- Base-Breaking Character: The Protagonist, Detective Joseph Thorne. He's a manipulative Jerkass of the highest order, who steals evidence, cheats on his wife, frames his partner, and robs dead people. On the one hand he's a Villain Protagonist rather than a Designated Hero who's terrible actions are framed as shitty, and in the end he's a very deserved Asshole Victim. On the other hand, following such a loathsome asshole can make the movie tedious and repellent.
- Character Rerailment: After the previous two films turned Pinhead into something of a generic arch-villain, this movie restores him to being more of a neutral arbiter who punishes the wicked for their sins, rather than actually being a villain himself.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
- A scene has Detective Joseph Thorne being brutally beaten up by a pair of kung-fu using Asian cowboys after stumbling through the woods.
- Another scene where he's going to visit his parents in the hospital has a man in a straitjacket and a wheelchair passing by Joseph and laughing like a little kid.
- Broken Base: The film in spades. Many consider it a decent film, with a new twist to the franchise (Pinhead judging sinners with personalized hells depending upon their sins) but others hate the film with a passion, since it's largely an In Name Only sequel with Pinhead appearing only in the final minutes and coming across as a random horror script hastily rewritten to include Cenobites.
- Moral Event Horizon: There are so many things Detective Joseph Thorne does that would qualify. Arguably one of the most notable would be planting evidence to frame his partner for the murder of the hooker.
- Narm: A lot of Joseph's lines, especially the Big "NO!".
- Tear Jerker: Pinhead's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Joseph could be considered one. His quiet tone when he tells him that his flesh is killing his spirit is heartbreaking.
YMMV / Hellraiser: Inferno