Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)

Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)Starring Steven Brand, Nick Eversman, Jolene Andersen, Sanny Van Heteren, Jay Gillespie, Stephan Smith Collins

Directed by Victor Garcia

There is no amount of suffering Pinhead and his cenobite army could inflict that can compare with the agony of sitting through Hellraiser: Revelations, a desperate final cash-grab made without a single ounce of thought or discernible talent. Not only does this entry make all the other sequels seem great in comparison, you could easily confuse this for some Hellraiser mockbuster from the folks at The Asylum.

Things kick off with a found-footage movie following Nico and Stephen, two college kids who take a trip down to Mexico for some weekend debauchery. Nico plans to drink a lot and cheat on his girlfriend with some local ladies so naturally he brings a camera with him to document the entire thing. Through a series of stupid decisions, the pair come across the infamous puzzle box and quickly disappear. Good riddance.

After an unknown period of time we jump back to America, where Nico’s girlfriend, Emma, gets together with the families of both kids for a long night of awkward expository conversations (“Remember when Nico and Stephen went to Mexico and vanished and how we got their footage back after the police couldn’t make any sense of it?”). As it turns out, Emma also swiped the puzzle box from the evidence pile, and the group start to unravel the mystery while their own dark pasts (some glossed over bullshit about cheating spouses or something) comes into the fold.

Rushed direction by Victor Garcia (who in the past has made some really good short films and even the passable Mirrors 2) and an equally as rushed script by make-up whiz Gary Tunnicliffe make Revelations feel like an amateurish theatre production of the original Hellraiser. In fact, a good portion of the film plays out like a remake of the first film with Nico being resurrected a la Frank and feeding on the blood of prostitutes to regenerate himself. Eventually the story turns into a weak home invasion flick with wimpy little Stephen showing up all the way from Mexico to hold our characters hostage as a bargaining chip for the cenobites. Thanks to an ensemble of wretched performances, these scenes provide the film with a few moments of unintentional hilarity.

Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)In the finale our characters are terrorized by the cenobite creature I will refer to as “Faux-Pinhead.” In case you were living under a rock, this production was met with fan controversy (as much as could be generated for a thankless DVD sequel) when the great Doug Bradley announced that he would not be returning to the role he helped to originate. Considering the quality of the other sequels, that was the biggest red flag of all and should have been the “revelation” the producers needed to axe this project, but they foolishly went ahead and recast one of the MOST ICONIC ROLES IN HORROR HISTORY with some random new guy. Imagine if they made a direct-to-video Evil Dead IV, casting Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino in place of Bruce Campbell, and you have a pretty good idea of how well this works. By comparison the new Pinhead looks and acts like the lead singer of some bad Norwegian Hellraiser-inspired goth band.

Faux-Pinhead is not to be confused with “Pseudo Pinhead,” the film’s other featured cenobite who is a minion of Faux-Pinhead that dresses and acts just like him. That gives you a pretty good insight into this movie’s creativity: Instead of new cenobites, we now have cenobites impersonating older cenobites. By this logic Hell would get really confusing and all its minions would stumble around confused, much like John Malkovich lost in his own subconscious.

Revelations was reportedly written and shot in a couple of weeks, and that sums up the mentality behind this movie. It seems as if no one behind the flick even cared. Given the scant shooting schedule that they had and the miniscule budget, how could anyone expect them to have time to? This is a movie where Asians are cast in the Mexico scenes in hopes that audiences won’t be able to tell the difference. This is a film where the heroine learns everything about the mythology by looking up the word “cenobite” in Webster’s dictionary. This is a movie that hastily rehashes the same twists and has the gall to leave it wide open for another bad sequel.

Hellraiser: Revelations easily takes its place as the worst installment in a major horror franchise – and that’s saying a lot. If you contribute one dollar to this film, consider your horror fan license revoked. You are not helping the genre or doing your duty as a fan; you’re another sucker feeding the cesspool of the film industry and further degrading your beloved icons.


0 out of 5

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Andre de Lorde

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  • Cinemascribe

    No shock here. Little story for you: A couple of years ago, on Halloween night, my neighbors went out to an adult masquerade party. As the sun was going down, a couple arrived at the apartment complex where I live to pick my neighbors up for this event and of the two, the man was dressed as Pinhead in a fairly elaborate, precisely detailed costume of his own design. When I eventually got my first good look at the picture of the new Pinhead (which appears with this article) some months back, I realized that the home made costume that guy had been wearing on Halloween night was actually more convincing than the one appearing in the film. Right about then, I pretty much knew that Revelations was going to suck.

    I’ll tell you something else…I’ve written/directed/edited/quasi-produced four short films in the last four years, ranging from nine and half to nineteen minutes in length. For each project, it took longer than two weeks just to finish a proper final draft of the screenplay…and these are all low to no budget indie short films. That gives you some idea of how wretched this FEATURE must be.

    Do you wanna party? It’s PARTYTIME.

  • GJW

    Actually, “Cenobite” IS in the dictionary. But NO, haha, you wouldn’t find the definition the actress did. LOL

    I’m not gonna kill you. Your job will be to tell the rest of them that death is coming for them, tonight. Tell them Eric Draven sends his regards.

  • LSD Zombie

    This is depressing as all hell (pun intended). There will be a Hellraiser resurrection at some point though. As the reviewer said, Pinhead is a horror icon, and horror icons are far too profitable just to fade away.

  • anémique

    i had hope for the hellraiser reboot when bustillo + maury were involved and then my hopes soared when laugier was brought on to both write and direct.
    that would have been crazy great.
    but i just dont expect anything better with lussier and farmer than the dtv hellraiser sequels that the studio has been pushing out.

  • jkincer

    I agree with Andre 100%, don’t contribute a single dollar to this steaming pile. If you HAVE to watch it, find another way that doesn’t involve giving the Weinsteins a penny for dumping this on the fans.

    I can only hope that since Drive Angry was such a laughable flop at the box office, it will kill the Hellraiser remake and the hacks that made it will fade into shitty movie history.

  • DavidFullam

    A series that could have great, limps to it death.

  • Terminal

    So I’m not a horror geek if curiosity overwhelms me and I decide to see this? Fuck you, I’m still a horror fan, and I’m still watching this out of morbid curiosity.
    “We are bad guys. That means we’ve got more to do other than bullying companies. It’s fun to lead a bad man’s life.”

    • Uncle Creepy

      As am I and I’m sure plenty of others. Don’t mean we have to like it though. Being a horror fan is almost like a curse. It’s ingrained upon us that no matter what we MUST see everything, especially something from a much beloved franchise.

      I’m sure Andre didn’t mean anything literally in that last paragraph. He was just venting and from the sounds of the movie, I think any of us would be doing the same.

  • MagusMaleficus

    Forget this mess–where the fuck is The Scarlet Gospels?

  • kiddcapone

    So….you’re saying it’s not any good?

    I stopped watched after part 5. No more for me.

  • ChaosWeaver

    Man, and I had such high hopes for this movie…/sarcasm

  • filmmisfit

    “If you contribute one dollar to this film, consider your horror fan license revoked.” Really? I’ve been an avid reader of this site for YEARS – and, as much as I love you guys, you really could do well not to alienate your readers. I’ll go watch this piece of crap if I want, and that won’t make me any less of a horror fan.

    I’m not much for remakes or reboots, but do you really think that Doug Bradley wants to play Pinhead forever? It would be more insulting to the original films if these original icons (Bradley, Englund) appeared in these remakes – it would add credibility to these films you guys love to tear apart.

    I’m gonna keep reading your site, but don’t take your hate of these films out on fans that might just really want to see a Hellraiser film in theaters, no matter how bad it is.

    • Feenix

      The point of Doug Bradley not being in it is that this was NOT a remake. It was a bad direct-to-DVD sequel, and considering he’s already appeared in four other bad direct-to-DVD sequels, this one had to be really bad if he turned it down.

      The upcoming remake I actually have hope for and would never expect Bradley to play Pinhead in. It would defeat the purpose of remaking the movie. I may be in the minority there.

      • Caterpillar

        Somehow I can’t get my hopes up for a HELLRAISER Remake from the dudes who made MY BLOOD VALENTINE 3D and DRIVE ANGRY SHOT IN 3D. They strike me as being all about goofy, brainless fun, which is not what I’d expect of or appreciate about a new HELLRAISER movie, be it a sequel or a reboot/remake.

        As for REVELATIONS blowing chunks? Big surprise. It was made on the quick and cheap in order to retain the rights to the HELLRAISER franchise.

    • nonserviam03

      Don’t get so butt-hurt over one sentence at the end of a review, which clearly wasn’t meant to be taken literally.

      • Uncle Creepy

        Exactly. The reviewer was merely venting out of anger and frustration and even sadness.

        Yet, to that point, the more fans keep accepting crap instead of at the very least a competently made film just because its a (insert franchise here) movie, the more we’ll be subjected to things like this. I mean come on … two weeks for a Hellraiser movie? I’ve taken longer than that read a book and all that entails is reading. How in the world any team can write, cast, direct, edit, mix, a movie in that window is insane. The sad thing is Garcia is a decent filmmaker. He just had no time, budget, or chance.

        • Vanvance1

          All valid points. I blame the producers who have a vast contempt for the horror audience and who have turned Hellraiser into a cash cow.

          I’d love to see another Hellraiser movie and the mythology lends itself to sequels but the crap they’ve given us proves they just don’t care. It’s not an attitude the horror community should support.

          • Pestilence

            Since you say that, I’ll let you in on something. I spoke to Doug Bradley briefly last year and congratulated him on refusing to do the film. He said quite frankly that it was nothing but a cash cow and, in fact, the Weinsteins were at risk of losing the rights to the franchise since they hadn’t made one in so long. It was the last straw for him when one of the Weinstein duo said, to loosely paraphrase, “I don’t give a fuck what it’s about just get one made quickly.”

            And lo, ladies and gentlemen, we have “Revelations”!

          • Vanvance1

            At least we understand the motivations of the people in charge here. It’s a shame because the creative team behind the movie might have accomplished something fun given the resources and time to do so.

            The funny thing is, in 30 years no one will remember ‘The King’s Speech’ yet horror fans will still see the Weinstein’s name on Hellraiser. They don’t understand that they are pissing on their long term legacy.

          • GJW

            Wow. Just…………… wow. (Fuckers)

            I’m not gonna kill you. Your job will be to tell the rest of them that death is coming for them, tonight. Tell them Eric Draven sends his regards.