Stars: Steven Brand, Nick Eversman, Stephan Smith Collins Director: Victor Garcia Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
“You summoned us, we came.”
From Lionsgate UK, Hellraiser: Revelations – the ninth of the series – sees itself with disc and digital releases for the first time in the UK, ten years after its initial release. In the ten years of its existence, only one other Hellraiser film has followed – that being Hellraiser: Judgment, which too finds itself on disc and digital for the first time in the UK, released on the same day as its predecessor.
Hellraiser: Revelations opens from the POV of a camcorder, which ironically matches the overall quality of this film. The found footage recordings display the laddish behaviour of two young men as they approach the border into Mexico. The boys, Nico and Steven, played by Jay Gillespie and Nick Eversman respectively, are vulgar beyond belief. The recordings display “lad culture” at its worst and are far from a pleasant viewing, but it’s not all that happened… The footage viewed by Steven’s mother, Sarah (Devon Sorvari), also entails a selection of the darkest human torture imaginable, only made possible by none other than the Cenobites. With the families of both Steven and Nico gathered together praying for their missing sons to return home, the mysteries within are soon to be unveiled once Steven’s sister and Nico’s girlfriend, Emma (Tracey Fairaway), finds the Lemarchand’s Box…better known as The Box.
In its extensive execution of found footage and flashbacks, Hellrasier: Revelations manages to exist as a mildly interesting film with its mystery approach. A non-linear initiative is always intriguing. However, like its predecessors, this Hellraiser instalment is viciously violent. Actions of a grotesque nature do not occur at every angle, but when it’s there, it’s horrible. On a positive note, the usage of practical effects and make-up are admirable – at this level, CGI would have been unbearable. As always, practical effects manage to add a layer of believability to what’s being witnessed – and when that content is gruesome, the content is more difficult to comprehend.
Existentially, Hellraiser: Revelations is pretty much a home invasion movie. Rather than common thiefs, the invaders are demonic characters lead by a torture porn inthusiast known in the real world as Pinhead (Stephen Smith Collins). In replacing the iconic franchise regular, Doug Bradley, Collins’ attempt at Pinhead lacks any real menace in its presence of laughably-bad cosplay. His accomplice, Female Cenobite / Lady Chatterer (Jolene Andersen) brings nothing but laughs, too, as she chatters away. In the instances of these characters, Hellraiser: Revelations feels like a complete degrading parody of what Hellraiser was. Way too often does this Hellraiser film look and feel like a glorified student project.
In the 30+ years since the release of the original classic, the Hellraiser franchise has had its ups and downs – despite spending more than two decades in the realm of direct-to-video, the original trilogy of Hellraiser films have enjoyed recent Blu-ray releases. Now it’s the turn of the two most recent instalments. Ultimately, it would appear that the Blu-ray packaging of Hellraiser: Revelations is the only redeemable aspect of the entire release. The artwork is nice. Visually, this ninth instalment looks very clean, though in parallel, the production value looks that of a TV-Movie. Though the disc contents have zero bonus features, this isn’t exactly a massive disappointment when considering the shamefully poor quality of the film. However, watching director Victor Garcia and his team attempt to defend the film would have been a fun viewing. Finally released on disc in the UK, the acquisition of Hellraiser: Revelations will be one for the die hard collectors, set on having a complete collection of Hellraiser films.
This article’s featured image: By Source, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Fair Use