Hellraiser (1987)


Written & Directed by: Clive Barker


Andrew Robinson .... Larry Cotton
Claire Higgins .... Julia Cotton
Ashley Laurence .... Kirsty Cotton
Sean Chapman .... Frank Cotton
Oliver Smith .... Frank the Monster
Robert Hines .... Steve
Doug Bradley .... Pinhead
Nicholas Vince .... Chatterer Cenobite
Simon Bamford .... Butterball Cenobite
Grace Kirby .... Female Cenobite

Release Date: Theatrical: September 18, 1987; Fantasporto Film Festival: February, 1988 (Portugal)

* Images appear courtesy of www.outnow.ch





A sleazy man named Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) buys a puzzle box in a foreign country that contains something mystical. After fiddling with the box he summons up some hellish creatures called the Cenobites as they mame him and impales him on hooks. Then he is torn apart.

His brother named Larry (Andrew Robinson) buys his house along with his new wife Julia (Claire Higgins) whom she had a mysterious affair with Frank and can't shake the feeling off.
One day while they are moving into their new home Larry accidentally crushes his thumb while moving in a bed and its is badly cut. His blood drips to the floor and goes inside the creaks of the floor and awakens Frank.
He manipulates Julia to bring men into her house so he can use up their bodies in order to look fully human again. She brings men home making out that she is doing a one night stand only to be dragged up in a room to be killed by Frank.

Larry's daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) visits their new house and discovers that her dead uncle is slowly being resurrected and takes his puzzle box then runs off.
She faints afterwards and sees herself in a hospital.
After fiddling with the puzzle box she then enters the Cenobites world as the leader named Pinhead (Doug Bradley) tells her that she has a certain amount of time to lure Frank back into their world if she wants to stay alive and not to have her soul torn apart.


We spot a genuinely creepy and tortureous beginning which involves the character Frank Cotton with hooks attacking him as well as having the Cenobites involved twith this matter as well as good shots on the chains and results which doesn't look pretty too watch and will please the fans who enjoy horror violence. Plus a real attention grabber when the puzzle box is revealed during this scene.
Interesting situations between both Larry and Julia while going into their new home and discussing some uncomfortable moments as it draws you in a bit. Plus we have a moment with Larry's daughter Kirsty entering the home and talking to his father while movers give her the sleazy eye look towards her as this was another good pointer in the story offering some mild sleazy humor into the story.
Also a nicely close up shot on Larry while moving a mattress and is next to a nail stick out on a side doorway as well as him getting cut by it and perfect close up shots on blood dripping from the floor and underneath on what lies beneath as the scenery of these shots looked perfectly twisted and unravels on what will happen in the horror of the story.
Many perfect moments with Julia going into a flashback moment on her twisted and sleazy secrets with Frank as we spot alot of cold and dark moments on her being his bitch and doing everything that pleases him which works well into the story too offering a darkness to it all.
Nice gruesome special effects when we see the blood having Frank slowly being reformed as well as later on Julia spotting this figure approaching her as this looked very creepy especially his deep voice towards her. Lots of nice dark takes on all of this too.
Nicely still and creepy moment with Julia bringing someone from a bar home as if she was about to do a one night stand and bringing him up to the attic where Frank is reforming as well as a perfectly deadly attack by her hitting this poor guy with a hammer and perfect camera shots looking up on her as well as Frank creepily approaching this person too as it offered nice horror timing.
Another eye catcher is when Julia tries to act lustful towards Larry so he doesn't go up in the attic and then we spot Frank coming up behind him and ready to kill him as well as Julia trying to stop Larry for being so lustful as you wonder as to whether or not he will be saved and not noticing Frank himself.
Nice draw in with Kirsty walking along the streets and talking to her boyfriend and we spot a homeless man staring at her which looked impressive for the story and mysterious too.
A real memorable moment is when she is working at her pet store and the homeless man is in there eating crickets which looked creepy to watch and making you wonder as what he is behind this story.
Perfectly done moment when Kirsty meets face to face with Frank and he tries to act creepily charming towards her and she tries to get away from him as the moments here were dark and powerful as well as a perfect moment with her grabbing the box and him tell her to give it to him which also draws you in well while watching this heated moment.
Perfect effects when Kirsty is in the hospital and toys with the box and it opens and then walls tear open and then she is chased by a strange beastly object as well as later on being confronted by the Cenobites showing perfect raging aggression and a perfectly horror set up while this is all happening. This is probably the best scene in the film and enjoyable for any horror fan to watch.
Great moments with Kirsty running to the house and then spotting Larry but the moment here gives you an impression that he's not the same person at all as well as the gruesome action starting up that involves the Cenobites with the chains and torture happening as this looked effective as well as her struggling to survive the madness from them which was hyped and great windy effects within all of this as well as later on what the homless guy reveals near the end as this also looked nicely done too.
Bottom line is that this is a greatly done horror film indeed and great to watch on Halloween. It has everything you can picture in a gruesome and horrifying horror film. Its got monsters, corpses and a domain of hell where people are tortured and torn apart. Great sound effects too in the film which I'd advise this too all fans of this genre. You won't be disappointed.

The acting is greatly done with a good supporting cast. Andrew Robinson (Larry Cotton) plays a great sympathetic character and having a good warm type of behavior. Adds a good seriousness within everything that he does here. Also shows nice sterness towards some onscreen movers as this looked believeable. Also does well with his turned off behavior after getting into a lustful situation. Adds a nice versatality while acting perfectly wicked near the end of his performance and coming across as someone dangerous and crazy too.
Claire Higgins (Julia Cotton) shows a nice still and timid type of behavior as well as coming across on being unsure of stuff. Plus has a nice disturbed and upsetting type of personality too. She reacts well by being frightened by what she first spots on a horror incident with her gasping attitude and really getting into this greatly. Also was perfect by acting lustful and controlled as well as obsessive as she really gets into this energetically. Also performs perfectly wicked and evil expecially when she strikes a deadly object onto someone else or gets forceful. She really grabs your attention greatly with all that she does here.
Newcomer Ashley Laurence (Kirsty Cotton) was my favourite as she really knows how to make this show come to life with her actions in it. She has a nice outgoing type of behavior as well as someone whom is intelligent which shows powerfully in her performance. Also does well by acting persistent in a scene and panicking which she adds a great hype to. Plus was great screaming and freaking out when the terror strikes her. As well showing a perfect aggressions by acting tough as she really makes this convincing like the rest of her performance here.
Sean Chapman (Frank Cotton) had the perfect rough good looks and the wicked charm. Comes across as one of those sexy devil types along with his strong force of nature with his blocking and being great and overpowering with his lustful attitude too.
Oliver Smith (Frank the Monster) brought it on perfectly with his creepy features and slick attitude. Does greatly with his deep voice by acting devillish as well as having a spooky charm to his personality. Does greatly attacking someone acting smooth about it all.
Robert Hines (Steve) does the trick as the caring boyfriend in the flick as he shows off a good boy next door type of attitude and appeal. He shows off some good characteristics as well as showing off some dynamic energy while struggling from the terror surrounding him. Shows that he can pull his job very well here.
I also enjoyed Doug Bradley (Pinhead) but who doesn't that enjoys this flick?! He is great at being a threat with his strong and powerful voice and makes a perfect commander of the Cennobites with his evil and cold behavior. Does great shouting out his words and brings a great force as to someone totally horrifying. A total beast of nature this guy was. HJad the right looks for this even with the make up on.

Theres a brief nude scene between Claire Higgins and Oliver Smith's character during a flashback scene after they fornicated.

Tons of gobs and gore in this flick.
A man is stabbed with hooks.
There's pieces of flesh and guts on hooks and on the floor.
A corpse is forming which is extrenely slimey and gruesome.
A hammer is bashed in the head and face by an Englishman.
A rat is stabbed with a nail to the wall.
Another rat is sliced open.
Flesh is torn off a side of a face as well as a bloody stabbing along with a bloodied skeletal corpse.
Frank who clones his brother is torn apart with hooks.
Theres lots more of this too throughout certain scenes of the film.

The music is terrifically composed by Christopher Young as he packs alot of action suspense in the film especially after the Cenobites are set loose along with the suspenseful wind as we hear chiming sounds which were strongly put in as well as loud heartbeats in other areas. Yet there's many moments with orchestral trombone and violin music that sounds a little outdated and not matching the moments in this story. But there's some good drum poundings the odd times as well as some bell sounds too.

Frank Cotton: Come here, damn you, I want to touch you.

Frank Cotton: I thought I'd gone to the limits. I hadn't. The Cenobites gave me an experience beyond limits... pain and pleasure, indivisible.

Lead Cenobite: The box. You opened it. We came.

Kirsty Cotton: It's just a puzzle box!
Lead Cenobite: Oh, no. It is a means to summon us.

Lead Cenobite: No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering.

Kirsty Cotton: Who are you?
Lead Cenobite: Explorers in the further regions of experience. Demons to some. Angels to others.

Lead Cenobite: We have such sights to show you!

Lead Cenobite: We will tear your soul apart.

Frank Cotton: Come to Daddy.

Frank Cotton: Jesus wept.

Lead Cenobite: This is not for your eyes.

Female Cenobite: We had to hear it from your own lips.

Kirsty Cotton: You can go to hell!
Female Cenobite: We can't. Not alone.

Derelict: What's your pleasure, sir?