Hellraiser: Bloodline (Kevin Yagher, 1996, USA/UK)

Hellraiser: Bloodline was the last Hellraiser film to be released theatrically, and the last to feature any involvement from Clive Barker until the recent reboot. While Dimension had acquired the rights beginning with the third film, the fourth film marks a notable shift in tone from the earlier films. While it does manage to keep the gothic pain and torture motifs, it feels much more like a traditional slasher movie - with Pinhead in the lead. It also notably takes the route that many slasher franchises take at one point or another - it goes to space.

This space setting is deceptive, as only a small portion of the film takes place in space. Much of the film is devoted to the origins of Pinhead, with a narrator from the present showing how he was created. We are taken back to Enlightenment-era France, where a Marquis de Sade figure and Adam Scott (later of Parks and Rec) appear in period costumes. Whatever faults you can assign to Hellraiser: Bloodline, and there are many, it is certainly an ambitious film. We are then transported to the present where our protagonist must go to battle with Pinhead. 

There are some memorable set pieces in the film, and it is never boring. That being said, it is somewhat convoluted at times. For those looking more for Pinhead lore and the origins of the franchise, this might be the film for them. Overall, the results are somewhat of a mixed bag. The film was critically panned at the time, but some fans have retroactively viewed the film favorably. The film is worse than the third film, so thus far the Hellraiser franchise has followed a downward trajectory. Hopefully, the franchise gains new life at some point. Otherwise, we are in for rough times on this blog.



Popular Posts