Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth - 1.5/5
Granted, the entry prior to this one was a let down as its scatter-shot script and inconsistencies undermined the solid story and visual elements. This one suffers from similar problems, most inconsistency to story elements in the film itself, although I do give it credit for trying to explain some of the odd moments in #2, like the pillar at the end of the film and Pinhead's death in Hell.
I think that the film itself is pretty decent. Lots of interesting visual moments (Pinhead's face in the pillar is actually kind of interesting and of course Doug Bradley's performance of Pinhead is always wonderful) and some of the story is pretty solid. I actually like the idea that Pinhead himself has found a way out of Hell and is geared to release a shit storm on Earth. That's pretty cool. And the fact that main character and protagonist, Joey, has to reopen Hell for him to come back. Unfortunately, I think they went about this all the wrong way. Like how Pinhead got out for one...why was he in the pillar to begin with? And how is he able to get that creepy hobo guy (that normally pretty awesome reoccurring character) to get Monroe to buy the fucking pillar. To me, it doesn't quite make sense in context. Then of course, once he is out, how come he has all these powers in this realm when he is no longer fueled by Hell. He's just that evil? And if he has all these powers, then how come Joey can give him the run around so easily? He slaughters a shit ton of people, controls inanimate objects and even brings the dead back to life to help him (side note: the new Cenobites are insanely dumb in design I think. Pinhead even refers to them as 'shadows' of his former colleagues - and this my friends is a fucking understatement). Yet, in what should have been a really climactic ending, ends up being some what of a let down. Elliot and Pinhead just hold each other? WTF?! I was hoping that Joey would unleash the box (which once again must be the easiest puzzle box to figure out EVER) and that there would literally be a war on Earth between the forces of Pinhead and Hell. Now that would have been fucking stellar. But alas its more of a time game then all out "Hell On Earth" and my disappointment prevails again. Damn.
The movie starts off in the right directions but quickly ends up being a slasher film instead of a thought provoking one. I do give one moment credit when Pinhead enters the church as being one that is conceptionally awesome even if, within the context of the film, is completely left field and just an odd moment (who stops to tell a priest, 'the demons are coming the demons are coming' - then what the fuck is that?'). This is, for me, perhaps the weakest moment in the "Hellraiser" saga, and one film that just makes me question film making as an art. "Hellraiser" has fallen a long way from its debut as a brilliant and character driven film and "Hellraiser III" is just one low point on an ongoing series that is only going for the worse.
Written By Matt Reifschneider