Horror News Network Review: Hellraiser (2022)

by Christine Caprilozzi

This past Friday, the highly anticipated Hellraiser movie, directed by David Bruckner, dropped on Hulu.  Whenever there is a reimagining of a beloved classic horror film, fans of course, go in with much skepticism, myself included. While it didn’t touch the brilliance of the 1987 original, there were definite positives.

One aspect of the 2022 Hellraiser that I enjoyed was that unlike other recent reboots and “re-imaginings” it wasn’t so meta. It didn’t constantly refer back to the original with a wink and nod around every corner. This was clearly a new film not leaning into nostalgia but rather centered around the iconic puzzle box.

The plot had substance with twists and turns, with a standout performance from Odessa A’zion as Riley. As a character struggling with her addictions and life decisions, she became a vulnerable and complicated host for the mysterious puzzle box.  Jamie Clayton held her own as Pinhead, but didn’t have as much screen time as one would expect. Leading up to the film there was a lot of hype about this new Hell Priestess and considering all of that hype we had thought she would have more visibility. While it’s blasphemy to compare anyone who takes that role to the legendary Doug Bradley, it was refreshing to see someone of a different gender in that role.

The other Cenobites were updated but stayed true to what we expect. I honestly had higher hopes in terms of their designs/looks being that it is 2022, but I guess they weren’t as bad as some previous Cenobites such as CD or Camerahead.

Overall, I took the movie for what it was. I neither loved nor not hated it. Was it as bad as some of the other reboots of classic horror films? No. Is it worth your time? If you’re a fan of the original Hellraiser, yes.  It is definitely a worthy entry into the Hellraiser canon.

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