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The feature-film debut of multi-talented filmmaker Clive Barker, this grim and surreal project is based on the writer/director's own novella The Hell-Bound Heart. The film opens with a chilling prologue in which globe-trotting pervert Frank (Sean Chapman) -- a connoisseur of sexual depravity seeking the ultimate sensual experience -- purchases a small, intricate puzzle box from an unseen dealer in an unspecified country. Upon solving the puzzle, Frank opens the door to a hellish alternate universe and is promptly torn to ribbons by a network of hooks and chains; his strewn body parts are… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Minor grisly fun, but don't expect the movie to linger when it's over."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"This is a movie without wit, style or reason, and the true horror is that actors were made to portray, and technicians to realize, its bankruptcy of imagination."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Sharp grim direction and tight writing from Clive Barker who turns his story of a puzzle box invoking the forces of hell in to an experience rather than doing the work for us..."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"...an entertaining and downright creepy piece of work..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Impressive debut film from Barker, though not quite the breakthrough film it was touted as being."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"[Writer/Director Clive] Barker's dazzling debut as a director creates such an atmosphere of dread that the astonishing visual set pieces simply detonate in a chain reaction of cumulative intensity."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"For all that it is an incredible, and incredibly disturbing, film to look at, Hellraiser doesn't entirely click as a narrative."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Clive Barker's virtuosic De Sadean satire"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"One of the unsung titans of the horror industry"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Twisted and grotesque, but merely baby-steps compared with Hellbound: Hellraiser II."
‑ Greg Muskewitz, eFilmCritic.com
"It's a dark, frequently disturbing and occasionally terrifying film that suggests Barker's vision hasn't quite made the conversion from paper to celluloid."
‑ Richard Harrington, Washington Post
"Gore-torture-horror-ghoul fantasy from the '80s."
‑ Charles Cassady, Common Sense Media
"Barker's vision cribs equally from the mythos of vampires and zombies, but Hellraiser's overriding ridiculousness (and nagging budgetary shortcomings) can't disguise the fact that the movie is at least unwittingly a product of the AIDS crisis."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"A maquiagem é interessante, mas o roteiro é ridículo; as atuações, risíveis; a direção, medíocre; e os efeitos visuais, datados."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Cinematic Barker at its most clever and disturbed."
‑ Widgett Walls, Needcoffee.com
More reviews for Hellraiser on Rotten Tomatoes

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