The creative world can be a minefield for the companies, with rights management being a double edge sword for free ideas to build upon but the exclusivity of your creations in peril. As the rights for the Hellraiser character was in jeopardy, once again some new faces needed to make a sacrifice, both in the film and in reality. In 2011, crisp souls were indeed tested, In Hellraiser IX Revelations.
Nico Bradley & Steven Craven begin the film documenting their young adventure south of the border. When the boy’s trip to Mexico results in their disappearance, the families try to rebuild their lives. The camera that documented their journey is returned to their possession via a P.I. along with a mysterious puzzle box the boy’s picked up in Mexico. But that is not all as a disoriented Steven makes a surprise appearance, His behaviour is unusual for the boy, but that’s not all as more guests arrive at the house, some dark secrets will be revealed that night.
Following on from a mainly American affair, Revelations shows us Mexico. It would have been refreshing if the Lament Configuration had spent the entirety of the film down there, as changing the scenery has benefited the series before. Though with the heavy budget implications, it is clear to see why the focus is on a house in L.A. There is a brief found footage element that strikes at current trends of the time. Though it is not the main focus, like in other films, maybe this could be explored in the future. For the moment it only focuses on Mexico, but an entire found-footage Pinhead film could be a crowd-pleaser.
The new decade has brought with it a new Pinhead, replacing long-stay Doug Bradley. It’s not that much of a noticeable difference to turn devotes off, but you can notice the lack of Bradley (even though his name is prominently featured in the film as a homage). The film, at times, feels like a play, with most of the drama taking place in one house, it helps keep the drama ramped as the eponymous revelations are delivered. The new characters are also interesting, returning to the murkier anti-heroic tones of Thorne in Hellraiser 5.
Judgement’s short 1 hour and 15 minute runtime teases greater potential, yet offers an intimate, small scale affair. It still feels great seeing Pinhead return once again, with the new incarnation doing a good job of taking up the reins it inherited. Revelations is an intriguing anecdote and showcase how to effectively tell a story when every resource counts. What started as a stop-gap solution, Revelations has found a permanent place in the Hellraiser community.
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