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.
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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