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'Hellraiser' reboot praised in early reviews: “Definitely doesn’t skimp on the gore”

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Hulu’s Hellraiser reboot has received a mostly positive response in its first reviews, with critics hailing its gory scenes and Jamie Clayton’s performance as Pinhead.

Directed by David Bruckner (The Ritual, The Night House), this new Hellraiser film is the 11th instalment in the horror franchise, but not a remake of Clive Barker’s 1987 original.

This time, the story follows new character Riley (Odessa A’zion), a young woman who comes into possession of the ancient puzzle box that summons the Cenobites, a group of sadistic supernatural beings from another dimension.

So far, the film has been widely praised by critics and currently holds a fresh score of 82 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 33 reviews.

“Fans will be relieved to know that this Hellraiser definitely doesn’t skimp on the gore, providing enough viscera and flayed skin to satisfy the most bloodthirsty viewers,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter.

“Special mention must be made of the wildly imaginative creature designs and makeup (which leave its cinematic predecessors in the dust), the immersive sound design and the effectively creepy music score, which incorporates familiar themes from Christopher Young’s original.”

IGN‘s Matt Donato was also full of praise, writing: Hellraiser is a soulful revival of a soulless horror legend that never tries to oust Clive Barker’s original. Director David Bruckner — alongside writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski — examines Hellraiser‘s themes with spectacle styles through addition. Jamie Clayton is the Pinhead a new generation deserves.”

Hellraiser reboot
Jamie Clayton as Pinhead in ‘Hellraiser’ CREDIT: Hulu

Elsewhere, The Wrap described the film as an “elegant slam dunk”, while AV Club‘s Leigh Monson labelled it a “worthy successor” to the original.

Variety also afforded the film a positive write-up, but not without some reservations. “The new Hellraiser works a as metaphor, as a flesh-annihilating spectacle. Yet it doesn’t quite work as a story,” wrote Owen Gleiberman.

He continued: “Maybe that’s because there’s something dated about the film’s vision of pain-freak sensuality as a one-way ticket to the inferno. The film wants to take you to hell and back, but these days that sounds like something you’d find on a hook-up app.”

Hellraiser arrives on Hulu in the US on October 7. You can watch the trailer for it here.

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