“What you think of as pain is a shadow. Pain has a face. Allow me to show it to you. Gentlemen, I… Am… Pain.”
Hellraiser = amazing
Hellraiser: Hellbound = great movie
Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth = a little disappointing
So where will the forth movie end upon the depth chart?
The movie starts out in space, something that seems like a weird setting to me at first but it works out fin enough. A man named Paul Merchant (Bruce Ramsay) is the man responsible for making the space station and has somehow taken it over and removed all other staff. His intent is not only having a robot solve the Lament Configuration (the puzzle box) but to destroy the cenobites as revenge for his family. Space marines (?) show up and the narrative of the story starts from there.
The first real section of the film takes place long before the space station, back when the Merchant family was the L’Merchants. Philip L’Merchant creates the puzzle box for a wealthy man who uses it to summon a cenobite slave that inhabits the body of a woman they recently killed. Through a series of events Angelique (the cenobite played by Valentina Vargas) kills off several people including Philip at the orders of Jacques(Adam Scott).
The next section is done 200 years later, this time a building has been made by John Merchant which seems to have some design qualities of the puzzle box. Somehow through the union with Angelique, Jacques is still alive and looks the same age as the last time we saw him. One of the rules he has to follow is that he is not allowed to stand in the way of Hell which he does by denying Angelique her request to go to Merchant. Once she makes it there she manages to get a hold of the puzzle box and summons Pinhead though she is surprised to see him. Again a Merchant dies but is survived by a wife and a son.
This is my first complaint; the wife is played by Kim Myers who you may recognize from Nightmare on Elm Street 2. I thought she was underused in this movie. I think she is great in horror movies and I would have loved to see her in a much bigger role in this one considering how badly she got shafted in the Nightmare movie she was in. She’s been in a total of 2 horror movies and that is a shame.
The last section of the film is back in the space station where the space marines and Merchant have to deal with the newly released cenobites. There is a lot going on in this movie and it is really hard to write it down without sounding like I’m soft in the head but it somehow works better than the third movie.
I normally dislike movies with the anthology feel because nothing is cohesive but in this case it actually is a narrative that is done rather well. Acting was great, the cenobites were well designed and the story that somehow works out well despite the breaks in the timeline.