2 1/2 Stars
Craig Sheffer is rather good as a crooked cop who becomes obsessed with solving a homicide tied into the occult. The puzzle box that fans of the series will recognize is the main piece of evidence that Sheffer has in tracking down the killer. When all signs point to an enigmatic presence know as ‘the engineer’ terrifying vision begin to haunt the cop’s mind. Leading to a jumbled climax that takes place in a version of hell. Until the final 30 minutes Inferno is an above average mystery thriller with horror elements thrown in at just the precise moment to jolt audiences. There are some very disturbing and repellant images in the film and within the context of the story they are very effective. On a technical level the fifth Hellraiser film is impressive. Director Scott Derrickson is able to set a creepy tone in the opening moments and follows it through to the downbeat ending. The special effects are quite appalling specifically a shot of pinhead morphing from another character. These were obviously due to budget limitation which is understandable and part of the appeal of some of today’s lesser horror films.
Hellraiser: Inferno is not as good as the first or third in the series but it is a compelling entry into a series that had all but disappeared after Scream ushered in the age of self-referential horror pictures. Plus It’s always a pleasure to see slightly built English born thespian Doug Bradley as Pinhead and to hear composer Christopher Young’s fantastic score once again.
Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Craig Sheffer, Nicholas Turturro, James Remar