Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)

From what I’ve read, Dimension has the right to Clive Barker’s “Hellraiser” property and wants to remake the film series. But the ever troubled production has reached the point where the rights have run out. To keep the rights, Dimension basically rushed out a cheap shoddy sequel to the original “Hellraiser” series. This is a movie so horribly made and poorly constructed that the iconic Doug Bradley opted out of his star making role as the horrific Pinhead, due to his salary being chopped down from the low budget film. In his place is Stephan Smith Collins a poor bastard who has to live up to Bradley’s gravitas as Pinhead in every conceivable way and wages a losing battle from the very beginning.

Like Jackie Earle Haley as uber-Krueger, you immediately begin to compare and contrast. The producers sneakily try to reduce Pinhead’s role to prevent the comparisons, but they fail in that regard as well. Wisely, the voice of actor Fred Tatasciore is dubbed over Collins’ to give him an intensity his appearance clearly lacks. But that’s a miniscule consolation. I’m never going to be confused for a “Hellraiser” fan (I stopped after he visited space), but I know the series is capable of much more than this slop. I know it’s capable of much more than “Hell on Earth,” but that’s another rant for another day.

“Revelations” is almost like someone took a family drama about dysfunction and collided it with throwaway concepts from “Hellraiser.” Pinhead is no longer a poor man’s Freddy Krueger, and is now reserved to a prop who spends most of his time walking around his hell dimension as the Bradley family (get it? Hyuk!) re-unite to bicker over dinner. Mama Bradley can’t get over the fact that her beloved son went missing mysteriously with his friend Steven Craven (get it yet?). Meanwhile daughter Bradley whines about why they can’t let go of his memory, all the while trying to find out what’s on the tape that’s so shocking.

Mama Bradley obsesses over the camcorder left by her son’s friend that shows every exploit of his perverse life leading in to his collision with Pinhead and the hell dimension. So not only does the film mix bad drama with hackneyed plot elements from “Hellraiser,” but it also tries to ape from the found footage fad. Oddly the Craven and Bradley family get together every year to moan over dinner in their mansion and mope about their sons’ odd disappearance (makes sense). When Nico appears from seemingly out of nowhere, he begins to display odd behavior. The family doesn’t catch on in time, of course.

Even when he’s making out with his sister in the bedroom and slipping his hand down her dress, the family still hasn’t quite caught on. “Revelations” really makes no effort to deliver anything new. It’s merely there to take up run time only for a very condensed remake of the first film in the final ten minutes. It’s a colossal waste of time. It’s not like “Hellraiser” has been a high pedigree of a horror franchise anyway, but “Revelations” is clearly just a quick insta-sequel intent on keeping the series fresh for the potential long talked about remake. With horrible acting, a nonsensical story, and a poor replacement for Doug Bradley, this is a sequel worth skipping, altogether.

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