Hellraiser 8: Hellworld
Written by Carl Dupre
Directed by Rick Bota
The Host...Lance Henricksen
Five video gaming youngsters are invited to an exclusive Halloween party themed around their favorite game: Hellworld. Hellworld is, apparently, some ultraviolent MMPORG, featuring torture, puzzle boxes, and Cenobites. Hmm...sounds vaguely familiar.
Once they get to the party and meet their host, things begin getting weird. Hallucinations and visions of the demons from the video game, members disappearing, and increasingly-dangerous situations show them that maybe this game is more than just a game after all.
It's a pretty dull and predictable entry in the franchise that fails to make any real impression...or any real sense, for that matter. It tries far too hard to be young and hip, with a Scream-like self-awareness, which has never been what this series was about. And for a movie about a video game, we never actually see much of the video game, or people playing the video game, or people talking about the video game...so why bother having the whole video game angle at all?
Pinhead's characterization has changed drastically, too. He's almost a slasher kind of character now, Freddy Kruger with nails instead of facial scars. He's no longer the least bit scary.
Chelsea is a real beauty, and there's a bit of creepy imagery here and there. Lance Henricksen is always a checkmark in the positive column, too. But none of these things are enough to save this stinker. Or, unfortunately, this franchise. They only managed one more entry before calling it quits.