“What’s your pleasure, sir?”
Way back in 1987, the words above would forever change how horror movies were perceived. Sure, there had been "sophisticated" horror before Hellraiser, but the majority of those would be foreign or considered to be more of the "thriller" genre than straight up horror.
Ever since then, #Hellraiser has taken a long journey through eight less than stellar sequels (once they stopped going to the theater anyway). #CliveBarker has long since distanced himself from the franchise. What can they do to bring back this once highly praised series? Well…
3. Expand The Mythos
The last five Hellraiser sequels have been direct to video pieces of filth not worthy of the name. Several of them weren’t even intended to be Hellraiser sequels; they were original scripts that injected #Pinhead into them for a quick cash grab. Now there is no argument that Pinhead isn't a staple of the franchise. Since his creation, he has been launched into horror cult icon status. Quite the accomplishment for a character dubbed “lead Cenobite” in the original film.
What filmmakers have to realize is that while Pinhead is a major player, he isn’t the backbone of the story. He only appears a total of five minutes in the first film and died in the first sequel. Fans brought him back for the third and he’s been going strong ever since. Hellraiser has a rich backstory of puzzle boxes, hell dimensions, and murderers that they can play with. They don’t need to keep running back to the Pinhead well. Though, as a side note, if Pinhead is in it, get #DougBradley or GTFO.
2. Get Clive Barker Back
I realize that this one is much easier said than done. Barker has made no secret that his love of the film franchise died long ago. He is quoted as saying that he is tired of talking about this "son of a bitch movie." He even goes so far as to kill Pinhead in his latest novel, The Scarlet Gospels.
Having all that said, I do think that Barker would be willing to get involved in future projects in some capacity. He even allowed them to put his name on the last one. Simply allow him to be a producer. He wouldn’t have to write or direct — something he hasn’t done since the original anyway. A position overseeing the project would elevate the film series back to its rightful place as a titan in the horror genre.
1. Focus On Other Cenobites
The key ingredient in every Hellraiser movie thus far has been that it takes place on Earth. It does make sense given that they are bringing Hell to Earth via the #LamentConfiguration. The title does kind of give it away. But what if they focus on the Hierarchy of the Cenobites at large? Pinhead is a #HighPriestofHell. Perhaps there is a young upstart wanting to challenge the throne. We already know that Pinhead can die: He did in Hellraiser: Hell on Earth.
Perhaps a sequel can focus on an uprising. A group of young #Cenobites, tired of the old ways, wish to raise a little Hell of their own. Perhaps Pinhead got tired of the daily grind of dishing out pleasure and pain and hits the road. A sequel done right could focus on the vacuum of power left in his wake and several factions attempting to claim the throne.
Hellraiser never shied away from blood and gore. Check out some of the best beheadings in horror in the video below:
What is your favorite movie in the Hellraiser franchise?