A criminally stupid film, Hellraiser: Hellseeker is the first truly unforgiveable addition to the franchise that should be forgotten from your mind as soon as you finish watching it.
Spoiler, there will be a lot of the film given away here, but it might be better to know this stuff beforehand.
Trevor (Dean Winters) survives a car crash, but his wife Kirsty (Ashley Laurence (yes that Ashley Laurence)) tragically dies. Suffering from amnesia he has hallucinations of an alternate reality where the women he was cheating on Kirsty with beginning to die. What is real and what is not?
I think the biggest sin of Hellraiser: Hellseeker is that it made Kirsty’s return to the franchise such a side piece. If your main protagonist for two films returns have her in more than five scenes. It is a waste, especially as she is much better than everyone else in the film. There is the hint that she was never supposed to be Kirsty, for several reasons. In what world would Kirsty ever open the Lament Configuration to get brought back into the world of Pinhead. She would chuck that thing into the nearest river at first sight. This is someone who 14 years ago was having to have psychological treatment for what she experienced. Not a chance she would do it.
Secondly, after witnessing all of the death she encountered previously, there is a lot of doubt that she would then go on to murder five people, so haphazardly. That isn’t what Kirsty Cotton does and it is backwards thinking to think otherwise.
While we are at inconsistencies. The Cenobites are meant to take a human to hell with them. That point is a bit useless when they are already murdered. At no point in the previous 7 or so hours of this franchise has that been an option. The person needs to be alive for them to get you.
There are some great things in Hellraiser: Hellseeker however. The brain surgery scene and random death scenes are effective, but that is just about it for the film if we are honest. Which is not great, not great at all.
We also have a nice moment with Kirsty and Pinhead and we see or think that seeds have been sewn that Kirsty and Pinhead will meet up again. Remember Kirsty has the Lament Configuration, the story is set up for them to have a final face-off. Also, she did just murder five people, she is a prime candidate for Pinhead to torture. Finally, on this point, we are now venturing so far away from the psychosexual nature that started the franchise that we are in such lazy territory that I can’t even believe people were lapping this nonsense up every couple of years.
When a film has more than 10 fake-outs of what our protagonist is meant to be seeing, we automatically lose all interest in the film. Your investment in him is gone as nothing ever matters with Trevor. He will always just wake up afterwards so the psychological and horror aspect is gone immediately. We do not believe a single thing that is happening. We also have a sneaking suspicion that we know what is happening early on. As we are seeing a man live through things in hell without knowing he is actually in hell. Sound familiar? There is no sense of time, place or narrative here and that is just spelling out what and where Trevor is. I mean if you didn’t guess that Trevor is in hell 30 minutes in then I do not know what to tell you.
We are left to assume that Trevor had cheated on Kirsty three times throughout their marriage. Somehow Kirsty managed to find out every single person in that affair. So she could go and murder these women in the time to get them to Pinhead. It just does not make sense. Not a damn thing in this movie makes sense. It feels that random sections of the script were torn out and thrown away and the director just carried on regardless.
For all of the terrible, needless stupidity of this film. The worst thing and I finally mean it this time, is that nothing compares to that soundtrack. There is nothing to do with Hellraiser in that soundtrack. We just have a standard track for a typical horror film. Not for a damn Hellraiser film. Who allowed that? Seriously shame should be on them.
I honestly wanted Pinhead to look at Trevor and say, “none of this is real Trevor” for Trevor to ask if he is in hell and for Pinhead to respond “No Trevor, none of this is real, this is a movie Trevor you idiot.”
If I remember rightly, the best thing in Hellraiser: Hellseeker is a deleted scene as we get more time with Kirsty and Pinhead. It expands on the relationship of the two, harks back to references of Frank and Julia and teases about Kirsty’s dad Larry. It is an interesting scene, yet, it was chosen for this to just be thrown away. I mean for goodness sake…
This is such a waste of a film. The return of Kirsty should mean something to the franchise and not just be an offhand addition. If you want to see a poorly written Jacobs Ladder rip off then head this way to Hellraiser: Hellseeker.
If you enjoyed our review of Hellraiser: Hellseeker then feel free to have a read of our review of the previous films from the franchise.
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