(director: Rick Bota; screenwriters: from the novel by Clive Barker/Tim Day/Carl Dupre; cinematographer: John Drake; editors: Lisa Mosden/; music: Steve Edwards; cast: Ashley Lawrence (Kirsty Cotton Gooding), Dean Winters (Trevor Gooding), Doug Bradley (Pinhead), William S. Taylor(Detective Lange), Michael Rogers (Detective Givens), Rachel Hayward (Allison), Kaaren De Silva(Sage), Sarah Jane Redmond (Gwen), Jody Thompson (Tawny), Trevor White (Bret), Dale Wilson (Chief Surgeon), Ken Camroux (Ambrose); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Ron Schmidt/ Mike Leahy; Miramax/Walt Disnet Studios Home Entertainment; 2002)

A lesser version of the Hellraiser series.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A lesser version of the Hellraiser series (the sixth), as far as production values. It’s helmed as if a TV movie by Rick Bota (“Love Me”/”Damaged”). Writers Carl Dupre and Tim Day base it on a few chapters from a Clive Barker novel.

While driving over a bridge Kirsty (Ashley Lawrence) accuses her office worker husband Trevor (Dean Winters) of adultery and suddenly the car swerves and goes into the water. Trevor escapes but can’t free Kirsty trapped in the car, whose body is never recovered. The investigating good/bad detectives, Lange (William S. Taylor) and partner Givens (Michael Rogers), suspect Trevor of murdering his wife for her inheritance and grill him. Trevor is released from the hospital with amnesia and headaches, and undergoes blackouts, hallucinations and scary dreams that seem real. He tries to figure out what happened to his wife, and is haunted by his past and by several sexy women who engage him in kinky sex acts. After about an hour, there’s the ominous appearance of the popular villainous Pinhead (Doug Bradley) character from the series, and we realize the dude is in hot water when Pinhead gives him the puzzle box.

The pic, from the popular horror series, veers from the series in its storytelling, as the Cenobites are not featured. It isn’t until its twist ending that it brings the story back in focus as a Hellraiser one. We get a shitload of the following: weird visuals: mind-bending reality scenes, noirish characters, cases of confused identity and flashbacks of Trevor’s married life. It terminates with a Jacob’s Ladder-like dream ending, which might not be original but gets it back on track with the series after trying to do something different.

REVIEWED ON 10/25/2017 GRADE: C+   https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/