A female adulterer comes across the reincarnated body of her husband's brother, who just happens to be the one with whom she committed adultery. As the reincarnated body begins to build more of a human form through the blood of others, he is soon pursued by a group of demons. The demons, also known as "Cenobites", wish to bring the man back to the pits of hell, to face an excessive onslaught of bondage and torture.
With 80's horror having been overwhelmed by the ever-popular iconic killers, such as Freddy Krueger, Chucky and Jason Voorhees; sadly these are usually the only ones commonly recognized from the outside in. If you truly call yourself a horror fan, you'll know that this is only the tip of the iceberg. In the near 40 years that Clive Barker has been spinning his artistic web of spine tingling horror, Hellraiser is by far his most recognized and achieved work to date.
Although some of the characters in this film are noticeably underdeveloped, and this is not quite as scary as it may have been back 1987; despite being slightly watered down for the Hollywood audience, Hellraiser is nonetheless a shining example of fine filmmaking.
Other than its deliciously unique portrayal of sadomasochism, Hellraiser's most conclusive strength is part of what makes 80's supernatural horror some of the best, that is the special effects. Clive Barker's incredibly imaginative portrayal of the demonic hell spawn, known as the "Cenobites", is nothing short of mesmerising.. Amongst the many other highly creative visuals that this film contains,Hellraiser will forever stand many feet above most of the modern CGI riddled snooze fests. Hellraiser's other prominent features include its direction, acting and writing; which is overall surprisingly good, considering the abundance of trashy horror at the time, and the film's somewhat stunted budget.
From what caused Stephen King to say, "I have seen the future of horror, his name is Clive Barker" Hellraiser is a visually orgasmic, grotesque beauty. A culturally significant milestone in horror, that is a must see for any self declared cinephile.
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