Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)

I once read that Lance Henriksen never accept roles as child molesters, rapists and just any kind of acting in slasher movies. Probably a very wise decision for him, because it kept him going for many years now and he’s probably gonna act until he falls down dead (which I forbid, he can never leave us!). That’s why it’s a mystery that he accepted the role of the mystery host in Hellraiser: Hellworld. At a first glance it’s a Hellraiser-movie, but it’s just slasher in disguise. Probably the most hated (until the next one of course, Revelations) sequel in the Hellraiser-series and shot back-to-back with the interesting but very uneven Deader, also from 2005. I can agree it’s a weak movie, but if you forget what it’s meant to be and see it as a silly slasher it works.

Two years ago Adam (Stelian Urian) burned himself to death in the basement after getting to involved in the fictional Hellraiser internet-game (internet was VERY dangerous in the movies once) and now his friends are getting back into their old “drug” with participating in a Hellraiser-themed party, hosted by Lance Henriksen: Hellworld. Yes, this is one of those sequels that look at the franchise from the outside (like Wes Craven’s New Nightmare for example). Soon things are starting to get very strange in the old Leviathan house, and one by one our hero’s is getting killed in violent ways!

OK, look at it from a distance and it kinda works. The story and the twist is absurd and silly and shouldn’t work, and it would have probably worked better as a pure slasher outside the Hellraiser-realm. It also has a twist which I hate and I loath every stupid fuck that uses this idea to seem smart (I’m looking at you… NO, sorry. I won’t name any other similar movie, just so you can be disappointed by yourself). Why it works a little bit better here is because it’s a Hellraiser movie, which make it seem more logic… kinda.

Because like with Deader and Hellseeker, director Rick Bota makes a very fine job spicing up rewritten scripts and adds a lot of atmosphere and some nasty violence to DTV-sequels that never would have gotten the same treatment if they belonged to another franchise. Hellworld is the weakest because the story is the weakest. It’s shallow and belongs entirely to the beautiful location, the excellent effects by Gary J. Tunnicliffe and the presence of Lance Henriksen. As you might now, I LOVE Lance, and I watch everything he’s in. He can have a tendency, especially during later years, to look a bit bored – or maybe just too used to doing lowbudget horror films. In Hellworld he’s better than in other similar projects, and seems to have fun scaring the kids and saying silly lines. Or maybe it was just a nice vacation to Romania that made him in a good movie, I don’t know. His best scene is actually the last one, where he can do a more realistic and – it looks like – do some improvisation on the set.

I know you all hate Hellworld, and I can agree it’s no super-movie. But watch it as a slasher with a little bit of Pinhead tossed in and it’s quite fun. And it looks good at least, which is better than nothing!

1 comment:

Ty said...

Great review! Lance Henriksen is always awesome. Thought this wasn't that bad. It was silly and gory fun.