Shady detective Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer) has the gift of solving puzzles. This ability, which has served him his entire life, led to him becoming a detective to serve the greater good. However, it is the one case he cannot solve that causes him to lose his mind-- and sink into the deep, dark abyss of hell. Joseph, while investigating the murder of someone he once knew, manages to solve the Lament Configuration, and in the process, releases the demon Pinhead and his minions once again. After that, everything in Joseph's life begins to unravel. As the murder case remains unsolved, he cheats on his wife, turns to the bottle for relief, and begins to have morbid dreams in which he meets the Wire Twin Cenobites, a second Chatterer Cenobite (who has no legs), and finally Pinhead, who explains that since Joseph solved the box, he is in hell. Could Joseph find a way out, or would he be doomed to repeat his worst nightmares for all eternity?
Matt: Direct to video. That phrase alone is enough to scare horror fans away from titles like this one. However, it is extra scary in this franchise, considering how its last theatrical release, 'Bloodline', turned out. Miramax, desperate to recoup the money they've put into the franchise, decided to continue on with it, and churned out this mangled mess of cinematic garbage. Craig Sheffer ('Night Breed') stars in this "film" that should be classified as nothing more than a bad episode of [insert your favorite crime drama here]. I know fans were glad that the franchise was continuing, but come on, THIS is the best they can do? Even for direct to video, I found the acting deplorable. The music was on-par with DTV releases of that time, but don't hold your breath on that 'Hellraiser: Inferno' soundtrack anytime soon. And when exactly did 'Hellraiser' become a morality tale like 'Saw'? That's not even close to what Pinhead and the Cenobites are about. The only saving grace in this movie was the continued involvement of Doug Bradley as Pinhead. Which brings me to a better point...where the hell was Pinhead for about two-thirds of this movie? I'm sure Bradley is wondering to this day why he stayed in the franchise so long (he bowed out after the eighth installment). Add to it the fact that the script wasn't even written for a 'Hellraiser' film, and it was so bad, Clive Barker wouldn't even get involved, and you start to get the picture. SMH. 1 out of 10.
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