In the original, when we saw her open the box, we grit ourteeth in suspense as the very fabric of the reality around herdissolved, and her conversation with Pinhead ensued. It has been a bit of a while since I saw Ashley Laurence in a film, andshe is in fine form here. Most of thefilm is taken up with establishing why Winters' character deserves whathe gets, which makes the final twist of the film especially satisfying. They created a sense of foreboding that gave theentire rest of the film foundation. Doug Bradley is back for the sixth time as everyone's favouritenail-headed character. One fateful day, the two get into a fatal car crash, killing Kirsty.
One problem we have inHellseeker is that some of the most important moments in her story aremissing. It is well-written, well-thought out almost unheard of for a horrormovie these days , and entertaining, and most importantly, it is more thanjust another cash in on a successful series. Rick Bota, unfortunately, is notable to pace himself, nor does he have an instinct for when too muchreally is too much. Pinhead has thankfully been given a much more prevalent role than he hadinthe rather disappointing Hellraiser Inferno, the least Hellraiser movie ofall of them, and it's morbidly pleasing to see some of the familiarCenobites return, like Chatterer. It turns out that he has come back with a spotted memory,andthat the crash that we saw at the beginning of the movie may not have beenexactly how the event unfolded. When all is said and done, Hellseeker is a seven out of ten. They say your hero ine is only as good as your villain, and that iscertainly the case here.
The specialeffects that closed the original Hellraiser were as fake as hell, butthe audience bought them because by that time, the film had drawn theaudience in. In the original,these shots showing the cosmetic details of hell served a veryimportant function. Unfortunately, not every aspect of the film is well done. Characters in Hellseeker behave in ways thattelegraph to the audience that some kind of twist is in the offing, andwhile it is a good twist, it is just an example of the fact that up toa point, hell works best when it is subtle. Give it a chance, stop expectingPinhead On Elm Street, and you might be pleasantly surprised. Things seem to have happened that hedoesn'tremember.
When the investigation begins, things start to get a little strange and webegin to realize that there is something weird about what happened in thatcrash. Hellseeker moves away from being another low budget, direct-to-videoHellraiser installment and instead provides an original spin on a dyingfranchise. Her memory of the events that took place back at her parent's home and the mental institution have dimmed, but she is still traumatized. The mostrefreshing thing about episode six here is that Pinhead goes back towhat Clive Barker intended him to be. The sights of Chatterer and whatever that woman calledherself really helped sell Pinhead as much as Pinhead himself at times.
This sequel doesn't need cheap gore effects to create a good Horroratmosphere, it also shows Pinhead doesn't need to physically harm hisvictims to make them suffer, at least not straight away ; this makesPinhead a more calculated character, watching him toy with his victimsemotions! It reestablishes Pinhead as a just, if somewhat peculiar, referee ofhell. Granted, this isnothing new in the horror genre, but it is done very well here. In the original, Barker takes his time to introduce eachelement, in particular the modest British family whose lives appear asregular as our own. She could probably play this role in hersleep at times, it almost seems like she is. Rick Bota tries to providesimilar setup, but fails. At that point, my immediate reaction was that he deservesanysuffering that comes to him, since he left his wife on the bottom of theriver to go and try to save himself. For those whodon't, the whole point is that what Pinhead does to the principalcharacters is not nearly as important as what the principal charactersdo to each other.
Dean Winters is a great villain, partlybecause he portrays the character so well, but also because it takes awhile for his status as the true villain of the piece to becomeapparent. He follows the clues all the way to Pinhead. I am willing to suspend disbelief on the premise that the guy wasscreaming at his wife underwater through the window, watching her drownright in front of his blurred eyes and therefore not necessarily able tothink all that clearly, but on the other hand, riverbeds have anoverwhelming tendency to be covered with big, round, hard, window-breakingrocks. I think he isjust on autopilot because he can literally play this devious characterin his sleep. On the other hand, it probablywouldn'thave done much good had he remained down there and lost consciousnessrightthere with her.
Barker understood that relating to the victims, andeven the victimisers to some degree, is a lot more important to anaudience than a string of gruesome deaths. The loose women, the workcolleagues, the doctors, the general passers-by in the street, they allact as blank and vacant as Paris Hilton trying to feign havingsomething relevant to say. As seen in the third, and particularly fourth, films, everythingcan be going to ruin around him, and yet he will still effortlesslyplay this mannered gent who just happens to torture people as a job. The problem in Hellseeker is that it takes its sweet timeto hook the audience, and thus the head-split routine that looks likesomething I could have done with an old Amiga 500 goes down as one ofthe funniest effects in horror. We neverknow when he is seeing reality, when he's dreaming, when he's havingdelusions, inaccurate flashbacks, and there is plenty of opportunity forlots of twists and turns, and thankfully these opportunities are notignored. The sayings, mannerisms, and motions are as natural tohim as eating and sleeping are to us. The other cenobites do not get nearly as much screen time as waspreviously the case, however, and that also lets the side downsomewhat.
Because of this,wenever expect things like the startlingly effecting scare in the vendingmachine, one of my favorite scares in the movie. Nobody knows whether it was hisidea or Doug's to portray the Satan character as he were once a dapperEnglish gent, but Doug carries it off so well that he deserves anaward. Sort of the equivalent of thezombies in Romero's Dead films, if you get the drift. It is notnearly in the league of the first two films, but it is a massiveimprovement over three and four. The other cenobites in Hellseeker are truly token appearances. Seriously, watch parts three, then four, then this one, and tryto reconcile each one with the statement made in the second: it is nothands that call us, it is desire.
He is the final hammer when the characters havefinished dragging each other down, and that is the way of all the besthorror films. But while this early scene inspired in me an unusually complex combinationof thoughts and emotions, it unfortunately is unable to escape from thedestructive presence of reality on the possibility of it happening the wayit did. Normally, a laugh can be a goodthing, especially when it comes at a time when the script or storycould use it, but if ever there were a bad time, this is it. Contrary to what some have suggested, I do notbelieve he is so much cashing a paycheque in this film. The real problem with Hellseeker is its lack ofatmosphere. Evidently the car was found with the doors open, which puts someserious holes in the story about not being able to get the doors open tosave his wife.
Synopsis A shady businessman attempts to piece together the details of the car crash that killed his wife, rendered him an amnesiac, and left him in possession of a sinister puzzle box that summons monsters. . Kirsty Cotten is now grown up and married to Trevor Gooden. There are a lot of horrorseries' that are well past their time to pass away, but as long as theykeepputting this much thought and creativity into the Hellraiser films, I saythere is infinite opportunity for sequels. After the car crash,Trevor, our hero, escapes from the car after it sinks to the bottom of theriver and he rushes to the surface to get air, then returns to attempt tosave his wife. The whole conceit of The HellboundHeart was that bored lowlifes seeking what they thought of as theultimate in pleasure sought this box, and opened it only to find thatits inhabitants' definition of pleasure varied drastically from theirs. The best thing about this installment in the Hellraiser series is that itworks on a psychological level with the main character.