Sue (wingedkami) wrote,

Hellraiser, as watched in 2012

The trouble with 80s movies is that no matter how much of a classic they might have at the time, when I watch them now all I can think is "So much synth!" or "Mullets mullets mullets!" which is really quite distracting. Terminator was an excellent film, but it was difficult to be scared of the clunky stop-motion animation while everyone ran around with perms and godawful synth music played in the background.

Apart from the prospect of synth and mullets, Hellraiser is one of those films I've always pictured as massively scary and horrific, and since gorn is not really my thing, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Someone took the sensible decision not to use the new and exciting synthesizers, and stick with a plain old string quartet, so the soundtrack is unobtrusive and not particularly dated.

The cast is sufficiently small that once I'd finished laughing at the wife's shoulder pads, I was pretty much done with fashion comedy and could get back to the plot.

There is a bit of clunky stop-motion, but it happens fairly early on so not too much of a distraction.

As as for the aforementioned horror and gore...well, there's been 25 years of TV crime drama since then, and I have honestly seen much worse things just watching Bones.

In fact it only really went wrong near the end where Thingy was using the McGuffin to defeat the bad guys and suddenly everything went a bit 8bit and wireframe and #FFFF00 yellow. What on earth was that all about?

Reading up on later movies in the Hellraiser franchise, it appears that as time goes by, the cenobites get less and less interesting, and more and more stupid. They start out as a thing in their own right and their realm only appears to be hell from a human perspective. Later on they're just plain old demons, and their ranks have been swolen by such ridiculous creations as Camerahead and CD, who are just too damn silly to be scary. Like Highlander and The Matrix, I'm just going to pretend that there were no sequels.

I understand there's a remake in the works, but they haven't asked Doug Bradley to play Pinhead. I can't really imagine anyone else playing him.

Anyway. Hellraiser: nowhere near as shocking as it was in 1987, and well worth a look, having aged better than most 80s movies.
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