It’s pretty crazy to think how long ago Dimension’s Hellraiser: Deader was shot back-to-back with Hellworld- I swear it has been at least four years. Thanks to the megasplit by the Weinstein’s, we’re finally getting our long awaited dose of pinhead on video- but after years of collecting dust, the movie must suck, right? To tell you the truth I actually enjoyed the whole experience, which doesn’t necessarily mean the movie was good…
After I mixed up some hamburger helper I crashed into my chair and turned on the DVD- excited as all hell. I was acting like that 15 year old who just found a surprise in his local video store. Then the Dimension “coming soon” trailers hit, which just clarified my feelings of being 15 again. It was like watching VHS rentals back in the day with all the trailers for home video releases you didn’t know were coming out.
Anyways, the point is that my mind was in the right place for a direct-to-video Hellraiser film that was made from a script for a general horror film with Pinhead stuck into it.
The Rick Bota directed flick stars Kari Wuhrer as Amy Klein who’s a star reporter that has been reassigned to a lesser position somewhere in Europe. Her boss shows her a tape he had sent to him, which displays a cult convincing a girl to shoot herself in the head and join them. After blowing her brains out she’s resurrected- Amy is shocked, scared and yet intrigued. She takes the job and heads off to Romania to find the sender of the tape. This tapes leads her to the group, who tell her that she can become a ‘deader’ just like them, she just needs to accept that she’s nothing. Things get weird and abstract until the conclusion where everything’s explained (for the non-Hellraiser fans).
Stepping back and knowing what to expect ensured that I enjoyed the movie- it felt like just another chapter in a ‘Tales from the Crypt’ type of series- but it still could have been much better. Simple things like knowing how to scare an audience was missing from Bota’s film. He tries to throw in some jumps but makes them way to apparent. A slight change of camera angle and a better scare tactic would have made this film a hell of a lot better hands down.
Thumbs up to the practical effects and thumbs down to the digital effects. I love the scene where Amy wakes up with a knife in her back and she’s running around her bathroom screaming, spreading blood all over the walls. But then there are scenes with bugs crawling on the walls that look as bad as in Exorcist: The Beginning. Another thing that looked terrible were the chains, which were heavy and black- they made me think of those plastic chains made for kids to play with. Chains are the most important part of a Hellraiser film, come on, can’t you get them right?!
To keep the review short and on the ball, everything was pretty much what you’d expect from a straight to video Dimension Film. It was cheesy, fun and left me with no regrets in watching it. I only wish the third act was as entertaining as the first two, when we had no clue what was going on. I’m a little bored with the movies that end with “the choice”- do it or not to do it, that is the ultimate question. I guess you’re left with the same dilemma, rent or not rent… I’d take a peak, great late night flick to watch with some buddies, Taco Bell and a giant Pepsi.