Hellraiser (1987) (Arrow Video) (BLU-RAY REVIEW)
DIRECTED BY: Clive Barker
Starring: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence
RATED: R/REGION A/1:85/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM Arrow Video
When Kirsty’s father, Larry, and stepmother, Julia, move into Larry’s childhood home, Kirsty and her boyfriend take a room nearby. Unfortunately for all involved, Larry’s house is already occupied: before the family’s arrival, Larry’s disreputable brother, Frank, used a supernatural puzzle box to summon a gang of other-dimensional demon sadists. Now, Frank requires a series of blood sacrifices to escape the clutches of Pinhead and the cenobites.
I feel like often times Hellraiser doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Yeah, Pinhead does sometimes get brought up in the ranks of Freddy, Jason, and Michael, but it often more times than not feels like a movie that doesn’t get its due. Arrow Video finally gave it its due. If you didn’t know that before with their Hellraiser set, the solo release of Hellraiser shows just why this movie deserves all the attention you want to give it. Coming to you in a awesome new 2K transfer, Hellraiser tells the story of Frank Cotton. He could never get enough pleasure and that leads him to a box that unleashes Pinhead and his crew to take Frank to hell. Frank escapes and enlists one of his old flings (his brother’s wife) to try to kill in order to resurrect his body. It all comes down to his niece trying to stop him all the while keeping Pinhead at bay. Basically, we have a simple story with lots of great gore here.
While Clive Barker has taken some heat the last few years over Nightbreed, we can’t forget how well Hellraiser is done. This was a movie that took what it had on a smaller budget and used every penny for the best of its ability. The end result was a movie we still talk about today that also gave us legendary Doug Bradley as Pinhead and Ashley Laurence as Kirsty, our female lead trying to save the day. Laurence is one of the best parts of the movie for me and I’ve been a fan of hers ever since I saw this movie. Yeah, some of the stuff might not always work and things would go deeper into the backstory later, but for my money Hellraiser is a classic and this release shows why. It also helps have a 90-minute version of the awesome Leviathan documentary on here as well. You can find another part of that documentary on the sequel’s release too. Arrow does a great job here with the extras and making the movie look better than it ever has.
– Brand new 2K restoration approved by director of photography Robin Vidgeon
– Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser
– Being Frank: Sean Chapman on Hellraiser
– Soundtrack Hell
– Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellraiser
– Original EPK
– TV Spots
– Image Gallery
– Audio Commentary with Clive Barker
– Audio Commentary with Clive Barker and Ashley Laurence
– Draft Screenplays [BD-ROM content]
Quality of Transfer: 95%