The first two Hellraiser films were some of the scariest horror schlock from back in the day. They touched upon some truly disturbing themes and concepts of metaphysical pain and suffering. It wasn’t just ghost haunting people with bad jump scares, or someone being gutted with a machete, or decapitated by a chainsaw. Hellraiser was all about eternal suffering in the worst ways imaginable, both of mind and body. Well, the series really fell off the cliff of quality by the time the third film rolled around, and it got even worse thereafter.
Well, if you were hoping for redemption for Hellraiser, you probably shouldn’t put much hope in Hellraiser: Judgment.
Some of the imagery of the trailer looks okay, but you can tell just from the sound quality and production design that a lot of the sets are cheap and the lot of the effects are poorly done. The two minute trailer was recently published, which you can check out for yourself courtesy of Rapid Trailer.
The two FBI agents investigating a bizarre series of murders end up encountering the Cenobites, led by the one and only Pinhead.
A recurring theme of the trailer is that it’s about evil versus evil, which sounds nice in concept but is poorly conveyed through the visual imagery within the trailer itself. Are the people being tortured bad guys? What makes them bad? Why is it evil seeking evil? What’s the end game here?
The trailer does a poor job of conveying what’s actually happening and why, or more importantly why the viewers should care what’s happening. The stakes aren’t properly identified, and we get a few scenes hinting at gore, but it definitely seems like the trailer goes for more style over substance.
Worse yet is that the content in the trailer seems to hover around the same few scenes, a room with a guy strapped to a table, and some dirty looking warehouse.
Now, to the movie’s credit the costume designs are wild. Some of the shots of the creatures also look pretty good.
I love the dedication to the craft put into the Cenobites, especially Pinhead.
The only thing that’s tough to tell from the trailer is if he manages to depict the frightening elegance of menace that Doug Bradley brought to the character, which was imperative for setting up the world building of the first two films.
Strangely the Lament Configuration is only barely glimpsed throughout the trailer, making it difficult to tell what role it plays in the film. I don’t have very high hopes because the trailer itself looked pretty cheap, and the sound design was also Syfy worthy. Hopefully I’m proven wrong, but given that this is a straight-to-DVD flick, I’m inclined to believe that this will be another failed entry in the long-running Hellraiser franchise.
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