Hellraiser 9: Revelations
Written by Gary J. Tunnicliffe
Directed by Victor Garcia
Pinhead...Stephan Smith Collins
Typically obnoxious horror movie douchebag teens Nico and Stephen head to Mexico in search of cheap booze and cheaper women. After a lot of the former, one of the latter ends up dead in a filthy bathroom stall and playtime with a mysterious puzzle box calls forth the Cenobites...and they are never seen again.
Nico and Stephen's family are searching for answers regarding their disappearances, with only a pair of clues to go on: a video camera detailing highlights of their debauchery, and the puzzle box. When Stephen suddenly turns up alive, babbling incoherently, both families find themselves trapped in the house, pursued by some outside force of hell.
The film starts out as a found footage movie, which I was all for, as it might have helped breathe some new life into the franchise, but it quickly changes perspective to standard cinema--with occasional handheld glimpses in the flashback scenes. Which is probably a good thing after all, as these drunken tools have no idea of how to work the camera.
It's not that this is a terrible film, it's just that it's terribly mediocre. Again, the filmmakers are trying to be young and hip, resulting only in tired and grating. Taking disparate elements from previous entries in the franchise (incest, reborn by blood, mysterious homeless men) and having teens act them out instead of adults doesn't make it original, contrary to what the filmmakers seem to believe.
The Cenobites appear in fleeting scenes, but the biggest disappointment is that Pinhead has been recast. For the first time ever, Doug Bradley is not in the role. He has been replaced by Stephan Smith Collins, who tries too hard (and fails) to be creepy. It's hard to take him seriously when he looks like Uncle Fester at an S&M club. I can't blame Doug Bradley for refusing to appear in this rushed pile of refuse, though.
It's just a sad state of affairs that the franchise ends on this sour note.