At its worst, Clive Barker’s Hellraiser is a bad family drama righteously coaxed in blood and terror. It’s grotesque and bleak tone is insensitive to its TV drama shenanigans but fulfilling when paired with its hellish underworld innovations. Distinguishing its lead characters is tough when the majority of screen time belongs to the uptight mother I didn’t care about, and it’s a shame ‘final girl’ Kirsty isn’t put to much use until its third act.
Unfortunately, audiences have to endure a good hour of a family secret kept in the dark until its surrealistic wonders come fully into play, and even then they aren’t exactly breathtaking. I respect Hellraiser for its inventive way of telling a hidden family affair; communicating its damaging effects through blood and grotesque nature, but, what is a cult-horror classic to others is sadly a rather sluggish one in my opinion.