Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Hellraiser Inferno" (2000)

The Hellraiser series of films looks to be a real waste of time. It is not much more than torture-porn back before torture-porn really existed. Or, at least the first one is a nearly unwatchable mess of sadomasochism. One assumes that the rest of the series continues in the same vein. What it does purport to do is take a more philosophical approach to horror. That is debatable, unless by philosophical one means boring.

Then, in 2000 the franchise took the “direct to video” approach. They also took on a self-professing evangelical Christian director, which would have raised a lot of eyebrows had anybody been paying attention. It also looks like they took a script that had nothing to do with the Hellraiser story and repurposed it. The result is by no means a more watchable film, and it certainly is not a film that “proper Christians” would enjoy, but it is a story with a message.

It revolves around a very, very corrupt policeman. He does drugs, steals evidence, and cheats on his wife with prostitutes. He is also very arrogant and proud of his own intelligence. He is especially fond of solving puzzles. One day he is assigned a case involving a serial killer who appears to have abducted a child. He is determined to save the kid. Only the deeper he delves into the mystery the darker things get until he comes to the realization that he is trapped in a hell of his own making.

It is a bit muddled and completely depressing, with of course the latter being the point. This is one of those horror stories designed to be a morality play. The problem is that it is so dark, depressing, and hopeless that there is never any chance that the character could make a choice that would redeem things. That is where modern horror often veers away from morality into nihilism.

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