First reactions to the Hellraiser reboot praises it as a worthy addition to the long-running franchise with the most brilliant portrayal of Pinhead since the original films. David Bruckner (The Nighthouse) directed the project for Hulu, positioned as a more faithful adaptation of Clive Barker’s novella, The Hellbound Heart. To help achieve that accuracy, Bruckner and his team made a major change from Barker’s iconic Hellraiser movies; Jamie Clayton takes over as the Hell Priest, AKA Pinhead, for the reboot, making her the first live-action female representation of the demonic antagonist.
Doug Bradley, who played Pinhead in the first eight Hellraiser movies, is the most prolific iteration of the character. In Barker’s source material, however, the Hell Priest has an androgynous appearance and the voice of a young girl; A transgender actor, Clayton adds another layer of intrigue to the established role. Nevertheless, fans expressed their division over Clayton’s casting and the prospect of a… Hellraiser Restart. Some took to social media to express their insecurity about the project, while others were excited about a new entry. Fantastic Fest attendees got a taste of the new Hellraiser for the Hulu premiere on October 7.
The first reactions to Hellraiser praise the reboot version of Pinhead while being a worthy entry into the classic horror franchise. Many early viewers on Twitter like the film’s blood, atmosphere and sensual approach Hellraiser lore attractive. They also praise Clayton’s Hell Priest as “phenomenal” “elegant,” and “terrifyingCheck out the comments below:
The Hellraiser reboot is not a cause for concern
Despite some early reservations about the ? Hellraiser reboot, the Twitter reactions of horror fans lucky enough to see the cutting edge screening should please the genre stalwarts and supporters of Barker’s 1987 film. The author/filmmaker’s original adaptation was particularly gruesome, full of gnarly practicalities, a somber atmosphere, and an exploration of challenging themes that blend pain and pleasure. Bradley’s Pinhead quickly became a horror icon and set a high bar for Bruckner’s Hellraiser reboot, especially Clayton’s take on the character. The reactions, however, seem to allay any fears of living up to those standards, describing the new film as suitably violent and poetic and positioning Clayton as Bradley’s equal within the franchise canon.
While reactions from the general public can still be mixed, probably thanks to an unwavering appreciation for the original film, the early reviews for Bruckner’s Hellraiser are a relief. Audiences approach the reboot of horror movies with extreme dread because of a sordid past full of objectively disappointing attempts, thus seeing the overwhelming love for Hellraiser should please potential viewers who are still on the fence. Suppose fans accept Clayton’s Hell Priest/Pinhead and enjoy the gruesome atmosphere, Hellraiser could be the perfect starting point for a new series of films to match – or perhaps even surpass the originals.
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