Sunday, 4 December 2011

Dear Victor, your Hellraiser film is a disgrace to cinema.

Dear Victor Garcia,

What the hell were you thinking?

I'm by no means a fan of your work (you were fighting a losing battle by making a House on Haunted Hill sequel as it was), but up until now, I could at least understand why you had got the job. I assumed that perhaps you were a horror fan but confined to sub-par scripts (which I also assume is the case of Cabin Fever 2 helmer, Ti West), but you have proven me wrong. Case in point: Hellraiser: Revelations, or, one of the worst horror movies ever made.

Apparently you have to be topless to open the box, 
even if it makes NO FUCKING SENSE.

A few days ago, I set out my disdain going in to this film, knowing it was potentially an excuse for Dimension to retain the rights to the Hellraiser franchise long enough for the long talked about remake to occur, but deep down inside, I was hoping that you, even with a meager budget allegedly far south of half a million dollars, would try make a neat little story small in scope but perhaps big in ideas. But did you? Nope.

I'm not going to summarise, nor am I going to warn about spoilers. I hope that anyone who reads this will heed my words and avoid, with this being as much about the film as they will ever know. The story is tired and taken from the previous films, though it also leaves behind some of the better ideas. It looks poor, which is shocking even at this level of budget. The acting is awful, bar one man. If this film was meant to be an 'ashcan copy', it would have been better unreleased.

Probably a better choice than chipmunk-face above.

A found footage Hellraiser might have been clever, but you abandoned this for typical third person perspective, but even fail with this. How the hell can the cinematographer of the larger share of Saw films deliver something this turd-like? You're confined to a few locations, that's fair enough. That's expected of low budget, but the trade off is that you give us characters with depth and something to ping our attention. None of these traits are seen here. Bar Steven Brand, pretty much every actor phones it in or is embarrassing to themselves. The extent of the motivation behind their dialogue seems to be 'this could be shocking. I'd better not lose any of that shock with so-called subtly '. 

You were so lucky to have this man, you have no idea.

But that might be a script problem, right? I mean, the script is dire. Every character is given a 'shocking' secret, whether it keeps in line with them or not. The script tries to bring in Blue Velvet evil behind a small town, but ends up worse than Days of our Lives. Jeez... The Hellraiser fan films are better than this... Wait, what's that? The writer was involved with them? Wow... Is this really the best that can be done with people who care about the films behind it?

Oh no! I am in mild discomfort!

Shall we look at plot holes for a moment? Why have the cars disappeared? Did the Cenobites become joyriders between this and the last film? Even if they did, they couldn't have done anything BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT SUMMONED. This is probably the only rule they have. You solve the puzzle, they come and take you. They aren't Freddy Krueger. They don't kill indiscriminately. In fact, several times we have seen them trade off people who have made a mistake for others. Why do I bring that up? Well, your big shock ending has them pick a person at random, even though the person who escaped them is right there, and the person who opened the box is literally caught holding the box. Have you never seen a Hellraiser film before?

This is Hellraiser, right?

I'm going to put it out there, it's not my favourite franchise, but it has unreal potential and is very clear in its rules. Why do the Cenobites go after the kid who didn't open the box? Why does said kid decide to hire a hooker when he has watched his best friend be taken to the other side, even though we have already established he is the 'prude' out of the two of them? Why is he seeing flashed of Hell? He didn't open the box, you know? Why does he kill the hooker? How come the friend who comes back gets him to kill more, even though he seems to be much stronger right off the bat? How come the prude doesn't die when his skin is ripped off? Why does the friend decide the best plan of escaping the Cenobites is to call them to make a deal when they seemed to have no way of getting him otherwise? Why does the sister get orgasmic while touching the box? Why does the shotgun seem to have an unlimited amount of cartridges in it? Why is the Chatterer a woman all of a sudden? Are sex changes big among demons? Why is the prude a Cenobite? When the fuck did they decide people could join the club, even without opening the box? Does Pinhead mind him ripping off his style?

"Oh no, we wore the same outfit AGAIN!"

These, and many more unanswered questions are contained in Hellraiser: Revelations. 

It looks like and is acted like a student film. It is disgraceful that this has actually managed a DVD release. I know the budget was low, and that you can be constricted by the studio, but it looks bad, it sounds bad, and frankly, is bad. I was going to make a joke about this being Castel Film quality, then I remembered the last 2 films were produced by them, and those films, while disappointing, were Casablanca compared to this.

I'm sorry, Victor. I want to like you. I want to like your work. But so far, all you have done is make shitty sequels. This last piece of shit is now making me doubt you are actually a horror fan. To say this film is disappointing is an understatement. I can only hope you went in to this knowing it wasn't a real film, and tried to wash your hands of it as quick as you could.

On the plus side, this film is the closest to Hell that any of the Hellraisers have made me feel...