Critic Reviews for Hulu’s Hellraiser reboot have come out and it looks like the franchise is getting back on track. Directed by David Bruckner, with a screenplay by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, the film is Clive Barker’s second adaptation The Hellbound Heart, and serves as an overhaul of the popular horror franchise after a string of subpar sequels. Jamie Clayton takes over as Pinhead from Doug Bradley, Stephan Smith Collins and Paul T. Taylor, which also stars Odessa A’zion, Drew Starkey, Brandon Flynn, Goran Višnjić and Hiam Abbass.
The development of a Hellraiser remake began in 2006, with filmmakers Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo joining the project a year later. The adaptation was eventually canceled and turned into a new remake, with director Pascal Laugier at the helm of the film. But that version, and many others, of the project were also canned, and Hellraiser was stuck in an ongoing state of development, until David Gordon Green’s success Halloween sparked Spyglass Media Group’s interest in developing a new version of The Hellbound Heart. With the Hellraiser reboot after a string of poorly received sequels, critics finally share their thoughts on the film.
Looks like the wait has paid off. With the movie finally out on Hulu, critics have shared their thoughts on the latest installment in the Hellraiser franchise, and it is now the highest-rated installment in the series since the first, with a 68 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Check out what some critics are saying below:
Alexander Harrison, screen frenzy:
“David Bruckner’s New Hellraiser brings the structure that was missing by both a Final destination-like narrative engine and current, understandable rules that control the supernatural creatures, creating a sturdier story for you to enjoy more easily. However, in its journey into the horror mainstream, it also sheds some of those sharp edges that made the original so compelling.”
Chris Evangelista, SlashFilm:
“Pinhead and the new cenobites here are in fact terrifying and strange – but try and watch them for most of the movie. They all have slick new designs, but the movie is so murky and dark you might have to turn the brightness of your TV increase Barker’s original film was also traded in the dark, but we could still see what the fridge was happening on screen, but the real problem with Bruckner’s “Hellraiser” is that it often feels a bit generic. not even one of Barker’s original film was that much, but it felt different. Barker was never the best filmmaker, but he managed to create an otherworldly atmosphere that lingers in your brain.”
Jeremiah Monaghan, DiscussMovie:
“Most people will probably go to Hellraiser (2022) expecting another matte addition in this vein, mainly with it being touted as a reboot and being released directly for streaming on Hulu. However, in a shocking turn of events, this year Hellraiser is a most welcome return to glory, reinventing the series and honoring the decades-long history that preceded it.”
Owen Gleiberman, Variety:
Flesh is shredded and skinned, flesh is peeled and sliced, flesh is split wide open with mystical mechanical devices of invasive terror. The film’s brutal closing act may remind you of sickening landmarks of cinematic mutilation like ‘Audition,’ ‘The Cell ,” the series “Saw,” the 2018 remake of “Suspiria” and David Cronenberg’s recent return to body horror “Crimes of the Future.”
“It accomplishes everything you want in a Hellraiser Movie: Sensation, Gore, Puzzle Solving, Cenobites and Camp. It’s a timely story about how far we’ll go to get what we want and whether we’ll really pay that price, no matter how expensive it may be. The score is delightful and stays with you long after the credits. The special effects and usability are impressive and uniquely excellent; I like each Cenobite’s designs in their own disgusting way. While there are some tempo issues, especially in the first act, the editing and cinematography tends to be more fluid, intense and vibrantly great.”
While many reviewers agree it’s a step above the franchise’s mediocre sequels, some critics aren’t entirely convinced that this is the case. Hellraiser reboot is just as memorable as the original. However, just like Dan Trachtenberg’s Preythe latest installment in the franchise has renewed the interest of horror fans to seek out the original film and watch the franchise to compare it to the 2022 reboot. However, Prey was generally better received than Hellraiserwith most critics agreeing that its leaner plot and action sequences made it a unique entry in the Predator franchise, mainly because of Shane Black’s disastrous The Predator.
Still, the reboot’s generally positive reception could spark a new franchise with Pinhead and the Cenobites. Time will tell if the public wants more Hellraiser. And just like PreyThe reactions on social media made fans want to see the film in a cinema, one would hope Pinhead eventually returns to the big screen, where he belongs.