Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

blood4It’s the year 2127 and Dr. Paul Merchant (Bruce Ramsay) is on a mission. His mission is to undo the mistakes of his ancestors and close shut the gates of hell, which were opened when Phillip L’Merchant (also Bruce Ramsay) created that famous toy box. After the box is given to a rich aristocrat it is used to raise a demon which will control the world. However things go awry and the demon takes on the form of a peasant girl Angelique (Valentina Vargas). Phillip L’Merchant takes the box and runs. Through the centuries Pinhead (Doug Bradley) has tracked and killed the Merchant bloodline, looking for the box.

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Dr. Paul Merchant is telling the marines on the space station about his mission, and what needs to be done. He tells them that for so long his bloodline have tried and failed to close the gates. Now Pinhead and his new cenobites have been unleashed in space, but all is not lost. Now Dr. Paul Merchant has Pinhead where he wants him, and the trap has been set.

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This movie was plagued with problems during production. The director is listed as Alan Smithee but was actuall Kevin Yagher who worked on some of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. The studio butchered the movie in his opinion, so he asked to be credited as Alan Smithee which is a pseudonym directors take when the don’t want to be credited with something they see as not being their vision.

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That being said, I really like this movie. Sure the script is wooden in places, but the space setting really lends itself to the Hellraiser mythos and there is some great gore. Doug Bradley is still great as the villainous Pinhead, and really delivers each line with relish. I don’t agree with all the hate this movie gets and I think if you like the Hellraiser movies and you’ve never seen it, then it’s well worth a watch.

4/5

JM

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Event Horizon (1997)

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This film is fantastic. Let me just stress that right now. Paul WS Anderson has never, until this day, made a better movie. I don’t think it’s a fluke. The guy has some talent, but instead decides to waste it on the terrible Resident Evil films. Which is a shame, because here he shows a real flair for building suspense. 

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 When a research ship called the ‘Event Horizon’ returns after being missing for 7 years, it’s up to the crew of the Lewis & Clark to find out where it has been, and what it’s brought back with it. 

Event Horizon has got to be one of my favourite horror movies, if not my number 1 horror of all time. Sure people can say A Nightmare on Elm Street or Hellraiser are better, but it’s all about preference. For me Event Horizon hits all the right notes. To begin with its cast is great. Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill are awesome as Captain Miller and Dr. Weir respectively. The supporting cast of Jason Isaacs, Kathleen Quinlan, Sean Pertwee, Richard T Jones, Joley Richardson and Jack Noseworthy are all brilliant too. Nobody feels like a spare wheel, and everyone has a part to play in the telling of the story. The story itself takes its time. Leaving more to your imagination, it is a haunted house style movie that doesn’t rely on jump scares. For me, real horror is something that builds up, and really gets under your skin. Now I’m not saying I don’t jump at jump scares, because I do, but to me it’s a cheap tactic to elicit fear. I’d rather watch something that makes me cringe and feel uncomfortable. That mentally puts me in a place I’d rather not be. That’s real horror. A lot, if not all, is down to the fantastic script by Philip Eisner. He has created a ship in the Event Horizon, that takes on a life of its own, figuratively and literally. It’s a character in its own right and that’s something that is not easy to do. You fear the ship. You fear where it’s been and where it’s going to return to. That is the power of the script and how it conjures up these images in your mind, asking you to visualise these horrible things. 
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The film was released in 1997, and kind of flew under everyone’s radar. A lot of people slated it and I really can’t see why. I mean sure people are entitled to their opinion, but the level of hate this film got is quite something. Like I have said already, I just adore this movie. No horror movie has left quite an impression on me quite like this one has. The cast are on top, top form and the effects, set design and sound are just exquisite. 


The gore is used sparingly, but very effectively during the movie. It never feels gratuitous, and is only there to serve the story. That’s another thing I feel is missing in modern horror. It’s hard now to imagine that Event Horizon is nearly 20 years old, but it’s a movie I happily revisit time and time again, and so should you. 
5/5

JM

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