Sunday, September 13

Some quick thoughts on Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)

Let's just pretend Jacob's Ladder doesn't exist, shall we?

To those who think Hellseeker, the 6th entry in the castrated Hellraiser series, is "original" or "imaginative"; it's poorly constructed rip-off of and an utter insult to Adrian Lyne's magnificent Jacob's Ladder. Period. The story centers on Kirsty's husband, haunted by a migraine-triggering amount of story fracturing visions and hallucinations stacked ten high, after an auto accident which kills his wife--or does it? The cops keep pressing him for information (or confession?) as he descends into a madness of dead whores and Cenobites. That all sounds cool, yet there's no positive qualities here, just a top heavy clusterfuck of bullshit gussied up as cleverness with Lyne's 1990 film serving as a source of much crib-noting and visual reference.

I honestly do have a headache right now after watching this. The story flops around so much that if you hate this aspect of the Saw franchise, you might want to stab the writers of Hellseeker after suffering from its slow abuse. These are grounds by which Pudgy Pinhead VI lifts from Jacob's Ladder. Here, the husband's hallucinations of chillingly grotesque masked men and hints of demonic encroachment upon "reality" are dialed up to eleven and quickly lose any impact. Contrast to Ladder's measured delivery of said elements into Jacob Singer's "reality." There's a doctor who the husband confides in throughout, just like Singer's therapist (played by Danny Aiello) in Ladder. Even the final reveal of Singer's true fate is mimicked with Hellseeker's lead. As stated prior, it's essentially a piss poor DTV rape of Lyne's genre-transcending work with shitty-looking Cenobites shoehorned in to replace the vastly more frightening human-like demons of Jacob's nightmare.

I'm on the verge of literally throwing Hellseeker in the trash. It's definitely in the give away stack already. It does not pass go. It's an affront to seasoned Horror fan sensibilities everywhere. This is definitely the last "proper" Hellraiser series sequel I'll ever see. Being bad is one thing, but gutting a classic for the sake of a now garbage franchise is shortsighted, lazy, and wrong. Rick Bota, Carl V. Dupré, and Tim Day ought to be ashamed. See Jacob's Ladder and let's just pretend Hellseeker doesn't exist, shall we?



J. Astro said...

Sadly, after "BLOODLINE" (part 4), all the Hellraiser entries are like this. Shame, really. Totally lazy and awful.

B-Movie Becky said...

I never got around to this one. And I love Jacob's Ladder, so....probably won't bother.

KFelon said...

Didn't Miramax just take scripts for other movies and throw Pinhead in them for the films after the 4th one Bloodlines? you dare tread upon the staircase?

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