Hellraiser:  Revelations

My initial instinct after watching this movie is to tell you to run far, far away and not to look back.  However, I realize that nothing I can say or write  is going to stop a true Hellraiser fan from watching this flick, even if it’s out of pure curiosity.  Nope, the best I can do is give you a glimpse of the plot in order to keep your expectations managably low.

So, our story centers around two pals, Nico and Steven who take a road trip to Mexico to do what teenage boys do best in Mexico — get drunk and have sex with hookers.  Well, okay have sex with and then kill hookers, but same difference really.  Just kidding, only Nico kills a hooker.  Anyway, after that Nico and Steven are somehow still in the same bar where Nico committed murder when they are approached by a very bad version of the derelict who offers them a puzzlebox.  Nico, being the total whackjob that he is, accepts the box and forces Steven to videotape him opening it.

At this point we jump forward (well, the movie jumps back and forth, but for ease of understanding just go with me here) to Nico and Steven’s parents, along with Steven’s little sister (also Nico’s girlfriend) as they lament (ha, ha) the loss of Nico and Steven who have gone missing apparently some time ago.  Steven’s little sister (Emma) finds the Lament Configuration (puzzle box) in Steven’s room and starts to try to open it, seemingly causing Steven to show back up.

The parents are all agog at Steven’s return and begin to question him about Nico’s whereabouts.  Steven tells a story (hence the jumping back and forth mentioned earlier) about the box and the cenobites, and expresses fear that the cenobites are coming back.  Lots of things happen after this, but to tell you would ruin the whole damn movie and frankly, if you’ve invested this much time it seems best to just let the movie do that for you.

Now for the overview.  While the movie is filmed in that low-budget direct to DVD style that I loath (you know it when you see it), I did get used to it pretty quick and promptly forgot to obsess about it.  This is mostly due to the fact that the acting in Revelations is actually pretty good.  Also, although I had an idea where the plot was going, the jumping back and forth did manage to take a mediocre story and force you to follow and therefore be interested in the goings-on.  I even understood the pseudo-pinhead character (not to be confused with the not-Doug Bradley Pinhead) and I believe his presence in the film was to explain (sort of) this new pinhead since Doug Bradley did not reprise his iconic role in this installment.

In a nutshell, Revelations is nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it is also not even close in caliber to the original films (especially I and II).  I know, I am biased because any Hellraiser just doesn’t feel right without Doug Bradley.  However, I did keep thinking that (minus a few hokey pinhead lines) if Doug Bradley had signed on and the budget were bigger, this could have been a pretty decent installment.  Yes, it’s pretty much a bad re-do of the original Hellraiser plot, but if you can get past that, you probably won’t want to kill yourself for investing an hour and a half of your time watching it.  Probably.