The latest installment in my daily viewing relies on the supernatural, something that isn’t necessarily a go-to or a favorite of mine in the genre. This film, which is in some ways argued as the greatest horror film to come from the Brits, has never been, nor will it ever be, on the top of my list of films I love. This film, “Hellraiser,”is a sadomasochistic ramp with what is a variation of the devil and his sexually inept followers.
The leather and lace and pain may be something some truly get their rocks off watching, but this film, despite being on my list, leaves me feeling as though I need to watch something like Rainbow Bright when I’m finished, and it isn’t because I’m overtly scared. Could I have ignored this film in my list–certainly. Have I ever attempted to watch a single sequel–no. Will I probably return to this film in a bit of a near future–absolutely not. But is this film considered a classic of the genre-most definitely and thus why it is here and it belongs.
The thing is… the film is disturbing. While it is a great introduction to Barker for his directorial debut, it isn’t my favorite work of his. I’m honestly a Candyman over Pinhead kind of guy. The realness and grittiness of the “Candyman” myth is far superior to the hellish pain that is caused from the Cenobites, Pinhead’s dastardly crew from hell. The blood and guts is relatively unnecessary, but it also is there to enhance the S&M narrative that is underlying the pain and pleasure dichotomy in this film. I also don’t think the acting is much more than a wet rag, but there are certainly others who disagree with my assumption.
While today I play with the puzzle-box, I don’t intend to play again for quite some time. For me, Pinhead can stay and play with someone else, and he certainly can be an established figure in the pantheon of horror hellians, but he can stay far from me. As a canonical work, it can have its due today; but, tomorrow, I will return to leaving it in the scarlet box it belongs.