HELL­RAISER: THE SCAR­LET BOX

Clive Barker nailed it

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 1987/1988/1992 | 18 | Blu-ray

Di­rec­tors Clive Barker, Tony ran­del, an­thony Hickox

Cast doug Bradley, ashley lau­rence, Claire Hig­gins, Ken­neth Cran­ham

With most hor­ror films mak­ing use of well-re­hearsed tem­plates, it’s rare one comes along which feels en­tirely fresh. For that you need an artist like Clive Barker, whose di­rec­to­rial de­but in­tro­duced the Ceno­bites, other-di­men­sional de­mons sum­moned by open­ing an or­nate puz­zle box.

Hell­raiser is no teen hor­ror, but adult drama with dark un­der­cur­rents – sado-masochism, sex­ual ob­ses­sion. As frus­trated wife Ju­lia resurrects dead lover Frank with the blood of butchered busi­ness­men, there are queasy echoes of real-life killers. The ef­fects still stand up, es­pe­cially the make-up for the skin­less Frank: an anatom­i­cal en­grav­ing brought to gooey, glis­ten­ing life. And Doug Bradley’s per­for­mance as lead Ceno­bite Pin­head is re­gal in its un­der­state­ment.

It’s a film with a rich, in­stantly con­vinc­ing mythol­ogy – one Hell­raiser II ex­pands back­wards and out­wards, ex­plor­ing Pin­head’s ori­gins and send­ing fi­nal girl

II

“That’s the last time I let you do DIY.”

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