Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Film Review: Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)

Hellraiser: Revelations (Review)
United States/2011
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...riddled with crippling issues and it never rebounds."

Doucehbags Steven Craven (Nick Eversman) and Nico Bradley (Jay Gillespie) stumble upon a strange puzzle box while visiting Tijuana for some misadventures...

Hellraiser: Revelations hops between present and past. In the past, Steven and Nico traveled to Tijuana for some sexual misadventures. Nico gets into some trouble when his "date" turns up dead while Steven slept. They gloss over that issue and eventually find themselves in a murky strip club. A man gives them the puzzle box promising the ultimate pain and, of course, Nico opens it and unleashes the Cenobites. Fast forward to the present, one year after these events, Steven and Nico have gone missing. The Craven and Bradley families join for a dinner and eventually discuss the bizarre disappearances. Steven miraculously stumbles back and the family begin to piece together the mystery. The ending aimed for something very dark, but it really wasn't satisfying; it feels like it comes out of nowhere and doesn't really leave an impact.
In fact, Hellraiser: Revelations fails to leave an impression as a whole. Why? Well, the film is incredibly sloppy. The story has some interesting points, but they're not detailed or honed into. Instead, the film wastes time by repeating the same bland dialogue over-and-over. I swear, I heard the word "Tijuana" more than a dozen times; and, I don't know how many times this family discusses discussing the disappearances — they talk about talking about it more than they actually talk about it! The characters are as cliché, annoying, and as dumb as ever, too. Early on in the film, I thought this would only affect the younger characters — Nico, Steven, and Emma Craven (Tracey Fairaway), Steven's sister — but you'll see it affects everyone by the ending.

The bigger issue, however, is the severe lack of horror. There are a few gory, decent visuals, and I appreciate that, but the rest of the film is severely lacking. There isn't a shred of suspense here. The unsettling ambiance is nonexistent. Hell(raiser), there aren't even any jump-scares! In fact, by the second half of the film, it didn't even feel like I was watching a Hellraiser film, it felt more like a home invasion movie. I tried to go into this with an open-mind, as well, but the Cenobites simply didn't have the same impact. I wanted to love them, but something was missing — and it was more than just Doug Bradley. Perhaps it was the lack of atmosphere combined with the nonexistent themes, but something always felt off.

The acting doesn't fare much better. Nick Eversman has a few decent moments, especially during the latter half, but he also suffers from some generic pitfalls during the first half. Stephan Smith Collins fails to hit the right notes as the iconic Pinhead — he's not particularly ominous. The rest of the cast walk the fine line between serviceable and mediocre, often tipping between the two. The film has a few found-footage segments, which have weak cinematography and camerawork. The rest of the film looks very low budget — nothing really pops or stands out. Director Víctor García... I don't know what to say, really. I see some promise here, but a severe lack of polish and care. Writer Gary J. Tunnicliffe seems to have delivered a first draft with this. Many of the character flaws and narrative issues could've been fixed through a simple revision or two. Obviously, the film was rushed, which makes me wonder if Garcia and Tunnicliffe could have made something at least decent with more time and money...(On second thought, Garcia also directed Gallows Hill, which I also strongly disliked, so...)

Overall, Hellraiser: Revelations is a very bad film. The film is riddled with crippling issues and it never rebounds. The characters are bad, the story is weak and repetitive, and the horror and atmosphere are nonexistent. A series known for its nightmarish visuals fails to leave even the faintest impression with this installment. I haven't even included my massive disappointment as a fan or any comparisons to the original — this is a bad film on its own. I don't recommend it... even if you're seeking the ultimate pain.

Score: 2/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, sex and nudity.

No comments:

Post a Comment