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Film / Hellraiser: Judgement

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The 10th entry in the Hellraiser franchise.

Pinhead and his ilk are having troubles. With technology advancing so fast, the archaic Lament Configurations are becoming obsolete and inefficient.

On Earth, three detectives will become wrapped up in their plans, as they hunt a serial killer basing his killings off the Ten Commandments.

Hellraiser: Judgement contains examples of:

  • Anarcho-Tyranny: The angel Jophiel reveals that Heaven itself is engaged in a conspiracy to perpetuate evil on Earth in order to ensure devotion for God's order among the flock of humanity. Pinhead is not amused.
  • Asshole Victim: The Stygian Inquisition judges the genuinely wicked souls that arrive in hell, such as a paedophile and a serial killer cop.
  • Big Bad: The Preceptor. Sean is revealed to be the Ten Commandments killer who is, much to Pinhead’s disgust, protected by Heaven and cannot be harmed by even the Cenobites.
  • Big Good: The Stygian Inquisition and Pinhead, though they are not exactly the nicest example.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Although Jophiel and Sean are given their own forms of Karmic Death, Pinhead is left powerless to stop even worse threats due to being reduced to a human by God and left to rot in a homeless camp.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Although the angel Jophiel had it coming, Pinhead killing her was not without consequence...
  • The Cameo:
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: Hell, or rather the Stygian Inquisition within it, is portrayed as very bureaucratic. New arrivals are interviewed by the Auditor, who puts their sins to paper, which are then eaten by another demon (the Assessor), and finally judged by the Jury. If found guilty, the Butcher and the Surgeon finish the sinner off. Pinhead and his Cenobites are part of a different faction of demons (the Order of the Gash) dedicated to pleasure and pain as an end in itself, and only rarely get involved with other matters.
  • Covered in Scars:
    • The Auditor is covered in various lacerations on his face and the rest of his body.
    • A more tragic example, Pinhead ends up with heavy gashes on his face as a human after God exiles him from Hell.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
  • Deal with the Devil: The Preceptor tries to bargain for his soul with Pinhead by offering the lives of two other sinners guilty of adultery after forcing them at gunpoint to use the Lament Configuration. However, this is defied since Pinhead can't accept the offer, given that a different faction in Hell wants to recollect him and Pinhead is just assisting them as a favor.
  • Easy Road to Hell: While the demons explicitly go after sinful people in general, their quarry ranges from serial killers and pedophiles to mere adulterers. As far as Pinhead is concerned, they are all deserving of eternal damnation.
  • Everyone Has Standards: As expected, Pinhead is disgusted by the discovery that the Preceptor is protected by Heaven from receiving any sort of punishment for his misdeeds.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Pinhead is kicked out of Hell, and stripped of the glorious pain of his Cenobite form. Forced to roam the Earth as a mere mortal.
  • A Family Affair: Sean's brother David, who is also his colleague and partner in the police department, is having an affair with Sean's wife Alison. Sean tries to use this sin to offer them as a sacrifice to Pinhead in exchange for his own soul.
  • Foreshadowing: Pinhead commented on how “Evil seeks Evil” and it is even the tagline for the film. It turns out that this evil came from a corrupt angel who allowed a serial killer to roam free simply because Jophiel wanted to inspire fear in those she regarded as sinners.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks: The demons residing in Hell are the scary, nightmarish inquisitors of human sin, while Heaven is fine with perpetuating evil on Earth if it will strengthen devotion among the flock.
  • Good Needs Evil: The angel Jophiel uses the argument that good cannot exist without evil to let a serial killer roam free. Pinhead sees right through it, pointing out that what really concerns Heaven is continued devotion.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Jophiel really shouldn’t have let it slip that Sean was chosen to be a serial killer based on the Ten Commandments in front of Pinhead of all people.
  • Humanity Ensues: Heaven punishes Pinhead's defiance in killing Jophiel by stripping him of his powers and turning him back into a mortal human.
  • Jerkass God: How does God thank Pinhead for killing a serial killer and a corrupt angel? He sends him to live the rest of his life as a human.
  • Karmic Death: Jophiel made Sean into a serial killer to punish the guilty, only for the two of them to be killed by Pinhead, who is infamous for killing the wicked or putting them in a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Kick the Dog: Even after Pinhead has punished Jophiel and Sean due to their combined deception and other irredeemable acts, Pinhead ends up losing his powers and is forced to live as a powerless human as punishment from God. Though considering his past misdeeds maybe this was bound to happen but even so... kind of extreme.
  • Killer Cop: Sean has been the Preceptor all along, killing sinners while leading the investigation into his own crimes.
  • Light Is Not Good: Jophiel, despite being an angel with the appearance of a blonde woman dressed in white, has no qualms with allowing Sean to kill as many people as he wants.
  • Modernized God: There's a frank discussion amongst the leaders of Hell about how they are supposed to adapt to the shifting technological environment of mankind. While it breeds more sin than ever before, Pinhead concludes that the puzzle boxes are now outdated and once again they must actively go out in search of fresh blood.
  • Mythology Gag: Like in Inferno, the serial killer at the center of the plot turns out to be the cop assigned to the case.
  • Offering Another in Your Stead: The Preceptor, a deranged Serial Killer, has already escaped Hell once before when he tries to make a deal with Pinhead by offering him the lives of two adulterers. Pinhead is fine with dragging the two off to Hell, but he cannot just let the Preceptor go, as he is working on behalf of the Stygian Inquisition and does not have the authority to make such a deal.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Pinhead may be a high-ranking demon whose Cenobites are not really on good terms with the other factions of Hell, but he's willing to hear out the Auditor and agrees to help him when he realizes the significance of Heaven actively interfering with the affairs of Hell.
  • Satanic Archetype: A rare female example; Jophiel is an angelic being who serves as the light to Pinhead’s darkness. She has the appearance of a beautiful woman in white. However, Jophiel is revealed to be a manipulative angel who allows a serial killer to roam freely without consequence. She is also shown to be charismatic, arrogant, and able to manipulate even the Stygian Inquisition and the Cenobites.It is the manipulation trait that ultimately gets her killed.
  • Seamless Scenery: When Watkins reads the letter from the Stygian Inquisition; he puts it down... revealing the address the letter gives him, and then he walks into frame from a completely different direction.
  • Series Continuity Error: The film ends with Pinhead getting banished from Hell and returned to his human form, something that contradicts the ending to Bloodline, where he remained a Cenobite up until the 25th century.
  • Shout-Out: Pinhead’s fate in the ending is likely a callback to Spawn where Cogliostro robs Al Simmons of his powers as a Hellspawn and has him live life as a human.
  • Sin Eater: The Assessor is a zig-zagged example. He eats the sins of the damned (in the form of typed texts), but his main job is to assess (hence the name) each soul's charges before their trial in Hell. Especially heinous crimes will make him feel sick and barf out the sheets of paper he has swallowed.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: The Assessor is a demon resembling a disgusting obese man with Jabba Table Manners responsible for digesting the sins of those to be judged after the Auditor has put them down to paper. When he eats The Preceptor's file, his sins are so hideous that the Assessor chokes on them before he can even finish.
  • Voice of the Legion: The angel Jophiel talks in an echoing voice to enhance her eerie, otherworldly nature.
  • Who Murdered the Asshole: The disappearance of the criminal Karl Watkins kickstarts the plot.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Pinhead eviscerates Jophiel in retaliation for her misdeeds and she fully deserved it.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The first of The Preceptor’s killings was a group of teenagers who were killed for theft.