Of the four Hellraiser film included on this multi-feature disc, the fourth, ‘Hellworld,’ is easily the best.
‘Bloodline’ was an average, low-quality horror sequel, bogged down with overwrought mythology that got in the way of story and scares. ‘Inferno‘ and ‘Hellseker‘ tried to reinvigorate the franchise by changing its focus to psychological horror; but neither of them were particularly good at it. ‘Hellworld’ shifts gears once again; this time turning the series into an ’80s teen horror movie.
It’s similar to Night of the Demons. A group of friends is invited to a party at a big scary house. Once there, they go their separate ways and are each killed in a graphic and unique way. The party is being thrown by the makers of an online video game called Hellworld. The bits of the game they show look terrible. I’m not sure if that was reflective of the quality seen in online games at the time of its production, or just another case of an ignorant movie designer not knowing what computer games are supposed to look like. (I just looked it up and the movie was made in 2005, so I have to go with idiot movie designer).
Lance Henriksen (Millennium) plays the mysterious old man who owns the house the party is being held in. Henriksen is one of those people who is just inherently scary, regardless of the role he is playing. The character he plays actually has a little depth to it; and Lance pulls it off well. I should also mention Henry Cavill, who plays Mike; not because he’s remarkably good in this; but because he is currently shooting Man of Steel, in which he will play Clark Kent / Superman. So if you want to see him before he’s a star, here he is.
This is not a very gory film; graphic violence is left off screen, though there is some blood splatter. But it does do a relatively good job of creating a tense atmosphere. What violence there is has a nice build up which largely makes up for the lack of pay off. The deaths are fun and diverse, which is what’s most important in a movie like this.
When you get right down to it, Hellraiser has a very silly premise. Monsters from hell, led by a man named Pinhead, come out of a magic box and shoot chains at you. I think where the sequels failed was in trying to be too serious. Because, no matter how serious they tried to be, there was always a man named Pinhead standing in the background. ‘Hellworld’ succeeds because it just tries to be fun. Pinhead is a ridiculous monster that belongs in a haunted house, and that is where he is in this film.
The Blu Ray, which contains four films on one disc, turned out fairly well. Scenes with sufficient lighting look HD, and the dark scenes, though not as detailed, are clean and balanced. There are, of course, no extras.