Year: 1987

Synopsis: Frank Cotton sought new dimensions in pleasure, and uses a mysterious puzzle box to bring him to a special corner of Hell run by dark explorers willing to give what he thought he wanted. Upon Frank’s accidental resurrection, he becomes a true monster, literally sucking the life out of everyone around him.

• Continues to be one of the more unique horror films ever made.
• The whole cast powers the film with their own shades of enigmatic charm.
• Pinhead and co were truly fascinating characters, in that they were purpose driven facilitators, as opposed to the villainous Frank and Julia.
• The surreal and grotesque visually were expertly created, as the were almost Lovecraftian in their inexplicability.
• The soundtrack created a strong sense of tragedy, suggesting not knowing what we truly want can lead to our destruction.

• Lacked some of the jump scares and wild extravagances of many horror films.
• Though much was explained in later sequels, much was left unsaid. Kirsty’s almost natural connection to the Cenobites never seemed fully explored in this film or the next.

“What’s your pleasure, sir?”

The lingering sense of dread-filled tragedy was a kind of tortured soul of the film. All the humans in the film with any dimension seemed to not know what they really wanted. The puzzle box touched that need to know. The Cenobites almost provide that answer through a soul ripping process of elimination. At the same time, characters like Kirsty react to the box with the same curiosity, yet open it very differently. It was suggested that main difference was that Kirsty knew who she was and what she wanted much more strongly than characters like Frank. It was suggested that the Lead Cenobite, Pinhead, saw her at the same level as his fellow Cenobites, but Kirsty did not want to join them, not yet at least. It would seem a recent graphic novel possibly bounced off the potential Pinhead saw. In the end, this was a film that enjoyed its subtleties amongst its blatant extravagancies. Pinhead was the one that exemplified the subtle amongst extravagant. Seeing the pleasures of both was perhaps the enlightenment the Cenobites offered to those like Kirsty, who could come to understand that enlightenment what the time was right.

Clive Barker’s Official Website

Rotten Tomatoes — 68%


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