Y’know what, this movie isn’t terrible. It probably ought to be: it was rushed into production because Dimension realised they’d lose the rights to the Hellraiser franchise if they didn’t make a new movie, and the whole thing was written and shot in under two months. But taken in the context of the mostly terrible Hellraiser franchise, it’s not actually half bad.
Admittedly, it starts off badly. A couple of suburban teenagers run away to Mexico with a video camera, taping their exploits as they get drunk and hire prostitutes. The handheld camerawork is awful and illogical; supposedly we’re watching the footage found on the boys’ camera after they disappeared, and the camera was returned to their families, but there are scenes no-one could have been filming, including one where you can see one of the boys fiddling with the camera. It’s hard to have much faith in a movie that daft.
But when one of the boys mysteriously returns home, shaken and confused, the story gets a bit more interesting. A lot of the elements of the first Hellraiser movie end up getting thrown into the mix: the mysterious vagrant with the puzzle box, a bloody mattress, murder and skin-swapping, and a deal struck with the Cenobites. It’s very short, and very gory, and as the director is primarily a special effects artist, all the gore is fantastic.
It’s not an amazing film, but it’s watchable, and it gets points purely for actually being an original Hellraiser script - V - VIII are all repurposed thriller scripts with Pinhead shoved in at random. This, at least, isn’t as bad as any of those.