October 10 – Hellraiser (1987)

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Hellraiser (1987) Directed by Clive Barker

In One Sentence: Can your want for pleasure save you from the Cenobites? 

Why You Should Watch: This is what I will argue as one of the greatest horror films ever. Yes, sometimes the plot and parts of the dialogue can be ridiculous, but if you are not creeped out the entire film you’re not human, either that or you might be a sociopath without feelings. The effects are gut wrenchingly real due to the lack of regular CGI in the late 80s, but it adds to the horror. The derelict house we see the main cast move into introduces the viewers into a festivity of nightmares. The scene where pleasure seeker Frank seeps upwards through the floorboards and menacingly crawls around the attic is one of the greatest transformation scenes I have ever scene. In fact, seeing Frank’s character throughout is scary enough.

The actual dialogue of the film is awkward and disturbing. The amount of quotable one liners from this movie alone would make any date memorable, if not leaving the significant other on the verge of calling for the police. “Want a cookie, lil girl?” is a serious line from one of the main characters, and just the fact he is not even trying to be frightening makes him more of a creep. It’s a kind of film that leaves the hair on the back of your neck on end, feeling as if you are being watched. Barker’s ability to direct his characters is fantastic. Every one of them provides a tense weight to their respective roles, working together to breed a murderous landscape of untrustworthy people.

Can we talk about the Cenobites themselves? We have Pinhead himself with his booming voice cryptically discussing just exactly what kind of hellspawn he and his gang of torture porn freaks are. Actually, they don’t even have given names if we are just talking about just the first film; but after Pinhead we have chatterbox teeth freak, smoked too much cigarettes hole in the throat girl, amoeba bodied Morpheus and the creepy bathroom slug. The latter one is technically not a cenobite, but it gave me a scare as he chases Kirsty down in a scene questioning what the hell is actually going on. Just looking at them lurk in the shadows is enough to send a shiver down my spine.

The end might seem a bit underwhelming, but just pay attention to the weird ‘Alaskan Bush People’ looking guy.

Favorite Line: We have such sights to show you.