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Director(s): Alen Smithee, Kevin Yagher

Writer(s): Peter Atkins

Cast: Bruce Ramsay, Valentina Vargas, Kim Myers, Doug Bradley, Charlotte Chatton


Synopsis & Review: In this installment of the Hellraiser series we witness the birth of the the puzzle box. Then, we follow a war between the demons and Phillip Le Marchand’s bloodline through the ages. And somehow in the midst of all of this Pinhead somehow wined up in space (interesting).

For what could have been a potential disaster Hellraiser 4 has a few things which keeps it alive. The story is being told through three perspectives we get a looks at how the puzzle box has affected the course of past, present and future. And I must say it provides for an entertaining and interesting viewing experience. I loved the  colonial English segment, it’s the goriest and the best part of the film by far. It introduces a very
seductive demon named Angelique, it has very over the top gore and has that very dark feeling like the first 2 Hellraiser movies. Hellraiser is meant to be in an English setting even though that time period is years before the setting in the originals it really worked. I wish the whole movie took place in the 18th century.

The movie really began to lose me when it jumped to the present setting. I doubt I was the only one confused here. Pinhead shows up with his evil aura and there are way too many scenes of him communicating with Angelique. I felt like I was watching a drama all of the sudden with their flirting with each other and conjuring up their evil plans together. When Pinhead kidnaps the hero’s wife and young son in order to lure him into the trap. I begin to think Oh how the mighty have fallen Pinhead has gone from one of horror movies most intimidating villains to a minion with average evil schemes.

Pinhead is no longer the demon we love to hate, the impartial demon that goes by the rules. He’s now the same class of villain we encounter in almost every horror film. But even with him not being the installments strongest entry as he has been in previous films you cannot have a genuine Hellraiser movie without him. Every time he shows up we don't get that vide of uh oh troubles about to happen but, we we feel like saying to ourselves oh
brother what does he have to say this time? As much as I love the gore in this film I truly felt like some of it was truly unnecessary, but the good storytelling helps to make up for it. 

The opening segment in space is a good opener but, the ending which also takes place in space was a huge disappointment and very cliché, how many times have we seen this same ending before? just watch almost any horror movie which, takes place in space to find out. Pinhead has his share of fun while him and his minions wreak havoc in the space station. Even though the murders are very gruesome, the ending stalk sequences could have been done a whole lot better. Pinhead really gets played for a fool in his death sequence which, was painful for me to watch. I was thinking who ever scripted this
ending should be shot.

On a good point some of the characters in this movie did stand out in a positive way. Notably The chatterer demon reminiscent of the cenobite from the first two Hellraiser movies, Angelique is a very attractive horror movie villains and the gore is plentiful, but all in all, this is an average sequel and like most sequels, it still forgets where it came from. The Hellraiser movies were always inconsistent but, at least they were innovative
and unique. This sequel doesn’t have the elements of what made the first two Hellraisers special. Hellraiser is standing on its last leg and Pinhead is a shell of his former self. Truly sad I must say.

Bruce Ramsay (Phillip John Paul) gives a solid performance. He has the task of performing in three roles in this movie here and does very well with all of them. Valentina Vargas (Angelique) is hot. She has that extreme sex appeal but still is very dangerous .I hope to see more of her in upcoming films. Kim Myers (Bobbi) delivered a decent performance and played her part well. Doug Bradley (Pinhead) delivers his evil monologues with ease but, boy did his character suffer in this film. You cant really blame that on the actor who ever scripted pinheads scenes should get the axe. Charlotte Chatton (Genevieve) was solid and has good chemistry.

If you want gore you got it and I mean plenty of it this film definitely appeals to of bloodthirsty fans of the horror movie genre. This movie contains the material nightmares are made of and then some. Think god that the Cenobites are a closer rendition of what they used to be none of the make shift crap we saw in Hell on Earth The movie has some nice shots, good style, excellent job with the appearance of the spaceship but, there’s something about this film that doesn’t feel right. The film took a nosedive after the 18th century segments it becomes very boring and bland.

I remember the taglines for the films used to be: "You open the box, they come". Part 3 did a good job with butchering that and Part 4 continues the same trend. The first two were classics in my opinion. They were original, very gutsy and were on a whole new level compared to most horror released during that time span. But Part 3 and Part 4 are very modern, and unoriginal. I hate to say it but, I think the Hellraiser murder train maybe running out of steam. This movie is definitely entertaining there's no denying that but, just like its predecessor, its a disappointment. I hear the next installment has a Hellraiser title slapped on it but, has nothing to do with the series. Thankfully I hear there's a Hellraiser: Hellseeker in the works I'm hoping and praying they can go back on track with that one. If not get ready to say the eulogy for the Hellraiser series.

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81 Minutes



Mar. 8, 1996



2/5 Stars







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