Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)

I'm one of those tasteless people that have no problems at all with all the Hellraiser-sequels. Part 2 is of course in a league of it's own, but even lesser (aka "sillier") sequels like Hell on Earth and Hellworld has something that attracts me. Inferno is the most underrated of the all sequels, and for a while it seemed that everyone hated it. "Not enough Pinhead!" (he's featured more in Inferno than in the first movie by the way) and not enough connection with the Hellraiser-mythos. Sure, it takes some liberties with the legend, but if you are openmined enough and can look beyond those small details, this is one helluva movie. 

Craig Sheffer plays Det. Joseph Thorne, a real bastard-police that fucks whores, don't care about his family, takes drugs, steals and is... yeah, a traditional bad cop. One day he comes to a murder scene where a man has been ripped to pieces with hooks and chains and Thorne finds the Lament-box... and takes it with him, and of course manages to open it. From that moment he's being trapped in a nightmare where more murders is taking place and everything is connected to him. He starts seeing weird Cenobites, and the person/thing behind it all is The Engineer - an almost mythological character in the underground crime-scene...

This movie is so criminally underrated that those who claims it's bad deserves a smack in the face. With an axe. Well, I won't be so hard to you all that dislike it, but it's still underrated. Scott Derrickson (who later directed The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Day the Earth Stood Still) makes a fantastic job and creates a cool noir-style nightmare with great make up-effects by Gary J. Tunnicliffe (one of the best in the business today I think). It's hard to like a movie with such an unpleasant lead as Thorne, but Craig Sheffer do it well and it's a pity he never had a bigger career than he has now. He gives it all here and do a marvelous job. 

Inferno almost travels into Lynch-territory with some scenes, for example the cowboys playing poker. You can take a slice from the atmosphere and eat it, so think is it. And juicy. But it never becomes pretentious. One of the best scenes is the first trip into Hellraiser-world where Thorne encounters a couple of strange female Cenobites and one of the weirdest ones inte the series, a creture with hardly any torso and that is walking on it's hands. Everytime I watch Inferno it reminds me of the norwegian mindfuck-movie Naboer (made five years later), but the visual style and some of the gimmicks. It's a good movie to, but never come close to the small genius of Inferno.

I'm not saying it will change your world, but I dare to say it's the finest work from Scott Derrickson and a damn fine small masterpiece of direct to video-movies. 

1 comment:

Jack J said...

I was lucky enough to attend an all-knighter at London's old Scala Cinema Club when HELLRAISER 2 came out. It was on bill entitled "Hell all night" and the other films were HELLRAISER, EVIL DEAD and EVIL DEAD 2. What a night!

- Although the temperature dropped to zero after after the "girl gets raped by tree" scene. My then gf was sooo not happy with it. Why did you take me to see something like that!! Haha.