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YMMV / Hellraiser

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Works in this franchise with their own YMMV pages:

The Franchise in general:

  • Draco in Leather Pants: Doug Bradley famously quipped about how much fan mail he gets from women and how they love Pinhead, even though he hasn't done a good, benevolent thing over the course of the entire film franchise.note 
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Chatterer, who's the second most recurring Cenobite after Pinhead.
    • Pinhead himself started as this in the first film before being promoted as a Breakout Villain. Julia was intended to be the Big Bad.
  • Evil Is Cool: Pinhead is the face of the Hellraiser series. Also, the other Cenobites who appears throughout the franchise also qualify, mainly due to their and Pinhead's unique physical appearances and creative supernatural kills.
  • Evil Is Sexy: You wouldn't think so about Pinhead, would you? But the mounds of fan mail Doug Bradley gets from adoring women say otherwise.
  • Fanon: Event Horizon is considered by many as an unofficial Hellraiser film.
  • Foe Yay: Between Kirsty and Pinhead. Especially in the deleted scene in Hellseeker.
  • Les Yay: In the first two movies, the female Cenobite seems more intent on getting her hands on Kirsty than the others.
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  • Nausea Fuel: It's Clive Barker. Hellbound is the worst, with the maggot-infested corpses and the inmate shredding himself with a razor, but all of the movies have it to some extent.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Pinhead has very little screen time in most of the films. He generally shows up around the end after very short appearances earlier on, sometimes as a Jump Scare.
    • Inferno: Pinhead turns out to be Joseph's psychiatrist. When he reveals himself as such during the climax, he explains why things have gone the way they have for Joseph, and the behavior he's indulged in to warrant such consequences.
    • Hellseeker: Turns up at the end as we learn Kirsty made a deal with him to take her husband.
    • Deader: During the climax, Winter and the Deaders fail to take over the Cenobite's realm/purpose, and Pinhead takes great pleasure in making them pay for the attempt.
    • Hellworld: It turns out the brief glimpses we get of Pinhead aren't even real, just the main characters hallucinating. It appears that Pinhead doesn't even exist and is only a character for an online RPG based on the Lament Configuration's mythos... until the very, very end, when he turns out to be quite real after all.
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    • Revelations: This film's plot is patterned after the first one's, but the Cenobytes have their biggest on-screen summoning much closer to the end.
  • Sequelitis:
    • The first two films are worth watching. The others are all over the place, with Hell on Earth, Bloodline, and Inferno being the only generally-well-liked ones.
    • One interesting aversion is that Inferno and Hellseeker operate on similar formulas. Whichever one the person sees first might makes them favor that one over the other. Hellseeker bringing back Kirsty also helps, while Inferno uses an actor from Nightbreed giving it another connection to Clive Barker’s work. Inferno precedes Hellseeker historically, but given the later sequels don't number anymore, plenty of people may not have watched in order.
  • Squick: Again, it's Clive Barker.
  • Villain Decay: Pinhead is a rare inversion. In making him more evil (and usually the main villain) after the second film, the writers also made him less interesting. He's also an odd case in that how malevolent he is goes back and forth across the films. He's pure evil in the third and fourth films; the fifth, sixth and seventh installments feature Pinhead about as much as the first two and in the eighth, the real Pinhead only shows up at the end.

The first film:

  • Adaptation Displacement: The number of fans unaware there was ever a book is astounding. The fact that the book and the film have distinctly different titles doesn't help.
  • Awesome Music: The film has not one but two awesome scores - the Creepy Awesome rejected score by Coil and the terrorizing, brooding orchestral music score by Christopher Young that appears in the completed film.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: When Kristy first opens the puzzle box, you would expect the Cenobites to appear. And they do...after a scene where a door to a hallway opens, Kristy enters it, and is promptly chased back down it by a horrifying monster.note  When she gets back to the hospital room, the hallway disappears, then the Cenobites appear, with the previous chase sequence not being spoken of again and the monster itself only showing up in the climax to provide the movie with one last scare, which also comes off like a Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
  • Complete Monster: This duo also appears in the second film:
    • Frank Cotton is a cruel hedonist, who was taken by the Cenobites in his search for ultimate pleasure. After escaping, he manipulates Julia Cotton in to helping him murder several innocent people in order to complete his return to normal world. After murdering his brother and disguising himself in his skin, he tries to rape his own niece Kristy. When he killed Julia by accident, he just tossed her aside to continue his hunt for Kristy. When he's taken by the Cenobites again, Frank languishes in a private hell and sends Kirsty letters begging for help, pretending to be her father so she'll come to save him, solely so he can keep her as a Sex Slave.
    • Julia Cotton is Kirsty's Wicked Stepmother who helped Frank accomplish his murders and was trying to help him rape her own adopted daughter Kristy. After she is revived, she gleefully drains people at a mental hospital of their life while relishing in their pain and suffering to restore herself. She feeds her rescuer Dr. Channard to her master to turn him into a Cenobite and tries to kill her stepdaughter and an innocent, mentally handicapped girl. When she encounters Frank again, she murders him by ripping his heart out.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Frank was in life a hedonist who after his encounter with the Cenobites seems to have no problems bloodily killing people to recontruct his body, but he was also one hot dude (at least while he was alive), to the point that Julia's motivation for choosing him over his good brother Larry seems to relate to this.
    • Julia is also this for some fans, who wouldn't mind trading places with the men she lured to her house, even if it was a trap so that Frank could brutally kill them to regenerate his body.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Jeeeeesuuuuuussss wept....."
  • Narm:
    • When Frank says "Come to daddy!"
    • Pinhead's attempt to express fear, in his deep, monotone voice: NO. DON'T DO THAT.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • There was no budget left to complete the special effects in the first film, so Clive Barker and "a Greek guy" hand-drew them on the film over the course of a weekend. Barker was impressed with the results, considering how much alcohol the two of them had consumed.
    • During the scene with the Engineer, you can clearly see the tracks the puppet is riding on. Harder to catch in VHS copies, but in HD it's more than visible.
  • The Woobie:
    • Kirsty, who endures trauma no girl should have to endure.
    • Larry. The poor guy never really had a chance.


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