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UK 1987 Directed by Clive Barker. Starring: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman.

Frank Cotton has bought a magic box, which will give him great pleasure if he manage to open it. Frank opens it but reach no delight, only insufferable pain. The box open a door to hell, and its travellers, the cenobites, tear him apart.

A few years later moves Frank┤s brother Larry and his wife into the house where it happened. When they carry in furniture in the house hurts Larry his hand pretty seriously, and blood dripping on the floor. Somehow is Frank┤s soul still there, and the blood on the floor brings him back to life again. But when he sucked up everything, it only last for his framework and some scraps. Larry┤s wife Julia has always been attracted of Frank, but is shocked when she look at him now. Frank is convincing her that it really is him, and beg also for help. He must get more blood to become complete again. Julia begins now to pick up men from public houses, and brings them after that home up to the attic there she slays them with a hammer. But in the meantime Frank get better, learns the cenobites that he escaped from hell. And they ain┤t happy.
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Horror writer Clive Barker┤s direction debut has an unusual weak script, poor uninspired actors and at times fairly bad effects. The reason why "Hellraiser" became a horror classic at the same moment it came out, is probably the original plot. Because this was something completely different. A very fascinating tale about a woman who does everything for the man she once so ardently wanted, but now only is a disgusting slime-heap. The slasher fans got also a new favorite in the cenobite leader "Pinhead". The story in "Hellraiser" don┤t gave too much room for Pinhead, but the viewers screamed after more, and in the latest sequels has he become the central figure. The three other cenobites are worse in my opinion. Clive Barker has racked his brain too much in order to create dangerous looking creatures. It occur quite a lot blood in "Hellraiser", but I can┤t say that one get frightened of it. As a whole is this a highly entertaining flick, with the exception of the last ten minutes which seems to has been made in a hurry.

Kent Palmgren

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