The biggest horror news story yesterday was hands down, the announcement that David S. Goyer is penning a new Hellraiser reboot. While the director, cast, and target release date have yet to be announced, it’s never too soon for uber-fans of the franchise launched by Clive Barker to begin theorizing about what’s coming down the pike.
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I’d like to take this opportunity to make what might seem like a bold assertion: The new Pinhead/Hell Priest should definitely be female. Why? Because everyone loves a gender swap and it’s a great gimmick for breathing new life into an old franchise. Not! But seriously, in this case, it would be totally appropriate, and I’ll tell you why.
In the source material, Barker’s novella The Hellbound Heart, all of the Cenobites were extremely androgynous. Pinhead is described as having a girlish voice and each of the nails in his skull are topped with glistening jewels.
“Its voice, unlike that of its companion, was light and breathy-the voice of an excited girl. Every inch of its head had been tattooed with an intricate grid, and at every intersection of horizontal and vertical axes a jeweled pin driven through to the bone. Its tongue was similarly decorated.”
What’s more, Pinhead was not the leader of The Order of the Gash; it was indeed (most likely) a female Cenobite who sat atop a macabre throne. She was the most terrifying of the bunch and she called the shots.
“Frank had difficulty guessing the speaker’s gender with any certainty. Its clothes, some of which were sewn to and through its skin, hid its private parts, and there was nothing in the dregs of its voice, or in its willfully disfigured features that offered the least clue. When it spoke, the hooks that transfixed the flaps of its eyes and were wed, by an intricate system of chains passed through flesh and bone alike, to similar hooks through the lower lip, were teased by the motion, exposing the glistening meat beneath.”
A female Pinhead would actually be the most accurate representation of the original character yet. And while men are the standard for evil, supernatural slashers, a female antagonist would add new layers of subtext to the rebooted Hellraiser, subverting stereotypically feminine traits into something else entirely.
What do you think, horror fans? Have you read The Hellbound Heart and do you agree that a female Pinhead/Hell Priest would be an exciting and accurate representation of Clive Barker’s original vision? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!