hellraiser hellworldMiramax Films

“Your son was quite the prodigy. He opened the gateway to Hell. But you never believed yourself, did you?”

A group of gaming fans of the online Hellraiser-themed Hellworld game are invited to an exclusive out-of-the-way Hellworld theme party at an old mansion owned by a creepy but cool guy with a serious taste for the macabre. After showing up, the kiddies find that the music’s bumpin’, the alcohol is flowin’, and hot and cold running fleshly carnality is on the tap for tonight. Only, not everything’s what it seems…as the party posse learns a bit too late…

I believe, at this point in juncture, it’s safe to assume that the Hellraiser franchise isn’t the same as the one that graced our collective noggins with horror master Clive Barker at the helm. Now, with the past four or so installments, it’s almost like Pinhead and his cohorts are making cameo appearances just to sell a lousy DVD. Same here, with the eighth in this ongoing series.

Not that it’s bad. Far from it, really. Overall, like the previous Deader (both that and this movie were shot back-to-back) from this year as well, feature a real solid horror story, nicely done, and doesn’t let up until the end. Pinhead just pops in once in a while to quip something, and that’s it. Otherwise, I had a great time watching this film, as it not only has a dark and creepy Castle Films vibe, but the fact that it plays on the whole Hellraiser mythos gives it a different feel. Not to mention the wise addition to the extra-creepy Lance Hendriksen as the Host, along with some creative kills, and one hellova wizbang ending. I was very satisfied with this when the credits rolled. Mind you, the writers could’ve kept out the Hellraiser angle and stretched their imaginations further to make a stand-alone story, and it would have worked just as well. But as it stands, Hellworld is a fine cinematic horror treat. Rent in conjunction with Hellraiser: Deader for a double-header sometime, hit the lights and let the darkness consume you…