Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Believe me when I tell you that I had absolutely no idea that ‘Hellraiser: Hellworld’ was the eighth film in the Hellraiser series.  I remember the original of course which has now become a bit of a cult classic and the second one was a fairly big deal when I was in High school as we all went out the Friday it was released with sweaty anticipation.  I remember we enjoyed it immensely and were scared out of our wits, but it was high school and the mob mentality tends to take over so I would have to watch Hellraiser II again to see how good it actually is, and I have no intentions of doing that.  I do remember some kind of Hellraiser in space movie, I think, but I lost track of the Hellraiser mythos after Hellraiser II.


But here we are with Hellraiser 8, the fourth DTV sequel since Hellraiser was unceremoniously kicked out of theatrical distribution.  Admittedly I expected ‘Hellraiser: Hellworld’ to be pretty crappy, and it didn’t disappoint, but it’s still better than the awful theatrical release of ‘When a Stranger Calls’.

When our we meet our crew they are at the funeral of their friend Adam (Steven Urian) who has apparently self immolated himself playing some online game called Hellraiser: Hellworld.  Now I’ve played a video game or two before, and never have really had a desire to set myself on fire because of it, though I have played Madden enough to actually believe I could be the GM of an NFL franchise.  A couple years later, the crew reunites, which consist of pretty girl Chelsea (Kathryn Winnick), The horny jokester Mike (Henry Cavill), some British chick (Anna Tolput),

the moody and introspective Jake (Christopher Jacot) and, of course the wise-cracking Black dude who will die soon, Derrick (Khary Payton).  They all have unlocked the virtual box of this online game and have received an invitation to a Hellworld party held by the strange Host (Lance Henrickson).


As is typical in the weird movie rave parties, folks are having sex in the chandeliers, blow jobs are flowing freely, liquor runs like water and the fake acid rock music is irritating as hell.  One by one our crew of randy college kids start getting offed, with the iconic Pinhead (Doug Bradley) making the occasional appearance and dropping stale one-liners.  It seems our ‘Host’ has some sinister ulterior motive involving our guest that is somehow related to death of poor Adam a couple of years ago.


I’ve read that this sequel is actually better than the previous DTV sequels that I haven’t seen.  If that’s the case then Good Lord Jesus almighty in regards to those other sequels.  Seriously, this version of the Hellraiser series is crappy to a fault.  It would be nice to have a horror movie of such that can actually scare you.  When pretty Chelsea rubs her fingers along her boyfriends open coffin, everybody knows that the corpse is going to grab her so when the corpse actually does it, one can only yawn.  When a hole in the floor is whispering ‘Chelsea… Chelsea…’ You first wonder why in the hell is Chelsea leaning over to listen to whispering holes in the floor in the first place, but when she does we all know that some kind of appendage is going to shoot out and grab her, so that when it does happen all we can do is yawn yet again.


Of course ‘Hellraiser: Hellworld’ isn’t totally devoid of worth as it has about as much gratuitous nudity as any film I’ve seen recently, which isn’t such a bad thing as a lot of movies, sadly, seemed to be shying away unnecessary titties.  The cast even has fun with it a bit.  When a topless woman walks down the stairs, Jokester and the Black Guy who will soon die, look at each other and chime ‘gratuitous tit shot’.  And there seemed to be a lot of tongue in cheek as the movie really didn’t take itself too seriously.


By the time they got to the completely over the top ending which asks quite a bit of it’s audience to buy into, I doubt you’ll still be caring.  The only bad thing about the credits rolling was that it meant there would be no nude scene for Kathryn Winnick, and that was sad.  But if they tell me that this is one of the better sequels, and you’ve seen the ones before it, then by all means, run out and pick up ‘Hellraiser: Hellworld’.  I won’t be mad at you for it.

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