31 Favorites #24: Hellraiser


Hellraiser is based on Clive Barker's short novel "The Hellbound Heart." The film tells the story of a guy named Frank who purchases a mysterious puzzle box from a street vendor (note to self: if anyone ever asks approaches me with the phrase "What's your pleasure?" I will keep walking...). Frank takes the beautifully intricate box home, and begins tinkering with it only to find that it opens the gateway to Hell. It also releases a group of cruel beings called the Cenobites into our world. They rip Frank's body into pieces, then drag him back to Hell with them.

Years later, his brother Larry moves into Frank's old abode with his wife Julia who had, in the past, gotten into some pretty kinky situations with Frank. Larry accidentally cuts his hand and spills blood in the same room where Frank had opened the box. The fresh blood allows Frank to begin the process of coming back to life, piece by piece. And when I say piece by piece, I mean piece by piece. But in order to continue to grow he requires human flesh, so he enlists the help of his old lover Julia to lure men to the house.

Into the whole mess enters Kristy - Julia's stepdaughter - who quickly discovers that all isn't on the up and up with her stepmom, and tries to stop Frank's attempts at becoming whole.

Good luck with that sister.

There's something about Hellraiser that just gets to me. It's a...well...it's a hell of a film. There's an earthiness about it that's really rare to see - a complete commitment to the process of film making and the story. It's also a completely demented film, in the best sense of the word. Seriously, who thinks of this shit?

Three Things I Love About It:

  1. The practical effects. OH MY GOD THE PRACTICAL EFFECTS. The scene where Frank starts re-building himself is incredible. The makeup is amazing. The costumes are fantastic. Everything about this film's visual style is wonderful. 
  2. The storyline is just...insane.
  3. Pinhead is one of my favorite movie monsters ever. He's totally unique and, somehow, totally believable as a real monster, which makes Hellraiser all the creepier!