Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
after this years franchise harvest i decided to watch all the Rick Bota-helmed sequels, which i had kind of forgotten about. i'd hated inferno when it first came out, and had passed on the next three when it seemed like they were more of the same. but now i can actually offer an opinion on the last three sequels (not counting revelations, which doesn't seem like it should be considered cannon without Bradley).
Hellseeker - this one was ok, and probably the best of the 3 directed by Rick Bota. Everything that doesn't have Kirsty in it feels like a retread of Inferno (at least, what I remember inferno being about, since i haven't seen it in over a decade). i found the main portion focusing on Kirsty's husband tollerable, but not really that engaging. I mean, the bottom line is that the guy is obviously a douchebag, even if he doesn't remember it at first, so its hard to feel any sympathy and thus any actual suspense about what will eventually happen to him. Ashley Laurence didn't disappoint, though - she's a great actor, and she plays her part with a lot of conviction. The years have also been very kind to her, as I think she looked even prettier in this than she did in the first two. So the first 5 minutes and the last 10 are definitely the high points of the film. Although, as soon as the relationship between Kirsty and Pinhead is revealed at the end, I couldn't help but think about their exchange in Hellbound when Pinhead (or was it the female cenobite?) tells Kirsty that they're not interested in making any more deals with her. What happened to that? Oh well. This one wasn't so bad.
Deader - I can see why some people hate this one even more than Hellworld, since its just such a storytelling mess and makes absolutely no sense. But there are some decent performances (I like Kari Wuhrer, she was the best thing about Anaconda), and the subway train is entertainingly sleazy. Also, since this one is actually SET in Romania, the cinematography is allowed a little bit of room to breathe in the exteriors, which was nice. A bit more gore and nudity isn't enough to save this one, though, since the story is just so terrible. By the end of it, despite trying my best to pay attention, I had no idea what the hell was supposed to be happening. I just read Chunkblowers review, and he mentions a sequence at the end in an insane asylum. try as i might, i have no memory of that scene at all. so that goes to show just how successful I was at following the stupid thing. Also, did anybody else notice that this was produced by Stan Winston? What the hell is that about? Was he attached to the initial spec script, and just ended up with his name stuck on the thing? Weird.
Hellworld - as completely schizophrenic as Deader was, at least it wasn't aggressively bad. The characters are so smugly annoying in this one, the story so insultingly bad and pandering and desperate-to-be-hip, that this has now supplanted Inferno as my vote for worst sequel (still haven't seen Revelations, though). Poor Lance Henrickson. Poor Henry Cavill. the online game was beyond stupid, both as a plot point and in its actual execution, the self-aware wannabe-meta aspect of having all the characters know about cenobites and the lament configuration, etc. was grating, and the final "twist" was moronic. Oh, and why the hell did they keep calling it the "lamont" configuration? ugh. BAD.
when i watched the children of the corn series a year or so ago, i eventually forced myself to watch the syfy remake, despite it not really being a part of the series. due to the purely commercial inspiration and lack of Doug Bradley, I would consider Revelations to be likewise apart from the actual Hellraiser series. However, i still feel like i should watch it, so i at least can have a legitimate opinion. so, at some point, that will have to happen. we'll see if that can bump Hellworld from the bottom spot.