I’d never seen this one before. Owing to my belief in the law of diminishing returns, possibly, although I have seen all the HALLOWEEN movies—and man-o-man did those have diminishing returns! (Excepting HALLOWEEN H20 and right up until the 2018 reboot.) So that doesn’t completely explain it. For whatever reason, I went into HELLRAISER: INFERNO totally unprepared for what I found: a damn good movie.
This is a Scott Derrickson movie. I didn’t know that. This is the one he cut his teeth on before progressing to films like THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, SINISTER, DELIVER US FROM EVIL, and DOCTOR STRANGE. With this one he both directed and co-wrote the screenplay, and his burgeoning talent is evident. While the big twist of the film isn’t really a twist at all, since I expect anyone watching will see it coming a mile away, and it isn’t anything novel, either, the mastery comes from the depiction of the descent. I’m not altogether sure Derrickson even expected to catch his audience unawares, or was even trying. Knowing what’s going on does not impede our ability to enjoy the ride as things play out. It does, however, or at least it did for me, leave you champing at the bit for the inevitable reveal of the dude behind the curtain. We all know that it’s Pinhead.