Directed by:
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Starring: , ,

Reviewed by Ross Hughes

Taking advice from the book in front of me, the titled “How to write film reviews for the Empire Forum for dummies” its main aspect is telling you that after the film you have just watched, just express yourself with the feelings you have and write down straight away as there is nothing better than a review from the heart. So taking notice to what they are tellling me, this is how I feel from watching Hellseeker, the 6th chapter of the on going Hellraiser films….


OVERALL: A film that, wait a minute, that silence could mean two things. You could either think that I was stunned into silence by the quality of this film, or that it was so dire, I have no wish to write about it. Now I can not leave my overwhelming fan crowd of this thread, yes I am talking about the three of you, to wonder should you watch this film, leave you in thinking is this any good?, does it go back to the pits of the dungeon of crap or actually keeps the quality up, in truth, why am I thinking for you, I should just shut up and tell you what I think of Hellseeker!

To be honest I was thinking of leaving Hellseeker for a couple of days. After being pleasantly surprised at the quality of Inferno I had major doubts for the next instalment. I mean with the thoughts of Inferno still blazing in my mind, Hellseeker had a negative before it started, I knew deep down that I would be very lucky to be thrilled again, especially with the habit that Hellraiser has got with changing its mythology and style, so I used my head and thought I would watch it in a few days, maybe catch up with another few horrors that I have neglected, then I totally ignored myself and chucked on the sixth part and sat down with high hopes. Things did not start well. We are greeted before even the credits roll with red writing of a famous quote from someone that I could not bother to read. The fact that this annoyed me so much is that any Freddy fan will realise that this is the same trick they used from parts 4 and 6 of the Elm St franchise. Having seen their attempts of ripping off Freddy in the past, my heart began to sink. Then, and if anyone decides to watch this after this review, you understand what I mean, the music kicks in and the credits start to roll. Now this would not be a bad thing but the tune sounded so much like the one from Top Gun that I expected the film to start with Pinhead sitting in a jet, with the dead Goose as his wing partner!

The moment that made me smile was when the name Ashley Laurence appeared and then for that one moment, probably the same for all Hellraiser fans, I realised that Kristy was back, oh yes, the heroine of the original chapters, the woman who is to this to what Nancy is to Freddy and it was that moment I relaxed and the memories of Inferno faded…….sadly though, not for long. The problem with Hellseeker is that it would have been a good film, if Inferno was not made. Lets confuse you, this is the 6th chapter of a long running franchise, but plays more as a sequel to Inferno, which that film itself, totally changed the concept of the story, and in which Hellseeker copies, but not to the same effect.

In fact there is nothing that will surprise you on the journey that the character Trevor (Dean Winters) makes, only because its virtually the same path that poor Thorn went through. They might as well have called this Hellraiser: Inferno PT 2, what with the structure and plot turns that is supposed to lame…sorry thrill us! We start with Kirsty,(yeah!) who is now married (boo!) to Trevor and they are driving in a car, laughing and playing when Kirsty does the typical movie cliche. No she does not bend down to pick up a dropped CD then look up and see oncoming car, she does the other thing, reaches out to her husband for a kiss, and he looks up and sees an oncoming car, and soon they find themselves head under water! Trevor manages to escape but Kirsty sinks to the bottom and dies. Yes, if you like me a fan and so excited by her return, you sit there with your mouth wide open and words of “WTF!” ring through your mind. So, Ashley Laurence is back is she! I really wanted to complain to the writers and was all set to write up a letter, but as this was made in 2002, I thought it was a tad to late for any debate and to be taken seriously! But I wrote it anyway……. Trevor wakes up in hospital and the police arrive and tell him that they have found the car but not a body, and Kirsty may be alive, so with this new plot development, I threw my half written letter away. Trevor though has problems, the accident as caused him to have selected amnesia and his failure to answer the questions that the police are asking, makes the entire accident seem strange, especially as they can find no tyre marks on the road, leading up to where they found the sunken car!

Then things go really strange.

This is when the film mirrors Inferno in which bizarre scenes and images plague Trevor which may surprise the poor man, but not the viewers who know exactly what is coming next! Mind bending events, dreams that come true after he wakes, a slippery eel coming from his mouth, all moments that drive Trevor to the brink of insanity! But there must be a reason for all this, and where the heck is Pinhead! Its during flashbacks that the story unfolds, hints of what is going on is told in home video tapes in which Trevor watches and which we see Kristy mostly in. There is one unsettling footage of Trevor giving Kristy a present for her birthday and upon opening it, she looks down and sees its the Lament Configuration. The look and terror in her eyes is a real beauty and this is the film we longing to see, sadly we do not see the outcome as soon after Trevor rubs his eyes, and we see another version of Kristy opening the present and find something she really likes.

If what you are reading is confusing you, then can you imagine what it feels watching it! There was one surreal and quite stunning scene in which we are told that Trevor has been carrying on with his boss behind Kristy’s back. Even after her apparent death?, his boss comes knocking and starts to seduce Trevor on a chair while being filmed. Feeling remorse from what has happened he stops and,demands her to leave much to her annoyance. But when he comes back into the room he stares at the TV screen and sees an image of the boss and himself having sex on the chair, the camera is still recording even though this event is not happening. He then puts his hand in front of the camera and it appears on the screen and its this moment, his other self and the boss, turn to face him on screen and smile. Its a wonderful dark moment that stands out from the film. It really took my breath away and for that moment, I was totally lost within the film. Little did I know, that would be the only highlight for the rest of the running time! As things develop, Pinhead shows up and soon we come to the conclusion that director Rick Bota must have only ever watched Inferno and not the others in the series. This is so far removed from the franchise that it even gets the name of who created the Lament Configuration wrong. In this he is called Lamarchand which is right if you go by the book which the films was based on but in Bloodline the character had the surname changed to Merchent.

Its flaws like this that frustrate fans especially as I think this is the first film that we see that the box does not get open at all. The idea is there that it once did but we never see the moment, which to be honest is the pivotal part of all Hellraiser films. Even Pinhead himself is wasted here. Yes he gets more screen time, but here he comes across like a Charles Dickens character, a moral judge of what is right and wrong. He is not scary in this because he does nothing to be frightening. Even the much anticipated showdown between himself and Kirsty is a massive let down!

Ah Kirsty, the big return is nothing but a big anti climax. You can see why she agreed to return, the surprise at the ending is on paper a massive gamble that may have looked a good idea, but here it wrecks all the sympathy that she created for the character. Lets just say it will be like turning on Halloween part 15 and seeing Jamie Lee back in the role of Laurie and she has turned into a murderous bitch, intent for trouble. In one small swoop they manage to destroy the character that fans cherished, its controversal for the sake of it, and contradicts everything. This is a woman who has been to hell and knows what its like. There is no way she would do what she did at the end of this film. The sad thing now is that Kristy needs to open no box to take that trip, she is ending up there no matter what now and the truth is, the fault is all on her! The sad thing is that originally her role was bigger and that there was more direct links to what happened in the first film. Sadly and what shows a total lack of respect to fans who have invested so much time in these films, they were filmed and cut, because the makers thought that those who have not watched the first two films would be confused by the plot. Excuse me? Why would any new fan decide to watch PART 6 of a franchise, if they are confused then its their own friggin fault for being so stupid in trying to watch something they have no knowledge in. Its like me sitting down to watch season 4 of The Wire and then complaining to the hard core fans that it makes no sense whatsoever. Its decisions like this that make Hellseeker such a waste and for me a total disappointment.

Its hard to say its the worst of the Hellraiser sequels as its not really an Hellraiser film. Inferno was clever enough to change the mythology but still keep the links for fans of old, here it copies Inferno but then disregards all things cenobites. Its not clever or funny, just a boring rerun of a film that was only good to begin with because the sequels before it were not so good!

OVERALL: Inferno Part 2 is a typical sequel, the same old thing but done poorer. Not even the return of its original Heroine can lift this from the mire. Too say its not a good Hellraiser is wrong, its not a Hellraiser film, so I just say its not a good horror film full stop!

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About Ross Hughes 525 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!

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