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: 68% 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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Kim Newman
Sight and Sound

The film is for the most part a return to the cutting edge of horror cinema, and in its inventively gruesome moments a reminder of the Grand Guignol intensity that has recently tended to disintegrate into lazy splatter

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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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William Thomas
Empire Magazine

Horror is at its best when it's relentless. Clive Barker knows this, and his debut feature as director is so gleefully vicious, so relentlessly grim that it's going to be very hard for fans of the genre not to like it.

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Peter Bradshaw

Utterly bizarre and entirely ridiculous - and yet effective, an imaginative guignol festival, like the goriest of soap operas, in which one wrong move opens a portal to hell.

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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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Bob McCabe
Empire Magazine

With Hellraiser, Clive Barker created one of the most genuinely disturbing movies of the last 20 years.

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Neil Smith
Total Film

Some of the FX haven't aged well, and nine more Hellraiser movies flayed the franchise, but this is a key '80s horror.

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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