Hellraiser (1987)

The directorial debut from horror novelist Clive Barker stars Sean Chapman as a man who buys a strange Chinese puzzle box in a sex shop only to discover that its solution opens a portal to Hell.

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Horror
Release Date: September 18, 1987
DVD Release Date: March 3, 1998
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Critic Score: 63% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Minor grisly fun, but don't expect the movie to linger when it's over.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

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.

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Jennie Kermode
Eye for Film

Not only did it revolutionise horror and force mainstream critics to accept that it could ... have real artistic weight, it captured a moment in time when social and sexual mores were shifting in a fascinating way.

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Derek Adams
Time Out

[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.

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Steve Newton
Georgia Straight

There are some intriguing special effects in the movie, but a limp script and unconvincing performances don't help. Worse of all, it isn't scary. I only jumped once during the entire film.

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

For all that it is an incredible, and incredibly disturbing, film to look at, Hellraiser doesn't entirely click as a narrative.

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Richard Harrington
Washington Post

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.

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Anton Bitel
Projected Figures

"This isn’t for your eyes”", says the demonic Cenobite –- but he is so very wrong about Clive Barker'’s must-see horror.

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Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media

Gore-torture-horror-ghoul fantasy from the '80s.

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More reviews for Hellraiser

Flixster Audience Score: 73% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
A gory, trashy cult classic of the genre with an interesting (and very disturbing) idea, fascinating villains and a great makeup that stands out above all else,… More
Eric Shankle
Another 80s horror classic ruined by many half-assed sequels. "Hellraiser" has an excellent concept and offers plenty of gore. Everything from the… More
Spencer S.
People are pretty split on whether they find this film to be the start of the new frontier of horror, and the beginning of the horror porn manifestation we see… More
Randy Tippy
A blood drenched fright fantasy from the brilliant but twisted mind of Clive Barker. As much as I enjoy a good scare, gore just isn't my cup of tea. I… More
Directors Cat
Alex roy
Clive Barker's ultimate masterpiece of on screen Horror. Based on his novella, the Hellbound Heart, Hellraiser is one cool film to watch. The film… More