In the second Hellraiser film to be released this year, Dimension Films and director Rick Bota have come up with an interesting premise. Pinhead has been in space and in hell, so now he wants to secure his 'pleasures of the flesh' on your home computer. Adam is your typical teenager, obsessed by the 'net and in particular an online game called 'Hellworld' which features Pinhead and his cenobite friends. The game becomes a part of his life and the film begins with him committing suicide as 'Hellworld' has now become an obsession. His friends are equally addicted but time passes after Adam's funeral and they drift apart only to meet up two years later.
Completing the Hellworld game gives you access to the exclusive Hellworld party held in a country estate. Travelling there together, Adam's friends have no idea what is in store for them when they meet “The Host” played by Lance (Aliens) Henriksen. Inviting them to look around his house, The Host enjoys showing up his vast collection of strange and twisted artefacts. He also tells them stories about the house and its evil past, making them even more curious on how the party will develop. As time progresses the party is not what it seems and soon Pinhead arrives with the chattering cenobite and begins to torment the five friends.
Filmed back to back with 'Hellraiser VII: Deader” in Romania, Hellworld is set almost entirely in one location, ie the creepy old mansion and because of this it gives a claustrophobic atmosphere as the tension mounts and the blood starts to pour. Doug Bradley's Pinhead is thankfully more in this film then the previous instalment and as per usual he turns in a fine performance (after all he has now played him eight times). This time though, Pinhead is being particularly vicious and enjoys his 'pleasures of the flesh' by death by meathook and a nice decapitation among other novel ways to kill people. Gary Tunnicliffe's make up effects are impressive and are used for maximum effect.
Lance Henriksen does best in the circumstances as the script doesn't really let him do anything but look and act menacing. As we all know Henriksen is a very capable actor and does well in what is fairly substandard material. The rest of the cast are a mixture of UK and US actors whose thespian skills are about as developed as kids in a nativity play. However the fun script and Bota's direction makes the film a lot better then it should really be as it drops the video game angle pretty much straight away after the opening scenes and soon becomes a standard slasher type movie in an old country house. The saving grace again is Doug Bradley who lights up the screen as Pinhead. Although the film is fairly enjoyable I just wish they would have expanded the video game idea as when video games and horror are joined together some entertaining films can be produced such as Evilspeak or Brainscan. With the video game plot being jettisoned pretty early on the film is a bit of a missed opportunity. If the Hellraiser films are to continue I think Dimension should get back to basics and adopt the style of the Clive Barker written films. Strong stories with characters you care about and of course plenty of blood and guts.
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