Addicted to an online game called Hellworld, a circle of friends mourns the loss of one of their own, Adam, who mysteriously died while playing the game, which is based on the 'Hellraiser' legend. The group of five ultimately blames themselves for the death, but decide to go on with their lives. Two years later, the group opts to attend a private party at an old secluded mansion. Mike, Derrick, and Allison are enthusiastic about the gathering, which was organized through Hellworld online. Chelsea, meanwhile, reluctantly joins them, while Jake, still feeling guilty over Adam's death, only shows up after hitting it off with a female player prior to the event. The quintet are cordially welcomed by the middle-aged host, who offers them drinks, shows them around the mansion (which was a former convent and asylum also built by Phillip Lemarchand), and provides them with cell phones to communicate with other guests. As the party progresses, the group finds themselves trapped in separate parts of the house, and the real game begins. Who would survive this unholy journey into hell, and what role would the demonic Cenobites play?
Matt: Call me crazy, but I didn't mind this movie at all. Sure, there was a TON wrong with it, but compared to the other sequels, I'd say this is the best one since 'Bloodline'. I know, I destroyed the previous three entries for not being original 'Hellraiser' scripts, but they actually made this one work. The acting was mostly good, and horror veteran Lance Henriksen ('Aliens', 'Pumpkinhead') really played the role of the Host with excessive zeal. He really seemed to be enjoying himself when all the pieces are finally put together at the end of the movie, and I had that "a-ha" moment when Henriksen revealed his true motives. The music was halfway decent as well, although it was mostly low-budget rock knock-offs. The only thing that really irritated me about this movie was that the role of Pinhead, played so brilliantly by Doug Bradley in the previous seven films, was really reduced to a supporting character in this film. From the get-go, it was obvious the Host was going to be the main baddie in this flick, with Pinhead merely serving as his pawn to extract his revenge. Despite that, Pinhead proves once again that in the end, hell always wins in Clive Barker's demented world, and Lance gets his just due. And barring a return to the franchise, this was Bradley's swan song, so the final scenes could not have gone any better for him. 3 out of 10.
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