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HELLRAISER 2022
Movie review by David Blackwell

120 minutes
STUDIO: Spyglass Entertainment/ Phantom Four Films/ Hulu
RELEASE DATE: 10-7-2022

Recovering Riley McKendry comes across a mysterious puzzle box that her boyfriend Trevor is supposed to steal. The box once belonged to hedonistic millionaire Roland Voight and Riley solves the first configuration of the puzzle. The puzzle changes shape each time a new level of it is solved. With the first puzzle solving, Riley's gay brother Matt disappears and she starts to search for him as she starts to see nightmarish things. She delves deeper into the mystery of where the box came from despite Trevor warning her to stop. HELLRAISER (2022) is a reimagining of the Hellraiser universe which can also be seen as a movie that could also belong in the universe of the original Hellraiser movies. It is a slow burn for the first half of the movie before it reveals the full universe of this new HELLRAISER. Pinhead aka the Hell Priestess is played by actress Jamie Clayton, the leader of the Cenobites who serves the god Leviathan. She is good in the role, but I will also have a special place for Doug Bradley's portrayal of Pinhead aka Hell Priest in eight Hellraiser movies (with his best performances in the first four of those). The new HELLRAISER manages to imagines Hell like it was seen in HELLRAISER 2: HELLBOUND while also using Christopher Young's iconic score tracks from the first two original HELLRAISER movies.

Is this new entry in the HELLRAISER series better than the last four sequels that Bob Weinstein produced as cash grabs to retain the HELLRAISER movie rights? Yes. Is it better than HELLRAISER: DEADER AND HELLRAISER: INFERNO? It depends on how well you liked those movies. Is it better than the mess known as HELLRAISER: BLOODLINES? It depends on how well you liked that movie or HELLRAISER: HELL ON EARTH. I do think many of the previous HELLRAISER movies had more gore than this new one. Just remember this is the first HELLRAISER that Clive Barker had input on since maybe as far back as HELLRAISER 2: HELLBOUND. HELLRAISER 2022 might not have the blood like the first HELLRAISER movies and not the same feel as the first two HELLRAISER movies which I still love to this day, but hopefully this movie will get new fans to discover the first two to three movies from long ago while old fans finally see a movie with creative input from the original author Clive barker who wrote the HELLBOUND HEART which he adapted into the movie HELLRAISER (which he also directed). I love some of the reimagining of the mythos and the new take on the Hell Priest, but I do feel that the main character of riley could have been a little more likeable instead of a recovering addict who is dealing with her crap and those around her not being as supportive of her as they should be. However, I do hope this new HELLRAISER is released to physical media and doesn't just remain a streaming exclusive for Hulu. I hope there is another HELLRAISER movie and it is at least as interesting as this one or even better than this new take.

This movie review is (c)10-19-2022 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com