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Review Hellraiser (2022): It will tear your soul apart. And your mind. Bad reboot!

genre: horror, mystery, thriller

"I've got such sights to show you". OG Pinhead uttered this and delivered on his promise. The new, female one, doesn't even come close. No, not because she is a woman. Had she actually made an impression on me, I would be all for it. But unfortunately this is not the case. 

The same can be said of the Cenobites. The once superimposing and terrifying monsters have been reduced to creatures who don't act or look scary at all. What really surprised me was the lack of dread or intensity the original two films had. While both of them were heavily flawed, the films got under your skin. If someone got to experience the pleasure, you could feel their pain. And the ambiance certainly was a lot darker and unnerving. Pinhead and the other Cenobites made sure of that. Here I struggled to remain awake. For a few minutes, I even dozed off. Because, like most contemporary films, the duration is around two hours. I don't mind slow pacing if it leads to a satisfying conclusion, but the ending was uninspired. There is no character development at all. Sure everything takes place like in a couple of days but still after experiencing such horrors wouldn't you be impacted? I didn't see much of a difference. 

For a film that doesn't even bother to explain to you the rules and the purpose of the puzzle box, there is not that much going on. How can this be? Normally when Pinhead arrives you know it won't end that well. But like I said, this Pinhead isn't scary or menacing. But I do remember Pinhead being a little more chatty with his "victims". Through him, you got to experience what real hell is like. In this reboot, hell is like kindergarten. I know those can be brutal, but come on, shouldn't hell be the epitome of terror?

I didn't mind the cast. They were decent enough. But none of them really stood out to me. Except maybe lead Riley, played by Odessa A’zion. She was very annoying. Perhaps not entirely her fault. The fact that she had to play an addict who was in recovery seemed like a convenient plot point. Mind you, one that could have worked. Imagine that we witness and experience all events through her eyes, only to realize that everything you have seen is one giant hallucination. At least that would have been a creative approach to the whole franchise. Or how she kept telling people all that she has seen but no matter how plausible they simply don't believe her. It would add tension and sympathy for her. 

Overall, as much as I wanted this to be a good entry in the franchise again, I don't think this part is worth it. It's a minimalized version of the original, stripped of all the fun the first two were, so why even bother?

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