Clive Barker's Hellraiser is one of the more surprising horror creations to become a huge franchise, and is often unsung when compared to other staples like Halloween or A Nightmare or Elm Street or even Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Based on a novella written by Barker, the original 1987 film (which he also directed) deals with a mysterious puzzle box that pulls victims into a hellish dimension where beings called the Cenobites torture them and harvest their souls. It's all quite as lovely as it sounds, of course. The leader of the Cenobites, Pinhead (played by Doug Bradley), has become one of the most recognizable horror movie monsters in the genre's history, and the franchise has branched out into nine more films and various other media. The last entry in the series was 2018's Hellraiser: Judgement.
The time is apparently ripe for bring the franchise back into the public conscience, so Hellraiser is now getting a fresh new start for the streaming age. An upcoming reboot is coming to Hulu as soon as next month and will be a new adaptation of Barker's original novella rather than another sequel. Based on early buzz and the full trailer below, it looks like the new film is taking a deeper dive into the lore and worldbuilding of the franchise more than ever before.
Hellraiser (the title is an indication that we're going back to basics here, apparently) is directed by David Bruckner, whose 2020 horror hit The Night House established the filmmaker as a force to be reckoned with in the genre space. This remake has been in development for quite some time, going through many different variations since 2006 with Barker himself attached to direct at one point, so it's pretty exciting to see it finally come to fruition after several long years - not to mention surviving the studio's acquisition by Disney.
In the film, a young woman named Riley (Odessa A'zion) struggling with addiction comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon the Cenobites, a group of sadistic supernatural beings from another dimension. Jamie Clayton will be taking over the role of Pinhead and this trailer gives us our first great look at what she has in store for her performance. It looks like a more than perfect Halloween selection this October.
'Hellraiser' is unlocked on October 7th to stream on Hulu.