The return of Hellraiser is a cause for celebration. Or so we are afraid of saying, because the Hellraiser franchise has never gone anywhere — it has just spent decades pumping out awful sequels, all of them worse than the one that came before. But in the context of the debasement that the 1987 masterpiece has spent ages undergoing, there might be some reason to be hopeful. An important one is the return of Hellraiser's braindaddy, Clive Barker. And yes, we do feel comfortable calling Barker “daddy.” Too comfortable, actually.

Barker got the US rights for the original adaptation of his novel back again in 2020, and he's producing the newer adaptation. If things work out, this means that we might find ourselves again living in a world in which Hellraiser is a respected reference within horror, instead of the name of those duds you find in Netflix’s darkest corners that you just know you’re never going to watch. So in order to celebrate the beautiful possibility of Hellraiser returning to our cultural imaginary, we now examine the franchise, then and now. Oh, we have such sights to show you.

Trends

Hellraiser Then vs. Now From groundbreaking originality to chasing trends Hellraiser and Hellbound were unlike anything before them: there were creatures and gore, but also brainy themes about pleasure. The third movie becomes a mainstream slasher, Inferno a late Se7en derivative, Revelation delves into found footage and Internet horror, and Judgment is just gross-out torture porn. CRACKED.COM

Female Characters

Hellraiser Then vs. Now Female baddies and final girls Hell on Earth has a compelling lead, Terry Farrell's Joey Summerskill, and Bloodline has Paula Marshall as Terri (and then a Cenobite). But Hellraiser's true human faces are Kristy and Julia Cotton, from the first two movies. Ashley Laurence's Kirsty is an awesome final girl, and Clare Higgins' Julia a terrifying psycho- biddy one step from taking over Hell. 8 CRACKED.COM

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