Hellraiser Is The Perfect Example Of A Franchise That Will Actually Benefit From A Reboot

The first “Hellraiser” movie had such sights to show us when it was released in 1987. Clive Barker’s directorial debut, adapted from his novella “The Hellbound Heart,” introduced viewers to a unique world of demons, mysticism, eroticism, and good suffering . Released during the golden age of slasher films, “Hellraiser” stood out as an original horror offering due to its sophisticated storytelling and themes. Barker’s classic was more inspired by fairytales than traditional horror, although not the kind you’d show your children. Not that the movie skimped on the gore either, mind you.

The film also established Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and the Cenobites as instant horror icons, and its financial success meant that sequels were inevitable. The follow-up, “Hellbound: Hellraiser II,” expanded the mythology and dragged viewers into the Cenobites’ Labyrinth for a twisted tale of terror that depicted an original vision of Hell. If anything, the sequel teased a franchise with infinite — and horrifying — possibilities.

Unfortunately, the franchise would soon go in a different direction. “Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth” chose to eschew the sophistication of the first two films in favor of sending the Cenobites clubbing in the city. Then, the Alan Smithee-credited “Hellraiser: Bloodline” took it one step further by sending the demons into space. Still, while the aforementioned movies vary in quality, they were guided by a somewhat cohesive franchise vision, presumably as a result of Clive Barker remaining on board as a producer for the first three sequels. But it wasn’t to last…

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