Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Come to Daddy: 5 Things we want to see in the new Hellraiser (and 5 things we don't)

"You opened it, we came" - The Lament Configuration

For the last two years horror master Clive Barker has been giving us little to no clues to what lies in store for us with his final chapter on the reboot of his classic horror series 'Hellraiser'. Barker hasn't really been involved since the third film, calling most after 'Hell On Earth' a bastardization of his work, but with the new movie on the horizon here's what us fans would like to see, and not to see happen to our favourite slice of darkness.

Things we'd likes to see 

1) Classic Barker
Since he left the 'Hellraiser' franchise back in 1993, Barker has been keeping himself busy. With cult success from movies like 'Nightbreed' and 'Candyman' to the Books of Blood series and other works of literature. His last few films have had little notification, with 'Midnight Meat Train' possibly being the stand out of the bunch. The last thing we want is for him to write something that will easily be forgotten. To any who have read the book 'The Hellbound Heart,' you will know that it is filled with stuff that at the time could not be conceived at that point in movie history. The first chapter alone with Franks' re-birth and awakening to the world changing around him once he opened the box, was changed to a more brutal, yet still satisfying scene. We hold out hope for a bigger budget so he can realize the tales true potential.

2) A sturdy origin tale
As Barker was not involved in the writing or creative background of the fourth installment to the franchise it was up to new blood to create a new twist for the origins of the Hell we had seen so far. Doug Bradley's character as the enigmatic Pinhead had been given a good origin story in 'Hell on Earth', so the only conclusion was to go even further back for a good story. 'Hellraiser: Bloodline' is about a man on a spaceship (yup, it's one of those sequels) that comes from a long family line starting with a toy maker who made the puzzle box. Known as the "Lament Configuration" (after it's creator) it is a box that once opened will bring forth the soldiers of Leviathan and send you back to their world for more than a bit of slap 'n' tickle. There are two tales told of the box. The first is told partly in The Hellbound Heart' and is given an epic backstory in the comic book series. The other comes in the fourth film, where space-age Lamerchand must call forth Pinhead and his army to put a stop to the curse on his family once and for all.
We have been tantalized by Barker that he will be doing his own origin story in the new film, where it shall be set on Devils Island with Lamerchand. Other than that it's anyone's guess on what will happen, but lets hope it's good.

3) Doug Bradley returns!
Good news people! It has already been announced that Doug Bradly, the man behind the pins, shall be returning to the role of Pinhead in this reboot. Barker has stated that there was no question on who should play the head of the Cenobite family (he bowed out when it came to the last film). It's good news for fans as he was the only thing keeping the franchise alive after Clive left for pastures red. Bradley had once admitted that the only reason why he took the role in one of the later films was because his wife said they needed a new fridge(!) so lets hope he's back on form for when the chains fly.

Lets not make this mistake again...

4) A Great score
In the first film the iconic music score was written by Christopher Young. Although it is a well known piece it was not the first choice. Originally the job had fallen to Industrial duo Coil, who wrote something so terrifying Clive Barker called it "Bowel churning"! It was rejected, but still released as an EP, and Young took on the role and wrote for the first two movies, gaining a Saturn Award for best music for his troubles. Since then he's been keeping busy, making scores for horrors such as 'Nightmare On Elm St. 2: Freddy's Revenge' & 'Drag Me To Hell'. Barker would be a fool to miss out on the opportunity to bring back that epic orchestral score that kept us awake at night. Failing that Mr. B (see what I did there) can always ask some of the more modern composers. Charlie Clouser ('Saw', 'Resident Evil 3'), Danny Lohner ('Underworld') and maybe even Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails, 'Tetsuo: The Bullet Man', 'Gone Girl') would probably jump at the chance (Reznor being a huge fan and even writing a song inspired by Books Of Blood).

5: Leviathan
Not much is known of the God featured in the second installment to the franchise. Seen as a giant diamond in the sky, the omnipotent being decides upon whom shall become one of his army of Cenobites, and even shines a black light over you to discover your secret sins. After the box was closed inside Hell, causing him to close into itself, we saw no more of this gargantuan figure. Perhaps after Barker left so did the inventive way of writing, rendering the series less of a journey through a persons soul to more being a thriller or gore-fest. We hope to find out more about this dimension and what else it may hold.

Hell has no time for health & safety, just don't look down.

5 Things we REALLY don't want to see 

1) CGI
We may be safe on this one, but it depends on what the film companies and producers say. Barker has always hated CGI, and any true fan of the film series will solidly agree that it has little to no place in the new film. When the first movie was made it was all done through animatronics, and it still holds true today. From Frank's return after drinking Larry's spilled blood, to the skeletal dragon that takes the box away, it still has a gripping effect and will engross and amaze even the new younger fans. If CGI was added it would ruin the realism and would ultimately cost more, leaving little creativity on set and less fun for the cast and crew. If you don't believe me go back to the first one, go on. Head over to your DVD collection, pick it out and watch all 93 minutes of it and tell me it still doesn't kick ass!

2) Changing the movies' theme
The major buzz-kill for near enough every Hellraiser fan was watching the fifth film, 'Hellraiser Inferno', and finding that gone were the intricate plot lines over good and evil (and the questioning of what WAS good and evil) and in it's place was more a gritty cop thriller. What followed was a dull head-fuck that left us bored and unsurprised by it's ending (I won't give it away if you haven't seen it, I wouldn't want to waste the word count). The only good thing to come out of it were some creative Cenobites (that didn't even get a lot of air time) and the fact that the lead character of Detective Thorne was played by Craig Sheffer. The ardent Barker fan would remember the name as he had played the lead role of Boone in Barkers' earlier work 'Nightbreed'. The films after that just got even worse. Even a reprise role of Kirsty Cotton and even another glimpse into the world of the Lamerchand linage wasn't enough to keep us sated, and when 'Hellworld' came along it was a gracious attempt at a clever story, but only if it had been done ten years previous it may have gone down A LOT better... I shall even spare you from the horrific 'Revelations'. I'm just glad I live in the UK where I don't have the autistic yearning to buy the piece of stool. Venting aside, I think we may be safe on this one. The only person who hates those movies more than us is Clive Barker himself, but once again he has to face those dreaded movie execs.

3) Pointless gore or 'Jump scares'
In modern day 'horror' the genre is split into two themes. The first are the jump scares, mostly coming from "found footage" movies like 'Paranormal Activity' (yawn). The second is UBER GORE! AKA lets take an original film and take it to the hilt to see if anyone gets grossed out or pissed off at it's content (*cough* 'Evil Dead' *cough*). Both of these have no place in the 'Hellraiser' world. Sure the original trilogy had a lot of gore, but it all served a role. Adding unnecessary gore to this new film would be like a Steampunker adding cogs to a coffee mug. If it doesn't serve a purpose then it will just end up looking silly to the serious fan. Same can be said of the "jump scare". It's lazy writing and gives the viewer a little scare only to ruin the true horror ahead of them. It would be like Pinhead hiding round the corner and then going "BOO!"

Watch out, he may be hiding in that cupboard in the dark room!

4) A small release
After all the hard work of keeping the execs at bay from the script, Bradley spending hours in the chair, all the SFX people working tirelessly to make this dream come alive, wouldn't it suck if the movie was given little to no promotion and just ended up as a straight to DVD/Blu-ray/Netflix release? The biggest thing that makes a movie lose credibility is the lack of backing from people in the industry. If this movie were to get over-looked due to yet another remake in 3D being promoted by a different big film company then it would be a true kick in the nuts to all the fans out there. We want posters, figurines, hell maybe even a lunchbox! What would be heaven would be after all the dust had settled, an amazing box set would appear, featuring all the films (good and bad) along with bonus features and remastered versions of the original trilogy. Failing that, perhaps an epic release by Arrow Films, with their own artwork and a sprinkle of the fairy dust that makes their company amazing. Seen as the UK aren't getting 'Nightbreed' any time soon I think we're deserved it.

(On a side-note also making the movie 3D can sod off as well.)

5) and lastly NO SEQUEL!
This has been Barkers' idea from the very beginning. Too many times has his work been given "new life" by means of an opening at the end of every film. Clive now wants to put this masterpiece to bed and wants it to go out with a bang, so who are we to question him? We don't want to sit through what could be the most amazing horror movie we will see next year (well I'm not 100% on the release date, but then again no one is) only to have Pinhead's withered hand twitch whilst under a pile of burning rubble at the finale. Saying that, if Pinhead is to well and truly kick the bucket we would want to see it done on an epic scale!

Coming soon: 'Hellraiser 11: Franks' Revenge'

Let us trust in the creator and hold out hope that this film is going to be as amazing as the rumors have got us constantly checking for updates. On the plus side a good thing to do while you are waiting for this movie to come out is get your mitts on the quite amazing documentary coming out next month via a Kickstarter campaign. 'Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II' is an amazing feat of fan engineering. Hailing from Birmingham (UK) it features nearly three hours of interviews by everyone involved in the first two movies. They leave no stone un-turned, even including a bonus feature about the Coil incident, as well as amazing artwork and booklets. It shall be available to pre-order 6th April on the teams' website:

As for the new film, lets hope Mr. Barker has some sights to show us...

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