Hellraiser 2022 || Pain, Sacrifice and Choice : Another Horror Franchise
All images are screenshots from the movie
Screenshot edited using Pixellab
It's really been a while I saw a movie. For me movies are something to be enjoyed and it has to be seen at a right atmosphere. I've really busy trying to create content and push my Tiktok page forward. But then it always stuck at the back of my mind that I was missing a lot, a lot of halloween gruesomeness that comes with the contest and while I was thinking, I heard screams.
I turned to see my roommate engrossed on his phone, I knew what that entailed. He'd hardly seen a movie in a while too and for him to sit and watch this one then it had to be interesting or something close to that. Without thinking twice, I got the movie and was excited to find out that it was a supernatural horror movie, atleast it'll be worth my time.
Hellraiser seemed like a decent enough name, there was really no expectations (because most times they're killed), no trailer, nothing not even a spoiler. I wonder what it'll be like to actually have hope that your life would be a lot better, what if you could have the power to chose, to wish for one thing that you want. Some of us long for life, others power, and some resurrection, and some satisfaction of sensation, you choose your own poison.
I havn't seen any of the Hellraiser franchise before, this is actually the first one I've seen out of the eleven movies born from a 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker and I wonder how he actually delved into the world of the Cenobites. It actually served as the basis for his 1987 film Hellraiser. Watching this movie released on september 28, 2022 actually made me think, I pondered for a while and it felt like I was trying to piece together a very long puzzle. I feel there's a lot about this movie that cannot be appreciated unless you actually understand the physics behind Creatures like the Cenobites and the theories they follow and the spiritually sought after, heaven, hell, angels or demons.
I think director David Bruckner, Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski must have known what they were working with because this tells a simple and straightforward story and displays it in a way that'll leave you with questions, with answers you might not be really sure of. I'm not one who actually has too much interest in the spiritual but I believe that every thing in play in the physical is somewhat linked to the spiritual and there's always a link between this two worlds, one that blood and sacrifice has an important role in.
A very prominent Man, Roland Voight (Goran Višnjić) retrieves a puzzle box that he believes holds the power to what he actually seeks. Even if it means sacrificing others to actually achieve his aim, he doesn't care. After getting Joey to finish the puzzle, he completes the last configuration that grants him an audience with God.
You can only appreciate the depth of such a beginning if you actually think about it. They begin with an almost insanely thirsty man who actually needs his need satisfied and the only way to do that is to give off a sacrifice. The man Roland seems like the least to care about who's blood he sheds to find his pleasures fulfilled and this makes him seem like a worthy antagonist, one who's selfish and cares about his own self and nobody else.
Not all horror movies have to be gruesome murder about ghosts and haunted demons and that's where this movie can be appreciated and the concept actually sells it out. But most always starts with a discovery that'll change someone's life and that's where our protagonist comes in to play. Riley (Odessa A'zion), a beautiful young woman struggling with drug addiction tries to become better, she's tired of her brother being on her neck everytime, she has to do something to make her life better, to get rid of the black sheep image and she has to make a choice.
Then we see the movie àctually begin with a choice, what choice would she make. She actually takes the easy way out with Trevor (Drew Starkey) being at the center of it all. She finds the puzzle box that leaves a mark and the whole show begins unknowingly to her. She'll have to make sacrifices to get past each configuration and little by little she watches people she loves being dragged into it, and it all leaves her with another important choice to make.
A lot starts being incorporated in this movie, pain, more gruesome pain, and then a snake is being revealed, someone who'd planned the whole thing from the start and then followed carefully as everything unfolds, watching close by and luring more and more prey in for the taking. I didn't see this coming and it really made me keep glued to this movie.
Could they be two antagonists in this movie? Well, I asked myself that question when the Cenobite Priest (Jamie Clayton) was unveiled. One who thirsts for blood and more and more to show people the joy that comes with being a Cenobite. He sees himself as a saviour, the link to the god they all long for an audience with. He grants our Protagonist a choice at the end, which would she choose? You'll have to watch it to find out.
Immediately I started to watch the movie I noticed how sharp the sound track was. I was with an headphone and it just came blasting in my ears and each step of the way more and more sounds were added to this movie. I wouldn't say it was the best because they were moments where they weren't necessary but it still sent chills running through my spine as the sounds follows something heart racing or something you need to anticipate. I would say the sound was good, nothing really special and the music actually wasn't that great but it was good enough.
The casting was just ok, there's no doubt about that. Riley actually brought out that unkempt and struggling look really well and she's beautiful too, makes you want to not see anything happen to her, hehe and I was glad Matt left the scene fast enough because he was already start to bore me out and Roland was played really well and you could see all the pain and greed written all over his face but then was he a worthy antagonist? I could say he was actually instrumental to more and more pain, his character could have been a lot stronger but then he didn't quite need that much power, he just needed to save himself.
I am not one who knows anything about the Cenobites and at first they were really hideous and like an abomination but when I continued to what I started to understand a thing or two. I believe this look was actually one to enjoy seeing, it didn't seem all that scary anymore and as for the priest, I could say he didn't seem all like an antagonist, he just went with the flow, humans greed always lead them to him and he capitalizes on that.
Overall, it wasn't a bad movie and the story wasn't too complicated. The concept of the puzzle leading as a pathway to the Cenobites and hell is a good enough concept that must have already been used but this one was told in a more appreciable way. The filming was ok, follows the whole horror sequence and the lighting was good. I loved the aesthetics, the dressing and the colors were simple, red at some point to indicate danger, yellow to indicate pleasure, and the more darker and white to show the presence of the Cenobites.
Adult themes actually gave the movie more life because it would have been a little boring. Watching the casts share intimacy went on to show the emotions that were in play. I would say I missed more action, they could have been more actions, and I certainly would have loved to see some of those painful encounters. But then that's just me being all thirsty for some gruesomely entertaining kills which not all horror movies offer.
There wasn't really a favorite scene because this one was pretty straight forward and lacked humor at the very least. But I did enjoy seeing the encounter between Roland and the priest at the end where after getting all that burden off his chest another bigger one was casted and he was taken up to hell.
This movie wasn't the best of horror movies and it could have been a lot more enjoyable. But then not horror movies always become enjoyable. I believe there's going to be another movie in this franchise and I hope it's going to get lot better. I would recommend this one if you can actually keep an open mind. Don't really expect too much because you'll be utterly dissatisfied, just watch it when you have had a good meal , haha.
Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it or it connected to you in a way, I invite you to drop a comment, I'll be glad to reply and Upvote for more content ❤️