- 1 hr 34 min
Hellraiser is a classic horror movie from 1987 that tells the story of a family whose lives are forever changed after discovering the Lament Configuration, a mysterious puzzle box. The film was directed by Clive Barker, who also wrote the novella upon which the movie was based, and features a cast that includes Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, and Ashley Laurence. The movie opens with Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman), a man obsessed with pleasure and pain, purchasing the Lament Configuration from a dealer in Morocco. Frank takes the puzzle box to the attic of his brother Larry's (Andrew Robinson) house and solves it, unleashing the Cenobites, a group of otherworldly beings who exist to inflict pain and suffering upon those who call upon them. The Cenobites tear Frank's body apart, but he manages to escape them by fleeing into a dimensional void. Many years later, Larry and his wife Julia (Clare Higgins) move into the same house where Frank had died. Larry's daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) comes to visit but begins to suspect that something is not right when she discovers a stranger in the house and the ghostly presence of her uncle Frank. Kirsty soon learns the truth about the puzzle box and the Cenobites, and she is forced to confront them in order to save her own life. One of the main themes of Hellraiser is the desire to experience extremes of pleasure and pain. Frank's obsession with the Lament Configuration demonstrates his willingness to do anything to achieve these extremes, even if it means unleashing the Cenobites upon himself. Similarly, Julia becomes caught up in her own desires when she discovers that Frank is alive and begins an affair with him while he hides in the attic. The film also explores the concept of the uncanny, as the world of the Cenobites and their dimension are presented as strange and unfamiliar to Kirsty and the other characters. The grotesque appearance of the Cenobites, with their mutilated bodies and intricate metal hooks, adds to the unsettling atmosphere of the movie. In addition to its disturbing imagery, Hellraiser is also known for its use of practical effects. The makeup and prosthetics used to create the Cenobite characters were groundbreaking at the time and remain impressive today. The film's score, composed by Christopher Young, is also notable for its haunting, atmospheric quality. Overall, Hellraiser is a classic horror movie that combines visceral thrills with a thought-provoking exploration of human desire and the uncanny. Its enduring popularity has spawned numerous sequels and a dedicated fanbase, cementing its place in horror history as a truly iconic film.