Hellraiser Judgement Delivers Enough To Not Receive A Guilty Verdict
Hellraiser Judgement Film Details
Director: Gary J. Tunnicliffe
Gary J. Tunnicliffe
Based on characters created by Clive Barker
Release Date: February 13th, 2018
Release Format: VOD
Running Time: 1h 21min
Detectives Sean and David Carter are on the case to find a gruesome serial killer terrorizing the city. Joining forces with Detective Christine Egerton, they dig deeper into a spiraling maze of horror that may not be of this world.
Director Gary J. Tunnicliffe worked to considerable ranges to establish raw, grotesque visuals. The compositions Tunnicliffe delivers make Hellraiser: Judgement stand apart from the preceding installments. In comparison, this latest addition may rekindle the once lustrous, now disastrous film franchise. To clarify, and avert a firestorm from the Horror community, Hellraiser I and II are out of my comparative equation. The initial two films were masterpieces, achievements ahead of its time.
What Tunnicliffe presents in his rendition of Hellraiser is the vicious BDSM aesthetic absent from its dull predecessors. Most of the morbid eye candy extends through most of ACT I and becomes drip fed in the next two Acts. The color grading, set design, and bizarre editing style create a fascinating introduction. I welcome the elaborate cinematic craft Samuel Calvin delivers in Hellraiser: Judgement. This aspect coupled with gloomy visual effects intensifies the production.
Related Article: Doug Bradley and Gary Tunnicliffe controversy
Yet, I feel divided by the visionary orientation displayed in Tunnicliffe’s film. Ordinary and unoriginal were two details that come to mind when viewing Hellraiser: Judgement. It seems every element Tunnicliffe presents takes inspiration from Broken, the Nine Inch Nails music video compilation released in 1993.
I found the narrative offered in Hellraiser: Judgement to be meritorious. Yet, that too possesses major weaknesses. Tunnicliffe lacked the appropriate research to establish authentic storytelling. For example, audiences are to presume that three detectives are examining evidence at crime scenes when in fact they are corrupting the area of interest.
Simple research dictates that every crime scene is investigated and protected by a unit of analysts. This crew checks for and catalogs evidence while detectives attempt to compose the chain of events. Perhaps there wasn’t sufficient money in the budget to secure extras for these roles. Aside from the inaccuracies and lax approach to realism, the modern murder mystery aspect to Hellraiser: Judgement is striking.
Originality is non-existent in Tunnicliffe’s film and the director/writer is not at fault here. The years were not sympathetic to this franchise. Film after film damaged Clive Barker’s fear-producing characters beyond repair. There is only so much that can be done with the Cenobites without it feeling sluggish. With Hellraiser: Judgement I felt annoyed by the regurgitated dialogue extracted from previous chapters. The scenes in question were ripe for modern one-liners, consider it a missed opportunity.
The highlight detail in Hellraiser: Judgement was the practical effects, costume department and set designers. Everything created by these talented individuals adapted well into the Hellraiser mythos. Horror enthusiasts should favor giving this film a viewing for the craftsmanship displayed by these departments. Each actor delivered commendable portrayals without B-Movie influences. Yet, I found the lack of diversification in this all Caucasian cast to be a hard negative. Aside from the antagonistic entities, the human aspect of this narrative did not feel influential.
Hellraiser: Judgement has its strong and weak points. Actor Doug Bradley does not reprise his trademark role in Tunnicliffe’s film. There was a heated controversy between the two and as a result Actor Paul T. Taylor received the part. As a longtime aficionado of the Hellraiser narrative, I found this situation to be sacrilegious. The production images that soon followed further nix my faith in Hellraiser: Judgement. With Tunnicliffe penning a calamity of a script for Hellraiser: Revelations the odds got stacked against him rather fast.
Hellraiser: Judgement was absorbable for its gruesome images and attempt at a re-imagination. Further tuning with the narrative and casting and perhaps Horror enthusiasts may receive an addition to this franchise that rises alongside the initial two chapters.
If John Carpenter can return to correct the mistakes done to his Halloween concept so should Hellraiser author Clive Barker. Then there’s always the film adaptation of a similar concept, Tortured Souls. A collaboration with Todd McFarlane would make a hellish duo, right Mr. Barker?