first of all, Hellraiser III isn't a BAD film. In fact, it's quite good if it would stand on its own. And it certainly is one of the more decent efforts in the overall disappointing decade of the 90's. Compared to the first two Hellraisers, however, it's a bit of a failure. Hellraiser ('87) and Hellbound ('88) were horrorfilms in the purest possible form and my two all-time favorites. There were 4 indicators in those movies that brought them close to being the definition of horror.
1. Creating a unique and utterly morbid atmosphere (through settings, music etc...)
2. Building up an unbearable tension ( the occasional twists etc..)
3. Showing nasty and very bloody sequences in a beautiful way
4. The presence of a true horror icon !! ( in this case...PINHEAD )
Hellraiser III fails to at least 3 of these points...The dark and macabre settings from Hell and the mental institution are replaced by a bar which plays horrible rock music, there's almost no tension to detect and it's a very predictable story. The gore however is still present, but the quality of it doesn't come near the originals. The Boiler Room massacre puts Clive Barker to shame, I think. The whole story know turns around the character of Pinhead. He's more than ever the star of this movie and that almost goes wrong. He talks too much and he even starts to become funny. That certainly isn't good for a horror icon. ( Look at what a joke Fred Krueger became ). Director Anthony Hickox obviously is a big fan of Pinhead and he wanted the movie to be especially about him. Every now and then Hickox tries to link this film to the original story but it clearly isn't his biggest concern. The tapes about Kirsty in the Chanard institute and the dream-sequences where Joey meets Elliot Spencer are too fake and forced. The movie does explain where Pinhead comes from but it certainly isn't stressed enough...
Hellraiser III goes very much over the top near the end and I almost lost my love towards Pinhead after the church scene ! I'm trying to forget that particular part. It really is a shame that this movie is part of the series. If this would have been a new film ( with a new demon ) it would have been an enjoyable, well-made change. But as part of a great series it fails to deliver and you're left behind with a disappointment. This movie was followed by episode 4: Bloodline and a few others after that. The fourth is a surprisingly good attempt to bring back the spirit of the original ones and should be watched directly after the first two. Everything that came after part 4 should be skipped unless you're a die-hard Pinhead fan.
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
Pinhead is stuck in a block after the Big Confrontation in "Hellbound," The block containing Pinhead and the puzzle cube is bought by a young playboy as sculpture. Pinhead busies himself escaping by getting the playboy to lure victims to his presence so he can use their blood. Once free, he seeks to destroy the puzzle cube so he need never return to Hell, but a female reporter is investigating the grisly murders and stands in his way.
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September 13, 2012 at 8:36 am