Hellraiser 6: Hellseeker
Written Carl Dupre & Tim Day
Directed by Rickk Bota
Poor Hell-stricken Kirsty. She survived the original film and its sequel, and even managed to find love in a number cruncher named Mayhem...I mean, Trevor. But from the moment cameras start rolling on Hellraiser 6, she's doomed to suffer a horrible fate, and we can only assume that things get worse from there.
A terrible car accident results in Kirsty's death, or so says Trevor, though there was no body found at the scene. In the months that follow, Trevor devolves into a complete mess--his head trauma, coupled with the painkillers, cause blackouts and disturbing hallucinations, so that we're not sure what is real and what is not. Trevor can't tell, either, so luckily he's got a team of doctors and a pair of homicide detectives to help him sort it all out.
The Cenobites are, once again, relegated to the background. We catch fleeting glimpses of them in shadows and on TV screens, but they do not feature prominently as characters. Even Pinhead, the iconic antagonist of the series, only appears in a few scenes.
Hellseeker is trying to follow the formula laid out in Inferno, where straight horror is transformed into psychological distress, mystery, and surrealistic imagery. Unfortunately, it doesn't do it nearly as well and isn't nearly as interesting. Inferno was effective because it was drastically different from what preceded it, but Hellseeker copies the "is it real?" mentality so neatly that it doesn't bring us anything new.
The story unfolds via flashbacks and flash forwards, some of which are real and some of which are not. Even memories can't be trusted in this film. It has elements of Memento, but Memento told a cohesive story in the end. Hellseeker seems confused almost the entire way, until things are spelled out for us at the end. I knew there had to have been a genuine chronology somewhere beneath the surface, but the waters were so muddied that I had difficulty seeing it. Eventually you learn that this is strictly by design.
Despite any complaints, I did find it an enjoyable film, I just wish it brought more originality to the table. If every film in the franchise had a drastically different take on the storyline, I would be happy. Still, it's probably much better than another sequel with the Cenobites at the forefront would be.
"You're creeping me out. And I'm the coroner."