Clive Barker's feature directing debut graphically depicts the tale of a man and wife who move into an old house and discover a hideous creature- the man's half-brother, who is also the woman's former lover- hiding upstairs. Having lost his earthly body to a trio of S&M demons known as the Cenobites, he is brought back into existence by a drop of blood on the floor where he died. He soon forces his former mistress to bring him the necessary human sacrifices to complete his body... but the Cenobites clearly won't be happy about this.
Matt: I really wasn't sure what to expect heading into this film. I hadn't read 'The Hellbound Heart', but I'd heard of Clive Barker and knew he had a reputation of being the master of the macabre, so I gave it a shot. I never knew just how great he was until I saw 'Hellraiser' for the first time. It totally blew me away. The story was very well written, and while it bordered a bit on the sci-fi side of horror, it still held my attention the entire way through. The special effects were the main event of this film. They were absolutely fantastic, well ahead of its time. I found it totally believable that Frank was returning from hell, and that he needed victims to regain his human form. And with each victim, I found that the effects were that much better, as it clearly showed Frank's progression from nothing to his new form-- that of his brother, Larry. Doug Bradley stole the show as the Hellpriest, which later became known as the demon Pinhead. Not bad for a character that was just supposed to be a bit player. I bet Doug thanks his lucky stars to this day he accepted the Pinhead role, instead of being one of the movers, which was his other option. Clive Barker Rules! 10 out of 10.
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