Posts Tagged ‘horror film’

Warning Spoilers

Based on The Winchester Mystery House mansion in San Jose, California, where Sarah Winchester, the widow of firearm magnate William Winchester is visited by a doctor to test her sanity.

Directors Michael and Peter Spierig offer an old school paint by numbers ghost story with a fistful of effective jump scares and solid camera work. The recreated period, costumes and setting add to the atmosphere, with the eerie unorthodox Winchester house (and star of the film) is wonderfully created, any paranormal sleuths or those who watch ghost investigation programmes will no doubt be familiar with the mansion.

The real-life story aspect adds additional interest with high-class horror performances from the excellent Helen Mirren and reliable Jason Clarke as Dr. Eric Price. Sarah Snook is notable ‎Jason Clarke. Spierigs and writer Tom Vaughan deliver high collars, possession, visions, poltergeist activity, there’s tiresome tropes of redemption and spooky The Haunted and Hill House-like ghost forgiveness.

Horror fans will no doubt spot the butler twist a mile off and raise an eyebrow at Clarke’s Price subplot but that isn’t a bad thing if you like good old fashion well produced big budget ghost stories.

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Run by a failed Broadway director a Midwest work release program which rehabilitates young offenders as an alternative to jail puts a group of  teens through the mill when a pesky curse is played out.

To cut a long story short director/writer Phil Wurtzel’s Haunting in Cawdor is a rework of Shakespeare’s Macbeth with a ‘Venus in Fur’ touch about it. Now some horror fans reading this maybe be thing ‘eh, what?’ That’s because Friel Films’ Haunting in Cawdor is not a horror film per say, it’s more of a thriller with the associated Scottish curse, speaking the name Macbeth inside a theatre which will cause disaster.

The budget is clearly small, the camera work is crisp and the goings on are centred on one interesting and fitting location. Any work based on Shakespearian play is, as you might expect dialogue driven leaving the special effects waiting in the wing. Wurtzel clearly loves the source material. Pouting, innocent eyed beauty Shelby Young plays the deeply disturbed Vivian faultlessly. The acting is theatrical and fits its offbeat tone which suits Cary Elwes’ (secretive Lawrence O’Neil) acting prowess perfectly.

Haunting in Cawdor panders to the Twilight generation of teen angst but also covers suffering and graver abuse issues. Incidentally, Twilight star Michael Welch appears as rouge Roddy. As the curse increasingly starts to look like a reality there’s some jump scares, smidgens of blood and dream-like visions but generally it’s jammed with teen summer camp-tropes and Elwes pensively looking over his glasses.

It’s a wordy, low budget character piece with at best creepy theatre shenanigans, dressing rooms and running through the rain. Don’t expect 100 minutes shock and terror and you may ‘break a leg’ finding some teen cinema charm in Cawdor.


A family move into an American country house haunted by its original owner. So after a paranormal investigative couple are called in to debunk the disturbances only to find they may have bitten off more than they can chew.

After a strong 1960s opening involving a creepy demonic doll it flashes-forward to the 70s with a family moving into their new house. From then on The Conjuring pretty much doesn’t let up on the scares. While derivative, director James Wan wastes no time building on and defining what we’ve seen in other horrors but offering a complete package.

Based on a true story, writers Chad and Carey Hayes offer basements, pianos, priests, dolls and clocks. Their natural dialogue is well delivered by the cast, here the child actors are on form (argubly faultless) with Wan’s regular Watchmen and Insidious actor Patrick Wilson delivering a good performance, his calibre adds to the proceedings. Vera Farmiga gives a subtle performance and gets the bulk of the character development. Their sub-plot sets this apart from other horrors of its kind. In addition, with some academic demonology information the lecture segments pay off once the couple being their investigation giving some scope to the proceedings. After the half hour mark the scares come thick and fast.

The 1970s is recreated perfectly, the camera work and lighting add to the ominous feel in conjunction with Joseph Bishara’s score with its piano and horns that add to the creepier moments. As it develops every horror cliché is put on screen, dead animals, apparitions, mirrors, bruises, sleepwalking, recordings everything apart from the horror kitchen sink is thrown in. But Wan delivers the shocks and scares exceptionally as well as subtly leaving much to the viewers imagination.

With a debunking element from the Red Lights (2012), underrated Innkeepers (2011) and with moments reminiscent of The Exorcist (1973) The Amityville Horror and its remake, it shares much with these other films but still stands on its own. The Conjuring is debatably more grounded than Wan other work probably due to the true story aspect. The special effects are outstanding and although the closing act is slightly overblown, it finishes on a fitting, tense and ominous low key closing.

It may not be as nerve-racking as the recent Sinister, but if you like haunted house and possession films this isn’t one to miss.

Hammer Films appears to be reinventing itself (check out Wakewood and The Resident here) while returning to likeable form with its latest ghost story offering The Woman in Black…
Mr. Kipp is assigned to handle the estate of Alice Drablow who owned Eel Marsh. The longer he stays on at Drablow estate the more horror he witnesses which pushes him on to uncover what is taking the lives of the local children.
Not to be confused with 1989’s competent made for TV film, Hammer films production boasts a terrific cast, looks and sounds great with real locations assisting the gravity. Set in early 1920’s, the period is wonderfully recreated – a time where séance and superstition is rife.

Opening with a creepy melodic score and an eerie children’s party which ends mysteriously tragic you know your on somber solid ground and in good horror hands. There are plenty of scares, spine chilling moments and jump scares which have the quality to make hairs stand-up on the back of necks thanks to the fantastic sound design and visuals.

Lamp lit sets, odd grim town folk, rolling fog, graveyards, ghosts, creepy dolls and photos, this version of Woman in Blank oozes atmosphere. James Watkins delivers a slow burning chiller which allows the tragic character of widower Kipp time to breathe.
Based on Susan Hill’s novel The Woman in Black’s excellent writer Jane Goldman includes the old horror clichés in the screenplay but injects realism along side. It all comes together thanks to the great casting. A mature Daniel Radcliffe as defiant Mr Kipps is surprising effective, veteran Ciarán Hinds is on top form as wealthy land owner Daily and Janet McTeer, Sophie Stuckey, and Liz White are all wonderful. The supporting cast even down to the child actors are effective. Nevertheless, Radcliffe is very much the focus.

It’s refreshing like the recent Innkeepers (2011) with it’s back to basics approach of little blood and simple chills. Arguably surpassing the Haunted (1995), The Others (2001) and reminiscent of the Haunting (1963) Woman in Black harks back to the days of old school horror and scares with a modern slick execution.
The icing on the cake is its horrible, yet, brave heart wrenching downbeat or debatably upbeat ending which will stay with you long after the credits roll.
After a fight gets out of hand a group of friends run for cover but find themselves fighting for their lives against ravenous creatures lurking beneath their rave party.
Over dramatic, low budget horror flick that has some fantastic makeup and special effects in amongst the unnecessary fights,hammy dialogue and slow motion scenes.

Underground starts off very promising with the opening of an army squad fending off some nasty looking super genetic humanoids, then director Rafael Eisenman introduces us to an underground rave in an air hanger on a military base that goes on far too long. Underground’s weakest link is that it’s not very tight and scenes are drawn out. It’s well lit and shot with some good pumping tracks.
The score is a mixed bag there’s some great music cues but then it borrows from familiar scores and overcooks them. Writer Charles Morris Jr. borrows heavily from Marshall’s Descent (2005) and Smith’s Creep (2004). The young cast of actors including Eric Abercrombie and Mira Antonova do there best with the script. The Eli Wallach with a German accent lookalike aside – there’s some nice touches, a creature bursting out of an urinal, torn off ears, lobbed off arms, spooky tunnels and creepy corridors.
A lot of effort has clearly gone into Underground, it has a ‘film’ look and with some tighter editing it may have helped the viewing experience. Rafael Eisenman uses every film trick in the book and clearly has ability but it just isn’t a polished enough production, nevertheless it’s a lot bloodier, effective and atmospheric than the abundance of cheap looking horror DTV films.
Despite it’s unevenness there’s worst ways to burn a hour and a half.
With Halloween closing in I covered the Halloween films that featured Donald Pleasence in the Pleasence years. Take a look at 1,2,4,5 and 6 Here. Again skiping Halloween III: Season of the Witch as it’s a stand alone story I thought it would be intresting to cover Jamie Lee Curtis’ return, demise and founder of heavy metal band White Zombie -Rob Zombie’s remakes.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)


20 years after the events of Halloween killings Michael Myers sets out to complete his unfinished job and kill his sister once and for all.


The most appealing thing about Halloween 20 Years Later is its very title and Robert Zappia’s story concept itself especially as it features the return of Laurie Strode, the heroine that started the series. It’s no secret that this instalment disregards parts 4, 5, 6 and has no tie to 3. Although it side steps the aforementioned and by default Donald Pleasence’s work, he’s there as Sam Loomis in spirit in newspaper clippings and Nancy Stephens reprises her role as his assistant Nurse Chambers.


It takes the action from Haddonfield placing it in a private school giving the film a different feel. Even though Laurie Strode has assumed a new identity, Keri Tate, she is still haunted by previous events unwittingly passing on her fear to her son played lethargically by Josh Hartnett.


Gone is the grittiness of the first and second Halloween, it’s sleeker and leaner, both in production design and direction. That said, it does feel set like at times, losing its on location feel synonymous with many of the other films. When Jamie Lee Curtis is on screen the film has weight and emotion but outside that it plays against the genre ‘rules’ with false scares, red-herrings and quip dialogue reminiscent of the Scream series courtesy of writers Robert Zappia and Matt Greenberg.



Note worthy is Adam Arkin playing Strode’s boyfriend and LL Cool J is fine as the security guard although arguably too humorous. The rest of the supporting cast are Myers fodder. There’s a nod to Psycho with a cameo by Janet Leigh real life mother of Jamie. Chris Durand’s take on the Michael/Shape is realised well, he’s both menacing yet oddly vulnerable this coupled with Curtis performance holds the film together. Jamie Lee Curtis is pretty much faultless as a troubled individual and over concerned mother.



Director Steve Miner gives an eerie edge at times with reflections, Strode’s visions and the vanishing Shape. Miner creates some interesting set pieces, Strode hiding in the chapel like hall, confronting Michael in the kitchen and the van crash. Although the kills throughout are nerve racking and well executed with good effects it also feels glossy and staged. This may possibly be due to so many slasher films over the years numbing audiences to the blood and violence.


Halloween: Resurrection (2002)


A group of students win a competition to spend a night in the house of killer Michael Myers while it’s broadcast on an Internet. However, Michael is living in a below his childhood house and the killings begin.



Continuing the continuity of H20, Resurrection takes the viewer back to Haddonfield. Halloween II director Rick Rosenthal returns with a run of the mill horror affair. It looks good and is slickly edited but disappointingly suffers from the horror trend of the day. In the vein of Scream, it has smart talking characters, packed witty quips and answers it also borrows from ogles of video feed footage horror films.


Busta Rhymes puts in a surprisingly entertaining performance as Freddie Harris who goes head to head with Michael, this time played by stuntman Brad Loree. Tyra Banks character Nora is a copycat Courtney Cox’s Gale Weathers and gets little screen time. Like H20 the rest of the cast are just characters cut out from countless other films and meat for Michael to dispose of. The strong dark opening with Jamie Lee Curtis’ cameo is probably the most interesting and satisfying part of the film.



While trying to appeal to the teen film goers, it becomes the trend instead of setting it, this dilutes the scare horror factor that made Halloween successful.


As a plain slasher it’s an adequate ride, but lacks any of the previous Halloween magic including horror and fear.


Halloween (2007)


After being committed for 17 years in a mental institution, Michael Myers escapes and immediately returns to his hometown of Haddonfield where he begins a series of killings.


Despite how die-hard fans feel about giving Michael a background reasoning for his actions and departing from Carpenters scary unfounded killing motivations director Rob Zombie has chosen to include lengthy scenes of Michael as a young boy. This gives weight and credence to the character, Michael’s killing of animals, family and school issues follow a realistic progression mirroring real life serial killers. It’s clear that Zombie put some effort into the screenplays back story and its conception.


The characters have more shades of grey than its original counterpart. What Zombie does successfully is bring the fear factor back while constructing and surpassing the grittiness of the first. That said, as the perfect suburb setting is gone and the unsavoury world created by Zombie has a lesser contrast to the murderous Michael. In essence it’s a dark hopeless world that Michael already resides in, as oppose to the quintessential small town in the original that he assaults upsetting the calm balance.

Without drawing comparisons to the original the cast is very good, although very unlikable. Malcolm McDowell gives depth to Dr. Samuel Loomis and notable is Tyler Mane’s imposing and physical Michael Myers. There’s a lot of shock for shock values sake dialogue in Zombie’s screenplay similar to Devils Rejects. Some of what he puts on screen is gory and disturbing. There are many nods to the original and the inclusion of Danielle Harris from part 4 and 5 is appealing.


Overall, Zombie has made the film his own visually and retains the essence of Halloween, but arguably it’s an unnecessary remake. Halloween 2007 caters for Zombie fans and is only really appealing to those who are admirers of Rob Zombies harsh and unforgiving work.


Halloween II (2009)


Laurie Strode left mentally-traumatized after the Halloween day massacre finds herself dreading the one-year anniversary of the killings, unbeknownst to her Michael Myers sets about to finish what he started.


Writer director Rob Zombie returns with his trademark style. There’s more vulgar dialogue, violence and mayhem. But this time it’s all the more gritty, graphic and brutal. Zombie departs from the structure in original Halloween II and very little is set in a hospital. It isn’t a remake at all and Zombie takes it into a different direction.

Dr. Loomis has changed significantly hungry for notoriety, Laurie is has become an unhinged oddball and Michael a long haired homeless man who pops on a mask now and again. Michaels Mask is synonymous with Halloween and taking it away at times is like removing Freddy’s glove. Tyler Mane is not doubt menacing and makes a great Myers.


There are plenty of kills but like Zombie’s Halloween, there’s just nothing to like, especially the character of Laurie Strode. It’s not actress Scout Taylor Compton fault either, to Compton’s credit and the casting director she’s refreshing non Hollywood looking, its Zombie’s alienating screenplay that’s the issue. Oddly the visions of Michael’s dead mother played by Sherri Moon are the most interesting scenes of the film even if feeling somewhat misplaced.


As a grungy bizarre serial killer film Halloween 2 may appeal but as a Halloween movie it falls short of meeting expectations even more so than its predecessor. This leave the future of the Halloween series on a knife edge.
As a fan of Hammer horror, with a few of their many films being a spiritual inspiration for my book Blood Hunger, Hammer sent me a brad new copy and I thought it rude not to say a few words on the iconic studios latest offering Wake Wood...

Blood Hunger

Following the unnecessary, yet excellent remake Let me in Hammer returns with Wake Wood a supernatural chiller in which a child is brought back from the dead to comfort her parents for three days. But she’s not quite the angelic child she was.

Eva Birthistle plays the grieving mother Louise and Twelve Rounds (2009) bad guy Adian Gillen is exceptional as the deceased child’s father. Reliable Timothy Spall and the child actress are notable and the supporting cast are solid.
There’s some effective bloody gore, grizzly births, severed spines, dog attacks and killings. Some supernatural elements take place out of shot to avoid the use of CGI, which adds to the believability and saves the budget.

Wake Wood is dark, damp and dreary just as it should be. Nevertheless, it is slightly stifled by a filmed for TV look. That aside, with a small budget director David Keating keeps the blood flowing and the pace going. And it benefits in plausibility and atmosphere with an on location shoot. There’s plenty of shadows, eerie music, sharp editing and a grounded screen-play (by Brendan McCarthy) to keep you watching with a grin that Hammer may have a place in this century.

Wake Wood [Blu-ray]

With elements of Don’t Look Now, Case 39, Carrie, The Wicker Man and Pet Cemetery to name a few you could argue it’s all be done before and better. However, Wake Wood’s great ending debatably leaves you thinking sometimes less is more.
Once upon a time independent film was just that, Independent. And in most cases still is.
Taxi Driver [Blu-ray]Usually independent filmmakers would beg, scrimp and borrow to get a vision on screen and it would be shown at a limited to a number of cinema screens. This has forced many independent studios to close or to be snapped up by bigger players. Even though the line has become more blurred between big Studio’s and independent ones in terms of look and feel it really isn’t a new thing. In the 70’s Hollywood simply produced films that looked like indie movies for example, Taxi Driver.
The big players and Hollywood system has adjusted making more changes to appease the movie goer with darker films and fewer happy endings, these have usually been produced under a subsidiarity company. Usually these films are more thought provoking, have a certain visual grit and are not PG friendly. Something that indie films have always lived up to. Also there is a difference between low budget film making and low budget indie films. It’s impossible for me to wrap it’s all up neatly and it would be pretentious to even think one could fit all the intracity of film making. in a small blog post.
Pot luck with Film festival and showcases aside it is so difficult to get a film on the big screen, especially in the UK.The process of film making is pretty much the same indie-film or not. Those who go blindly into it aways discover there’s a process that needs to be followed to achieve the completion of a great film. And don’t even get me started on distribution, another minefield of pros and cons. I digress…
Blood Hunger’s development is only aided slightly by the novel as a template, it means that research had been carried out, the characters are already broken down, motivations have already been explored etc. It’s just makes it slighty easier for an objective screen writer. There’s only so much a great glossy photo-shoot and a fantastic neo-noir indie-film Terminus can help the subject matters adataption. So Blood Hunger is now at a stage where the screen-play is being developed. I’ll be posting further updates so you can benefit and learn for our experiences.
Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)Remember novel source material is just that, the screenplay doesn’t have to be a true representation of the book. Most writers find this difficult to let go, it’s their baby and I can relate to that, however, I can see that it would be difficult to get everything on screen. I’ve also never professed to be a great writer, just a decent story teller. (ah the humbling noise of modesty)
Set in the present day I envisage and strive for Blood Hungers adaptation to be a grittier than the book and far removed from the recent popular vampire incarnations; Twilight; Vampire Dairies; True Blood to name a few. For example the flash back 1477 A.D segments have already been stripped out, not only for budget reasons (for it to have a wider investment appeal) but also because the screen play would become too long and possibly have to be trimmed so much it would loose it’s impact. Besides dependant on the budget, the detailed 15th chapters could always be revisited. It’s a shame they have to be omitted as Europe’s and America’s 1477 is very different. Most striking is the difference of London in mid 15th Century to Bram Stoker’s 19th century London that is so often portrayed.
So while the screenwriter(s) crack on, I’ll be on the hunt for further interested parties in order to deliver you a quality horror thriller. Over and out.
If you’re a horror fan or have an interest in history you’ve most likely heard of Elizabeth Bathory. There’s been many films that incorporates the legend including Countess Dracula (1970) to recent teen supernatural slasher Stay Alive (2006). I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see a version that had originally cast Bond Girl baddie Famke Janssen as Báthory... Replaced by Brit chick talent, London Boulevards Anna Friel.
FAMKE JANSSEN 24x36 COLOR POSTER PRINTThis story follows the rise and fall of one of history’s most prolific serial killers, Countess Báthory who supposedly bathed in virgins blood to stay youthful.
This is a comprehensive fictionalised TV version directed and written by Juraj Jakubisko with mixed production values in both tone and atmosphere. The setting is fantastic and breathtaking, however, the exterior scenes lack the Gothic feel that the interiors have.
As a TV film, in several parts, the Monks narration and involvement arguably fits, however, as a film it may have benefited from the omission of the character entirely. You’ll also either love or hate the involvement of painter Caravaggio. Historical inaccuracies aside and the unnecessary humour injected usually by the monk, this incarnation of the legend is very interesting and adds food for thought to the tale of Báthory. In addition, it gives an interesting portrayal of politics,religion and royalty.

Anna Friel is fantastic as the miss-judged Erzsébet Báthory and gives a wonderful performance, full of range and emotional depth. It’s not all out horror, a possible nod to Ingrid Pitt in Countess Dracula. Co-Star Karel Roden is on top form as Juraj Thurzo and Vincent Regan is notable. The supporting cast do just that. The principle characters have strong motivations for their actions and the morale choices are at times shades of grey.

Bathory [Blu-ray]It’s not without its faults but there’s a handful of interesting dream and hallucination sequences and enough twists on the tale to keep you watching. This coupled with some fine locations, costumes and performances makes Bathory worth your time.

Hellraiser - Clive Barker - Movie Poster Lobby Card - 8 x 10

As a horror fan the Hellraiser Series elludes me, it has such an interesting premise and concepts, puzzles, keepers of hell, resurrection and redemption to name a few. The first two films have excellent raw, wet, blood effects that few horror movies, especially at the time offered. Still despite all it’s allure the Hellraiser series has been so unjustly realised which is simply hellraising considering the fan following of the character Pinhead (wonderfully played by Doug Bradley) and the Cenobites that have captured the imagination of horror goers.
Both Hellraiser: Inferno (2000) (#5) and Hellseeker (2002) (#6) are above average productions with their fair share of blood and chills. Hellseeker sees the return of Kirsty briefly but both amount to nothing more than Creepshow Twilight zone tales with Pinhead featuring in a bookend capacity with more of the same in Hellraiser: Deader (#7) and Hellraiser: Hellworld (#8).
Hellraiser - Hellworld
A 9th, Revelations was filmed without Bradley which was produced in a matter of weeks due to an obligation on Dimension Films’ part to release another Hellraiser film or risk losing the rights to the franchise. It was the pin in the coffin for the direct to video entries. Nevertheless, there is hope with a possible Hellraiser remake, ghastly or entertaining time will tell but look what became of Freddy, Jason and Leatherface… Below are my thoughts on the theatrical released instalments…
The remains of a man rise from the dead and is aided by his sister-in-law to regenerate his body. However, he is being chased by demons who want to return him to their hell.


A modestly budgeted horror with memorable cult impact, fantastically realised by writer, director Clive Barker. It’s sadomasochism, blood and gore influenced many films to follow. The music complements the claustrophobic atmosphere and adds to the films tension. 80’s poor lightening visuals aside the practical effects are excellent, including skinned, pinned and mutilated people.
Hellraiser - Clive Barker - Movie Poster Lobby Card - 8 x 10Surprisingly it’s Kirsty Cotton’s (Ashley Laurence) fight against her uncle and stepmother that is at the core story. Lead Cenobite ‘Pinhhead’ (that the series is synonymous for) is calmly played by Doug Bradley and has very little screen-time, yet leaves an impact. There’s great characterisation executed admirably by Andrew Robinson as wimpy Larry, Clare Higgins as adulteress Julia and Sean Chapman as power hungry Frank.
Hellraiser is creepy, bloody and eerie. It’s just a shame that neither this or any of the sequels capitalise on its greatest assets, that is Frank and Pinhead.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II - 20th Anniversary Edition Kirsty is brought to an institution after the death of her family, where the occult-obsessive Dr. Philip Channard resurrects Julia and unleashes the Cenobites once again.
It’s no surprise it was released the same year as Phantasm II, Friday the 13th Part VII and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, having one of horrors most surprising memorable and bankable protagonists. However, Hellbound borrows some elements from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) and feels as if it had money thrown at it and was rushed to capitalise on the success of the first.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II Poster Movie (11 x 17 Inches - 28cm x 44cm)As a side note director Tony Randel arguably captures the imagination of Clive Barker correctly as its style appears to be the foundation for Barker’s own Nightbreed (1990).
There’s plenty to enjoy, the dark oozing blood effects, the return of almost all the original cast and of course the Cenobites and Pinhead himself. The music is fantastic, as too are the costumes and SFX. That said, the story is disjointed on occasion causing it to feel longer than it’s running time, almost never-ending with one crescendo after another.
Overall, compared to the first and traditional movie styled Hellraiser third Hellbound: Hellraiser II is average and hellishly overrated.
Hellraiser III: Hell on EarthA work of art contains ‘Pinhead’ who is hellbent on escaping and unleashing hell on earth, armed with a puzzle box can reporter Joey Summerskill stop his evil?
Clive Barker is absent from a writing role which leaves Peter Akins to take up the reigns and to his credit this screen-play connects the previous films via various flash backs and recordings. However, the story follows a more linear narrative than it’s predecessor. Follow up Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth swaps the grittiness of the modestly budgeted first for a glossier grander slicker 3rd. Pinhead is given more story, dialogue and exposition – possibly to appease a wider audience.
Hellraiser 3 - Movie Poster (Size: 27'' x 40'')Hell on earth is really a one-man-show, British actor Doug Bradley is allowed to give a pleasing head-to-head performance as both Pinhead and his former-self Captain Elliot Spencer. Terry Ferrell as the snooping reporter who walks the film playing the genre piece like an 80s thriller. There are some new less-menacing cenobites, that said,Terri/Female Cenobite played by Paula Marshall is noteworthy but her appearance is all too brief. The rest of the cast are forgettable, mainly their purpose is to allow Pinhead some elaborate torture kills.
The special effects (although now dated) are digestible and oddly even though this film was made in 1992 it feels late eighties. Director Anthony Hickox competently delivers an entertaining instalment despite the choppy editing, lack of tension and gore. Nevertheless, there are enough dream sequences, dead bodies and bloody scenes to keep most chill seekers happy until the explosive final act.
Overall, in a traditional movie sense Hellraiser III is arguably a very strong sequel and viewer is left with tantalising closing scene, but in retrospect the concept is an empty promise.
Hellraiser - BloodlineThis instalment of Hellraiser IV follows the bloodline of the creator of the puzzle box the ‘Toy Maker’ and his plan to summon and to destroy Pinhead forever.
Despite a theatrical release, bloodline looks and feels TV movie-like and the acting is below average, possibly due to the script. That said, Doug Bradley is fine as Pinhead and Valentina Vargas is note-worthy as the demon Angelique.
The story’s concept is quite good, and includes (one assumes) the building in the 3rd and the history of the box. It is told in flash-backs by Dr. Paul Merchant in the year 2127 and follows his descendants Phillip L’Merchant in the 18th century and John Merchant in 1996. Sadly, it’s just poorly executed and let down by an uneven screenplay, bland direction and sub-par sets. The effects are a mixed bag, some are well done while others are less-convincing and tame.
Hellraiser 4 - Movie Poster (Size: 27'' x 40'')
It appears to have a troubled shooting history as there were two directors Alan Smithee (under an alias Kevin Yagher) and Joe Chappelle (uncredited). This maybe one cause and result of such a less than satisfying fourth.
Overall, producers didn’t give such a bankable character as Pinhead the attention he deserved leaving the viewer as empty as the 22nd century space setting.