Monday, October 22, 2007

Review: "Hellraiser" (B)

This can also be the post wherein I might say something a horror fan has never said before: I don't worship at the feet of the film Hellraiser. In fact, I kind of didn't like it. But I think it's noteworthy to remember I'm watching this for the first time and I didn't take my DeLorean back to the 80's.

I suppose my main problem is that I just didn't find this movie disturbing. Every review I've ever read has hailed it as being scary and profoundly disturbing, but ... uh, I don't get it. This is probably a sign of me being really desensitized to violence or ... something. I thought Pinhead was scary enough and he had some really (truly) awesome lines - one of which is the title of this journal - but the movie just didn't resonate with me. I wish there had been more scenes actually IN hell with Pinhead. If there had been a scene with Pinhead bending over someone talking in that calm yet scary as fuck way he has while they writhe ... well then I would have a very different review I suspect. And I really don't think the pleasure/pain aspect was explored all that well. Weren't the cenobytes or whatever they're called experts at mixing the two? Wasn't that what we were told or am I just a moron? I didn't see any pleasure in this movie except for the slightly lame sex scenes (I forgive that because the movie was made in the 80's).

Don't get me wrong, just because the movie doesn't resonate with me and I don't carry an insane affection for it - that doesn't necessarily mean I don't think it isn't a classic. I get that it's a movie that changed things in the genre and back then, it must have been revolutionary. That one scene at the end where the guy (see, this is why writing reviews days after the fact is bad) is basically torn apart by the chains and his face is all extended? I will admit to being sort of "wow" at that moment in the movie. If you translate that same scene to now (which they probably will, they're making a remake I think), it has the potential to be the kind of scene that forces people out of theaters. Which makes me wonder how marketable a remake of "Hellraiser" actually will be, but that's another post. Or, actually, I think it would do well - it's about a torturing Hell that mixes pleasure and pain and everyone's all about torture right now ... so if they marketed right, it could be a hit. Then again the movie market is a fickle bitch when it comes to the horror genre.

If I were grading this on how much I liked the movie, I'd give it a C. But ... I know it's a classic and I recognize why others would like it/why it was revolutionary so I'll bump it to a B. Really, I should give it an A just for the line "I'll tear your soul apart!"

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