First things first: I remember very little of the original Hellraiser. I’ve only seen it once, and that was 10+ years ago at this point. I remember things about skinless men in dress shirts, cenobites in leather and an extremely horny woman who dressed as a lawyer. (Was she a lawyer? She may have actually been a lawyer.)
This reboot/remake/whatever this is called? None of that! Well, the leather cenobites were still there, but the rest of it was all gone. Negative horniness level and everyone in a dress shirt had all their skin. The gall! The pure, unmitigated audacity of it all.
As you have just seen, I do not have a deep history with this series, so I’m sure that colors my perception of this movie a bit. I also went in with fairly low expectations. Yes, I saw the images of Jamie Clayton as Pinhead – a role she absolutely CRUSHED, by the way – but that’s about all I knew going in. I anticipated it being mainly fine.
As it stands, I really liked it. The characters all felt real to me. They didn’t give a ton of upfront backstory to the core relationships because they didn’t need to. Through the interactions & conversations, I feel like I really got to know our core: their history, their frustrations and their struggles. I loved them all, even if most of them operated on the fringes of the movie. I really liked the look and design of the cenobites. They weren’t quite as gross as I had hoped, but maaaaan there were some extremely memorable sights and sounds that are gonna stick with me.
I don’t want to get into spoilers, so I won’t talk about some of my favorite moments. So I guess I’ll just end it like this: I don’t know how much this actually feels like a Hellraiser movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed this.