Friday, November 1, 2013

Movie Review: Hellraiser 7: Deader (2005)

Hellraiser 7: Deader
HELLRAISER 7: DEADER - DVD cover image

Written by Benjamin Carr & Tim Day
Directed by Rock Bota

Amy Klein...Kari Wuhrer
Charles...Simon Kunz
Pinhead...Doug Bradley

Amy Klein, an American reporter working for the London Underground newspaper is dispatched to Bucharest, Romania to investigate a cult known as the Deaders, who can seemingly return the dead to life. The closer she gets to the story, the deeper she finds herself in the cult's dark and surrealistic world.

HELLRAISER 7: DEADER - Amy Klein is smokin'

This is not a very good movie, which is a shame, really. It's got a heroine that we can get behind--a plucky and tough-as-nails female reporter, something of a modern update to an archetype you used to see in the '40s--and an interesting concept. A cult lead by a descendant of the puzzle box's creator who figures out a way to use the box to his own advantage? Sounds pretty good on paper. On film, though...not so much.

This movie actually ties into the Hellraiser mythos only slightly, and if not for the appearance of the box (which does very little) and Pinhead (who does hardly more), this wouldn't even seem like a Hellraiser film. And there's a good reason for that: it's not. At least, it didn't start out to be.

HELLRAISER 7: DEADER - Ye Olde Puzzlebox

This was initially scripted as an original feature, but when the studio lost faith in it, they called for a rewrite to shoehorn it into the franchise. It is this forced nature that weakens what could have been a strong film. Perhaps they should have started from scratch, or rewritten a little bit more.

Not only are the franchise elements few and far between, but the plot isn't quite coherent and doesn't go deep enough into the new mythology it tries to craft. A lot more explanation of what the cult was trying to accomplish, and seeing a few examples of this in action would have been appreciated. It's too muddled for any sort of clear picture to emerge.


It isn't unwatchable, and there are a handful of genuinely creepy moments, but it pales in comparison to much of what has come before it. Still, there are more entries to follow, and if the law of diminishing returns holds true, things won't bode well for them at all.

"There's something vaguely demonic about you, Charles."

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