Hellraiser (2022) – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Hellraiser (2022) – Gore of Configurations: Remake Edition

Films, retelling of things from before.  No matter how we experience it (at home or at the theaters), there is an escapable feeling that pushes the journey into new realms of different visions. Through that newness, a retelling can be so much more.  In this review, I look at a remake of a horror classic.  Diving into a world beyond, this new film creates tension that is familiar but fun.  Hellraiser (2022) is a retelling that shows how puzzles can still be dangerous. 

Riley (Odessa A’zion) is a recovering addict who is looking for a new path in life.  This new path leads her to a mysterious device of strange consequences.  As things start to happen, will she be able to save or succumb to a new evil.  This remake builds off a typical horror outline by capturing the ‘spirit’ of the 1987 classic while carving a new path of consequences.  After the initial prologue that introduces the plot’s MacGuffin, we are thrust into the first act by seeing the typical everyday of Riley and her apartment buddies.  After the initial introductions, Riley get’s a hold of an ancient device that has built in puzzles.  Her curiosity leads to the first solution and the initial conflict (in the film).  As Riley interactions with unknown creatures, this leads to a dramatic sequence that causes the disappearance of her brother.  With nowhere to turn, she heads down an unknown path to save her brother while also solving the truth (of the device).  From this point, the film leads down a linear path that blends familiarity (of the lore) with situational horror and psychological tension.  As Riley starts to unravel the truth, she starts to understand the true nature of the creators (from the other world).  This methodical revealing of the truth helps counter the typicalness of the remake formula, building a path where new meets old in an indifferent way.  As Riley continues to solve the puzzle, the reimagining lays out a new path by creating a newness through different characters, setting and creature/world designs. 

Riley’s pursuit of the truth leads to more grief and despair for those in her life.  Even as she tries to do what’s right, the terrifying consequences build up the thematic leveling of humanistic fault.  Each solution leads to deadly encounters by masking itself within the idea of enlightenment.  These themes add girth to the gore and horror tactics, continuing that level of newness in the familiar.  As Riley sees what will happen with the final configuration, certain revelations lead into a third act of predictable outcomes and an ambiguous epilogue.  Hellraiser (2022) is a remake that does enough to be fresh in old material.  If you are a fan of the property, horror films or like a new take on the source material, this is one for you.  This is available on Hulu, but it would have been fun to see this on the big screen. 

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *