(director: David Bruckner; screenwriters: Ben Collins/Luke Piotrowski/story by Goyer & Collins; cinematographer: Eli Born; editor: David Marks; music: Ben Lovett; cast: Odessa A’zion (Riley), Jamie Clayton (The Priest), Adam Faisin (Colin), Hiam Abass (Menaker), Gorgic Visnjic (Voight), Brandon Flynn (Matt), Drew Starkey (Trevor), Aoife Hinds (Nora), Jason Liles (The Chaterer), Yinka Olorunnife (The Weeper), Selina Lo (The Gasp), Zachary Hing (The Asphyx), Kit Clarke (Joey); Runtime: 120 ; MPAA Rating: R; producers: David Goyer/Clive Barker/Marc Toberoff/Keith Levine; Hulu; 2022)
“Stylish but not improved reboot.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
David Bruckner (“The Night House”/”The Ritual”) directs this stylish but not improved reboot from the 1987 Clive Barker monster sadist-gore story, that was directed by Barker and based on his novella “The Hellbound Heart.” This one is at least a visual upgrade. But the script by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski gets off track from the original and that’s not good.
The twenty-something recovering addict Riley (Odessa A’zion) starts a new relationship with the shady Trevor (Drew Starkey). Matt (Brandon Flynn), Riley’s older and protective brother, disapproves because he’s a bad influence on her.
Trevor needs her as a partner in robbing a storage unit. Inside it they find no money, only a weird devil puzzle box. They trace the box’s owner to the abandoned mansion of the wealthy collector and sexual pervert Voight (Gorgic Visnjic) and his sadistic helper (Hiam Abass).
Playing with the box summons the Cenobites. They are monsters from Hell led by the female Priest a.k.a “Pinhead” (Jamie Clayton). The ‘other dimensional’ beings find pain enjoyable, even erotic. The Cenobites have a plan on how to use Riley and teach her a lesson to learn from her crime.
The message here is not to play with things you don’t know, and that pain inflicted on others will result in getting that pain back on you tenfold.
Though Riley is fucked-up, she’s a decent sort, even deserving of our sympathy as she still battles to overcome her addiction.
A new story develops that’s unsettling and scary, and if nothing else is a dark tale that Barker intended to be scary and challenging–a nightmarish tale about battling drug addiction.
This is not a film for everyone to enjoy.
REVIEWED ON 10/16/2022 GRADE: B –