Let’s check out the new Pinhead.

Hellraiser has been rebooted. Stop the damn presses. We have an actual well-budgeted reboot with Clive Barker as producer. David Bruckner as a director? Wow. 

I honestly saw the entire franchise as basically dead as we have had nine sequels to the transgressive original that all mostly failed. Here though, well, we’re in for a treat.

This time around we follow recovering drug addict Riley (Odessa A’zion) and her dipshit boyfriend Trevor (Drew Starkey) as they are down on their luck, at odds with Riley’s brother and boyfriend, and needing some cash. So, they do the smart thing and rob an abandoned shipment to find the lament configuration. Disappointed, Riley gets into a fight with her brother Matt (Brandon Flynn) and leaves the apartment to do drugs. High out of her mind, the box opens and seems to intoxicate her before Matt finds her and is taken by the box. Now, Riley must find a way to stop the madness and maybe save her brother.

The new Pinhead (Jamie Clayton) warns Riley that she must find others to sacrifice or they will take her. Clayton is simply marvelous as the Hell Priest and brings a chilling new take on the character. The designs are awesome for all the cenobites as well.

Back to the story, we do devolve slightly to a standard slasher film where Riley must figure things out while being doubted by everyone around her. We get some twists, unfortunately most are predictable, but there is fun to be had. The movie takes some time to get to truly raising some hell (pun intended) but once it does it stays strong.

The cenobites are the show stealers. Led by Clayton’s devilish character they wreak havoc on those marked by the configuration. We have a thorough expansion and recreation of the lore surrounding the box and it works. This movie feels like a reimagining and loving tribute to the original film with elements of the second added for world building. There is a secondary plot running in the background that I am not mentioning but found interesting. 

Bruckner is a strong director who proves his worth with just about every film. I think he knocked it out of the park with The Night House and this is a strong addition to his filmography. The effects and designs are fantastic. I don’t want to describe anything as the less you know the better.

I never thought I’d be excited for a new Hellraiser and am now wanting even more. Under Bruckner and Clayton’s stewardship, this series is in a delightfully dark place.

Excellent film. Worth watching for sure.

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