If I am really going to delve into splatter films past and present, then I need to discuss the granddaddy of them all. This is of course Hellraiser. A film based on the Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart, and he also directed this movie.
It's about a man named Frank who discovers a puzzle box that leads him to a hell dimension that offers him all the pleasures he could ask for and more. He escapes, and must elude his prisoners known as Cenobites who want their property back
This is the movie that was responsible for establishing much of the lore of the Hellraiser universe. Though it was more about the human characters than it was about the Cenobites themselves. Heck, they dont even appear until the ending segments of the movie. The lead Cenobite, the being who would eventually be known as Pinhead, was not even named in this movie. His name was coined after because his head and face was full of pins. He had his entourage of fellow Cenobites known as Female Cenobite, Butterball, and Chatterer. Just by looking at them, you knew they only meant one thing...pain. And pain is exactly what they bring to the table in ways people never thought was possible.
This movie is very gory, with people walking around without skin and chains literally ripping people apart. The human characters with the exception of Kirsty, are the worst of the worst. They are just out just for their own needs and pleasures, and they don't care who suffers as a result. This movie also shows us another side of Hell. So often Hell is portrayed as a firey landscape ruled by Satan, but in this movie, it is portrayed as something completely different, ruled by beings who are cold and calculating. Further movies in this franchise who further explore this hell as well showing more of who Pinhead is.
This is a movie that has always fascinated me, and I still love even today. It created one of my favorite horror franchises, even though most of the films are hits and misses, and I am sure eventually I will explore the other films in future entries. Hellraiser is a very iconic film, and definitely has spread its influence on the horror genre as we know it.
Till next time, stay safe and stay scared -Tha Thrilla-