Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

I find it amusing when producers attempt to disguise a sequel number in favor of an equally ridiculously subtitle. Hellraiser: Hellseeker is unofficially the 6th chapter in the ever evolving Hellraiser series. This is the second entry in a row that skipped a theatrical release and premiered directly on the home video market. Do not let that deter you from viewing this worthy addition to the catalog. Hellseeker is one of the best in the series, even if the story originally had nothing to do with the franchise and was retrofitted to address the mythology of the previous films.

Trevor (Dean Winters) is an adulterous husband trapped in a dying marriage to Kirsty (Ashley Lawrence), the heroine from Hellraiser 1 & 2. As the couple travel to a vacation getaway, a terrible car accident occurs. The vehicle is plunged into a river killing Kirsty and leaving Trevor distraught. When he awakens in a hospital, his memory is fogged and a police detective is sniffing around investigating what appears to be a homicide case. Trevor begins to piece together the event leading up to the horrific crash and soon realizes that he may have played a bigger role in his wife’s death than original thought. The labyrinth storyline resembles the intricate puzzle box that the demons wield in this highly effective entry in the Hellraiser series.

It is Kafka-esque in terms of its serpentine plot, which slowly turns the screws on our confused main character. As the story unfolds Trevor’s world begins to unravel. The demons known as the cenobites lead by the imposing Pinhead, are prone to asking, “Which do you find more exhilarating, pleasure or pain”?. In Trevor’s case its an addiction to the carnal pleasures of the flesh. Once you chose to open the box and unleash its power, it cant be stopped. The price to own it? Your eternal soul.

Hellraiser: Hellseeker is filled with complex characters mixed with unsettling, sometimes grisly imagery. The likes of Pinhead and his legion of cenobite demons make a few appearances, yet those looking for the heavy presence of the theatrical sequels will be under whelmed. Due to (presumably) the constrain of the lower budget, the scene with the heavily made-up and costumed creatures is very little. Luckily the script and story are captivating enough to keep viewers interest, particularly the twist ending. If you are going to watch any of the Hellraiser sequels, Hellseeker is the most rewarding.

Director: Rick Bota
Stars: Dean Winters, Ashley Laurence, Doug Bradley

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