The new Hellraiser is getting rave reviews from horror genre aficionados. While the film does not rely on jump scares, there is an eerie discomfort with the reinvented Cenobites. David Bruckner ensures that this namesake of a reboot does not lose the essence of the original while carving out a path of its own.
The characters feel fresh, and the dialogue for once compliments the mature thematic spectrum, and the existential questions around the insatiable human greed trouble you for long after you’ve finished watching it. If you haven’t watched the film already, it is available to stream on Hulu.
The movie does not come to a conclusive end so there is scope for a sequel. It did mark the 11th venture in the franchise that is about to complete four decades. But will there be a Hellraiser 2? Or are the chances for a sequel scheduled for retirement? Here’s what we know at the time of writing:
The title of the movie comes from the little puzzle box that begins the chaotic events of summoning cryptic humanoids who demand the blood of the mortals. They play God by taking the lives of whoever is pierced by the knife inside the puzzle box. This action does not happen by itself and Roland Voight, a billionaire infamous for his notorious occult practices, starts it. Several years later, Riley, a recovering waitress, has to confront with its evil effects after she and her boyfriend steal the box from an abandoned warehouse.
After they discover it was kept hidden on purpose and Riley’s brother disappears, they frenetically look for a way to stop it. A frightening figure, called The Priest, or Pinhead, gives Riley an almost impossible choice in order for her to give Riley’s brother, Matt back.
Now, the big question. While it is unthinkable to think that the rebooted Hellraiser will not have a sequel, it is not a guarantee. The franchise has indeed spanned more than four decades and that just not happens because people don’t come to like it. The novella-inspired stories have raked in millions for the studio and who wants to kill a cash cow? I mean, look at all American sitcoms. Literally, all of them could be at least three or four seasons short.
To disappoint you with the reality, there are no planned sequels at this stage. Even with the quality personnel involved behind the camera who have done a brilliant job preventing Hellraiser from falling into genre traps, and the inspired performances from the newcomers, the studio did not plan a continuation while producing the first instalment. Does that mean that the new look Hellraiser will not be renewed for a sequel? Hard to say yes. Bruckner has gained a generous fan following and his efforts in Hellraiser will definitely add to his audience.
The director is ready indeed to come back again for a sequel. When asked about any tentative plans, he said, “Should the fans respond to this, should there be a desire to go further with it? I would be absolutely honored.” He is a fan of the franchise and Clive Barker’s validation seems to have touched him
Barker’s novella stretches across multiple storylines and universes. The version we saw in this movie was a reimagined look and differed from the lore quite a bit. If need be, Bruckner can dive into a number of ideas from the novels to adapt into the film. And considering his choices in this rebooted version, anything at this point would be pure conjecture. However, it is unlikely that the sequel will follow the ways of the old franchise films.
As far as a release is concerned, filming Hellraiser took around two months and the post-production went on for another three. If the project is greenlit this year, we can see a sequel by the end of next. Here’s hoping!