Saturday is Horror Day #85 – Hellraiser (2022), V/H/S 99

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Hellraiser (2022)

Riley (Odessa A’zion) has a problem with addiction. She lives with her brother Matt (Brandon Flynn) and his boyfriend Colin (Adam Faison). Even though he is concerned for her welfare, she likes to push him to test his limits too. One night she goes out with her boyfriend Trevor (Drew Starkey) to help him with a little job, one that involves robbery. They break into a container only to find a safe. Riley manages to open the safe with brute force, but inside they only find a smaller ornate box. Disappointing to say the least. But  Riley takes it anyway. Afterward she gets into a fight with her brother, who throws her out. She plans to sleep in her car but isn’t tired, so she takes the box to the park, where she manages to open it, cutting herself in the process.

And then the weird things begin to happen…

This is a reboot of the original 1987 Hellraise by Clive Barker. I’ll be frank – it could have been so much better. In this version, we have a new Pinhead, a female Pinhead, played by Jamie Clayton. I think the role had so much potential, but it was wasted. The plot was rather lackluster, and the Cenobites less menacing. I found myself not caring about anyone, especially not Riley, which makes it hard to care about what happens. I was thrilled to see Goran Visnjic as a greedy millionaire with more money than common sense, and he does fine, but his is not a sympathetic character either.

I think there were a few nods to the original Hellraiser films. I just found out there were ten of those,

which I didn’t know, but the first two are the best and the third is tolerable, with the rest forgettable. This one could have been so much better. I do think they used the original composer, so the music gets a nod. But otherwise, don’t rush to see this. I’ll give it 2.5 Stars.

V/H/S 99

V/H/S is back with a new collection of found footage gems designed to unnerve the most discriminating of horror palates.

In “Shredding”, a punk rock band with a high opinion of themselves known as R.A.C.K. like to perform pranks. They decide to look into the legend of a band called Bitch Cat, who supposedly died under their fans’ feet, trampled to death during a fire. They even go so far as to prank one of their members by pretending to be possessed. But their actions come back to haunt them.

In “Suicide Bid”, a college freshman named Lily has her sights set on a particular sorority, and does

even bother applying to any others, although she knows that is considered to be a suicide bid. The girls watch her video interview and then meet with her. They tell her she has to perform a dare in order to be admitted – she has to spend the night inside a coffin. She agrees, despite learning that another student who did the same thing mysteriously disappeared. But then things go upside down….

In “Ozzy’s Dungeon”, a children’s competitive game pits two kids against one another. But just when Donna is about to win, the other contestant injures her badly and wins himself. A few years later, Donna’s angry family decides to wreak their vengeance against the horrible host of the game show by kidnapping him and forcing him to compete in a dungeon of their own making.

In “The Gawkers”, teenage Peeping Toms get a lesson as they spy on the young woman who lives across the street.  In the last segment, “To Hell and Back”, two friends are hired by a cult to video them on the eve of Y2K. But they end up fighting for their lives in Hell. And this is where they meet Mabel.

Also, threading through the other stories, is another story involving a young man who is filming his toy soldiers in action. I did like this new addition to the VHS series. I am a huge fan of found footage films, as you can tell by the many I have reviewed. I especially liked Ozzy’s Dungeon, but I have to say Mabel steals the show. I’ll give this 4 Stars.

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