Honestly, I'd never have watched all these Hellraiser movies, but I bought a 2-disc set that included them all and it seemed a shame not to. So in the interest of Hellraiser semi-completion, I forge ahead with this, the 6th film in the series.
Hellraiser: Inferno is a straight-to-video sequel centering on a corrupt police detective who finds the infamous puzzle box. This one has something to recommend it, and I wouldn't refuse to watch it again.
HorrorNews.net calls the story solid and closes by saying, "I thought it actually worked really well, and when the film is over, it gives a whole new perspective on what the Cenobites can do."
DVD Verdict says,
Yikes. What a dreadful little movie. The problems are many, the biggest being that this is 100% not a Hellraiser movie.... Hellraiser: Inferno is what would happen if a film studio decided to take one of its horror properties and remake it in the vein of L.A. Confidential.Esquire calls it "shockingly good". Rotten Tomatoes doesn't have a critics score, and the audience score is 36%.
Hellraiser: Hellseeker brings back Kirsty, our hero from the first movie, as the protagonist. This installment was released straight to DVD in 2002. I'm glad I got to this one, as it's a fine addition and was worth watching. In fact, if I were to set out an order to watch them, I'd put this one 3rd after Hellraiser and Hellraiser 2.
Hellraiser: Hellseeker is quite an oddity. It is certainly an attempt to do something decidedly different with the Hellraiser mythos. For the most part, the Cenobites don’t even feature in the film and Hellseeker suggests something more akin to the blurring reality shifts of a film like Brain Dead/Paranoia (1989) or a Philip K. Dick-ian work. These reality disjunctions prove rather fascinating.DVD Talk has a quickie negative review that says, "...someone left the Hellraiser franchise alone to fester and sprout its rank spawn." DVD Verdict says it's "strictly for die hard fans of the series".
HorrorNews.net closes by saying,
“Hellraiser Hellseeker” is worth checking out, though as mentioned, there is not much cenobite action to partake in. Maybe the routine of only revealing them in small portions is what fans want.Horror Express concludes,
It infuses new life into the series while reminding us of the inventiveness that made the original HELLRAISER so great in the first place. This is the first truly decent HELLRAISER film in fourteen yearsRotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 0% - that's 0%! I don't think I've ever seen a score there that was that low.
Hellraiser: Deader is the 7th in the series and brings me ever closer to the end of the run on these. Filmed on location in Romania and released straight to DVD in 2005, this was an unrelated horror film with Hellraiser connections made after extensive rewrites.
DVD Talk pans it, hopes the next one will be better, and begs the film company to actually put out a real Hellraiser movie for a change. HorrorNews.net concludes, "Hellraiser: Deader ended up being one of the worse in the series. Fans will still be curious enough to watch it, but dissatisfied with its weak outcome." DVD Verdict says, "Hellraiser: Deader is a cut above the other direct-to-video Hellraiser sequels, but that's not saying much." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 17%.
Hellraiser: Hellworld is the last film in the DVD collection I own. It's a bit too twee for me with its self-referential beginning. It might've made a decent haunted house horror film if they'd focused on that, but I didn't even finish it. There's more soft-core porn than horror.
HorrorNews.net says, "Hellworld is at times not bad, and makes use of approaching Hellraiser in an innovative way. Though when it comes down to it, HR fans know what they want and its simply not this." Hellworld has a 20% critics rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
To be honest, I'm worn out with these and ready to move on; although if Barker ever makes the long-promised re-make, I'll watch it.