Five films ago Hellraiser set the horror world alight, with each film being a cinematic success story, With the films going further and further away from the simple premise that made it resonate, a certain reassessment is needed to make sure the franchise is on the right track. In 2002, a dramatic car crash reawakens some old passions, some deep dark secrets, In Hellraiser VI: Hellseeker.
When Trevor wakes up from a car accident that claims his wife’s life. He keeps having headaches, hallucinations, and no memory of three lovers he kept on the side. Things start to get even more peculiar for Trevor, as he attempts to rebuild his life post-crash. As these symptoms manifest in stranger ways, people’s lives could be at stake, and a homicide detective becomes more intrigued with Trevor’s accident. He is now trapped in a shadowy limbo between reality and fantasy, in a sea of lovers and cadavers, as Trevor tries desperately to wade towards truth.
A return for Kristy is also welcomed, who has been pretty much absent from the series since a brief cameo 10 years ago. It is also great to see the end of her arc has a lot of interesting revelations about the character and shows how much surviving the first two films has impacted on her character. Though the focus here is on Trevor and his many partners outside of Kirsty, each one more than willing to throw themselves at him… while meeting a ghastly end. Also making a re-appearance is Clive Barker, who consulted on the film, towards the end. The theme song is nice kind of electro –album-rock track that feels emblematic of styles of the time.
The inventively stylish cinematography from Inferno returns with some nice-looking shots that help it stand out from other horror sequels. Some of this is diegetic, with an intriguing sequence involving a camera recording actions that are not there. From lighting and shadows that do more than tell a story, Hellseeker has an abundance. With yet another new Hellraiser comes a new Cenobite and the one that is presented to us is inventive, yet for those yearning for the classic series staples, we do get some healthy dose of Pinhead, especially towards the latter half.
With familiar faces that remind Hellraiser of its roots, while taking the lessons keenly learned from the last film, Hellraiser 6 is an interesting look at the series so far, and driving force that helps guide the latter half towards an interesting conclusion. Intriguing characters and dashes of inspiration from contemporary concepts, regardless of how long it took, the old meeting the new like this is a marriage made in heaven.
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