Review: Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)


Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)

Directed by: Gary J. Tunnicliffe | 81 minutes | horror | Actors: Damon Carney, Randy Wayne, Alexandra Harris, Heather Langenkamp, ​​Paul T. Taylor, Gary J. Tunnicliffe, Jeff Fenter, Tony Payne, Rheagan Wallace, Helena Grace Donald, Grace Montie, John Walpole, John Gulager, Joel Decker, Jillyan Blundell, Mike J. Regan

Some franchises are indestructible. Take ‘Hellraiser’, of which the one with the subtitle ‘Judgment’ is already the tenth part of the series. The original was released in 1987, which means that nine sequels have been made in 31 years. Talk about a healthy work ethic! Unfortunately, that’s about the only positive thing that can be said about this well-executed franchise. Enter ‘Hellraiser: Judgment’.

In part ten, petulant Sean (Damon Carney) and humble David Carter (Randy Wayne) are on the trail of a serial killer. The brothers both work as police officers on the same case. However, the duo do not get along well and that hinders the investigation. That’s why Detective Christine Egerton (Alexandra Harris) is flown in to keep things going. It soon turns out that supernatural things are going on and this is not going to be normal detective work…

As a ‘Hellraiser’ fan you will probably look around you in despair. ‘I miss Pinhead in the synopsis? Did I read about it?’ No, dear reader you have not! The role of the demonic villain in this film is very small and perhaps not even worth mentioning. You see the villain, this time played by Paul T. Taylor, looking especially tired. Often sitting on the floor. He does not radiate any threat. Even when Pinhead is standing and allowed to use a cool one-liner, he looks tired. You’re not looking at a monster, you’re looking at a money-hungry actor in a Halloween costume.

Doug Bradley played Pinhead in eight parts. As crappy as those films were, the presence of this British actor made up for a lot. Bradley put dignity and menace into his role. Pinhead became a cult figure. In parts nine and ten it has become a laughable and obese clown. A deadly and very painful observation for genre fans. However, it was never the intention to make a good ‘Hellraiser’ film. ‘Hellraiser: Judgment’ is a ‘coincidental’ sequel. Pinhead was written in this movie to earn more cash. This B-movie, aka cheap ‘Se7en’ clone, tries to get a piece of the cake from the once cool ‘Hellraiser’ franchise. That explains the small and strange contribution of Pinhead. The other Cenobites also look expired. For example, the jaws of the normally creepy Chatterer don’t even move.

The budget of this film was quite low and it shows. The special effects are not that bad, but the script and acting are appallingly bad. Characters are walking clichés played by amateur actors. The franchise has been in free fall for years. After the first two parts, the series already turned into a corny slasher series where the iconic Pinhead mainly played a supporting role. Part ten is less bad than its predecessor, ‘Hellraiser: Revelations’, but that was almost inevitable. If Pinhead really existed, he would be proud of this final product because by watching this film, hell on earth becomes a bit more reality again. This cinematic torture can stop now. Time for a reboot or just pull the plug.

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