After watching and reviewing each of the eight (8!) movies in the Hellraiser family I decided it would be sensible to write my concluding thoughts. I’ll even throw in a ranking, free of charge, to be used as a warning and guide.
Click the links for my detailed reviews.
1. Hellraiser – Amazing in its originality, atmosphere, and gore. A must watch, simply one of the best horror films ever made.
2. Hellraiser II: Hellbound – Damn good follow up, delivers high entertainment value while sticking to the elements that made the original great.
3. Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth – The beginning of the end. Pinhead and his fellow Cenobites start to become cheesy. Almost all the original mythology is destroyed to make the film more like a teen slasher. Also lost is the atmosphere and tension from the first two films.
4. Hellraiser V: Inferno – Has absolutely nothing to do with Hellraiser, but the story is pretty good. If you just watch the first three and this one, you will be a happy camper. Everything else should be left for completist d-bags (like myself).
5. Hellraiser VII: Deader – One again, nothing to do with the original Hellraiser mythology or themes. Pinhead is reduced to making some random cameos. The film starts out strong, but the ending is atrocious – nearly ruining the whole enchilada.
6. Hellraiser VI: Hellseeker – Brings back Kirsty from the first two films, only uses her for a couple scenes. Instead takes non-linear “its all just a dream” approach that is messy and ill-contrived.
7. Hellraiser IV: Bloodline – Everyone associated with this film should be shot. Borders between idiotic and tedious with Pinhead talking WAY too much. Multiple flashbacks and forwards through 500 years make for a near unwatchable film.
8. Hellraiser VIII: Hellworld – Reality TV meets Hellraiser meets new level of sucking. The worst film in the series by a mile. Watch this at your own risk.