Continuing working my way through all the HELLRAISER movies, I am now up to number six.
The previous entry, HELLRAISR: INFERNO, aka HELLRAISER 5, was pretty damn good. The people responsible for this one must have figured that, since that formula worked, they ought to simply reproduce it. This movie follows the same pattern as the last one, only less effectively. Normally movies that jump around too much, where you, the viewer, never really know what’s going on or what’s real or isn’t, get on my nerves. As this was a HELLRAISER movie I was willing to give it some slack in that area. At times HELLSEEKER plays like a carbon copy of its predecessor, notable only for its featuring Dean Winters (who is “Mayhem” in all those Allstate Insurance commercials) in the lead role and its connection to the original HELLRAISER: Winters’ character had been married to Kirsty from the first film. Standard stuff, up until the end, when there’s a nice little twist that I wasn’t expecting and that raises the movie’s credit considerably.
Clive Barker gave some uncredited advice for this one; specifically it is said that he had an influence on the film’s third act. Is that why it worked so well? Probably. It couldn’t have hurt.
One thing that struck me watching this one is just how little screen time the true star of the show, Pinhead, actually gets in any of the movies. His presence is constant but his onscreen appearances are scant. The films still work, though.
Here, then, is my ranking thus far, my favorites from first to last place:
HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH
HELLRAISER: HELLSEEKER and HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE are tied in fourth place.
HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II remains my least favorite.