this was bad at all. I know some people hated this one, but I liked it. The story line was pretty good and the effects were well done. Some creepy moments, especially near the end. The scene with the old man riding by in the wheelchair still creeps me out to this day. The Japanese bluray is also very clear. Looks great in HD and sounds good too. You can also get this in a bluray set with Hellraiser Bloodline, Hellseeker, and Hellworld. Definitely recommend to Hellraiser fans.
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on March 30, 2013
With these heart stopping thrillers and chilling stories it makes you wonder how anyone can sleep. That little box is at it again releasing demons and creating havoc, Unless your hard core to these shows I wouldn't recommend them to others and not the younger ones for sure. This one is a must see for all Hellraiser fans so sit tight and let the horror put you in the grip of a world of blood lust through the eyes of the director and a great cast. Fantastic special effects that will have you in awe, waiting for your partner to hurry with the popcorn so you can snuggle up safe and sound. I rated this an A grade plus for a good night entertainment with lights out and see what happens next. No more hints that's enough so get a move on and go get it and be the judge for yourself, Storyline is marvelous so this will keep us content until the next chapter from Hellraiser .So try and relax and enjoy.
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on August 6, 2015
Directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Deliver Us from Evil), this fifth installment to the Hellraiser franchise continues to follow the pleasant trend of presenting a new infernal chapter in yet a different style from its predecessors; never does a sequel feel like a rehashed facsimile. 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 an anthology story illustrating the creation and lineage of the Puzzle Box, and now we find a crime thriller neatly packaged in the dark trappings of the Puzzle Box. There may be an admittedly significant drop in quality in the third and fourth films from the original two, and yet another such drop for this fifth and direct-to-video installment, but it remains comforting that we never seem to find the same story recycled and retold with different victims.

Our latest story revolves around Detective Thorne (Craig Sheffer; Nightbreed), who is perhaps the least likable protagonist of the series so far as a drug-using adulterer who neglects his family and frames his partner. Thorne discovers the Puzzle Box and some macabre clues at a murder scene where the victim was apparently torn apart in his luxurious home, decorated and candlelit for an occult ritual. Thorne solves the Puzzle Box and encounters some Cenobites, but is neither shredded and taken to Hell nor forced to bargain for his soul. Instead he wakes up (as if from a dream) and is occasionally haunted by Cenobites. Well this is a strange and welcome change…

The franchise continues to expand the Hellraiser mythology, although with less impact here than before. Whereas parts 1-4 revolve around the Box or Pinhead (Doug Bradley), this chapter is 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. Thorne’s journey begins as a rational investigation, shifts to something supernatural, and ultimately steers us into what feels like a surreal dreamscape of his life.

This film opens with the scoring, lighting, style and plot of a Skinemax softcore porn. It didn’t quite grasp the noir-ish detective film tone for which I think it was reaching and I was almost embarrassed to be watching it. Thankfully, it shifted more to the point (and story) about halfway through and the sleazy feeling washed away. 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. Although some strange things certainly happen that make me question the quality of the writing and direction at times…to that end, I’ll just say three words: “Ninja Cowboy Cenobites.” Clearly, this concept has no place in any Hellraiser movie ever. LOL.

These ninja cowboys are among some new Cenobites. The gore (while toned down here in part 5) is well done, the effects satisfactory, and the Cenobite make-up is cool. One Cenobite resembles the head and arms of Chatterbox (without legs or even the rest of its torso), menacingly hand-walking around like a Silent Hill monster. There is a pair of twin female faceless BDSM Cenobites with long tongues involved in a macabrely sexualized scene with hands rubbing “under” Thorne’s skin. And, of course, there’s Pinhead.

We are re-introduced to The Engineer. In Hellraiser, The Engineer was the dweller of the halls of the Labyrinth who is never given a name in the film. Back then it was a monstrous aberration of uncertain purpose. Having heard nothing of this character in parts 2-4, we now find The Engineer wandering Los Angeles, assuming the role of a murderous pimp. How this character fits into the story is revealed in due time, along with how Thorne truly fits beyond the capacity of solving his case.

Parts 1-3 of this franchise should be watched in order. After seeing them, there seems to be no consequence to seeing part 5 before part 4 outside of the fact that Bloodline is much better. 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, and this is the first in the franchise that I don’t really recommend seeing.
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VINE VOICEon July 23, 2002
It took me over a year to watch this video after I bought it. The "direct to video" thing scared me off. I am a huge hellraiser fan; a Clive Barker fan in fact. I really enjoy the worlds he creates, and what other people have been able to do with his vision.
My favorite works of his have always been the Nightbreed and Hellraiser series. Back in the late 80's, Clive licensed out the creative right for Hellraiser to Epic Comics, and several up and coming writers (Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, etc.) would write fantastic short stories based on the Hellraiser rhelms. These stories would always have a demented twist or sense of irony along the lines of Twilight Zone or Creepshow.
That is what "Hellraiser: Inferno" reminds me of. A really good short story. An episode or Tales From the Darkside or Twilight Zone. I'll warn you now, you get only one or two minutes of Pinhead or any other cenobites; so if that's what you're after, you're bound to be disappointed. The Hellraiser story has always been about the box, and the effect it has on those who find it...or who it finds :)
I don't really get the "direct to video" sense of cheapness from this film. The film quality is fine, the acting in good (the main character is played by Craig Scheffer, who also played Boone in "Nightbreed"!), and the effects are gory enough for a Hellraiser movie. It was probably on a budget, but they worked well within those constraints to produce a pretty good movie.
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on July 12, 2014
Picture quality is actually good for an Echo Bridge DVD, I'm shocked. Anamorphic too. I enjoyed this Hellraiser film as much as the others.
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on July 17, 2015
love it
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on May 31, 2017
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on November 6, 2016
Got this and am happy I got the right one. I got the Miramax release on ebay and it was the original release. So I'm glad this one I got the right one this time.
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on February 24, 2006
Hellraiser Inferno starts with a detective who is being haunted by a serial killer called the Enginer. The Enginer is setting the detective up. We see the puzzle box earlier in the film, and there are a few clues the detective finds out while trying to prove his innocense.

This movie shows the Cynobites a little less than the 1st Hellraiser. Pinhead is only on there a few seconds himself, so this mainly focuses on the detective and his life. I still like the new focus of the main character finding out why his reality is coming apart slowly, then Pinhead just showing up killing so often; like parts 3-5.
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