Old Movie Reviews: Hellraiser

Writing

Hello kids and welcome to the final installment of the spooky movie party! I am incredibly sad that the month of October is coming to a close and as always wishing Halloween could come more than once a year. When I was trying to pick out a third movie I wanted to find something that was a little older, but unfortunately Netflix only has horror movies from the late 70s and on, so I decided to go with a classic I have never seen, “Hellraiser.” Unlike the other two films in this series, I had absolutely no idea what this one was about. It’s a good thing I’ve never had an issue with gore because otherwise I would’ve had to stop watching it.

Let’s start with characters. I cannot even begin to explain to you how much I hated Julia in this movie. Who in their right mind sees a disgusting slimy skeleton creature who claims to be their ex and just decides to go with it and help them! No, what is wrong with you! I don’t care how good the sex was, it doesn’t warrant raising the goddamn dead. I was incredibly satisfied when she got stabbed because that’s honestly what I wanted to do with her the second she came on screen. Besides her, I was moderately okay with everyone else. Kirsty was obviously my favorite because I love my badass, demon fighting women.

I couldn’t help but notice however that this film did not pass the Bechdal Test. Neither did “The Shining” actually. If you don’t know what the Bechdal Test is, it’s a test used to judge whether or not movies have enough female representation. All a movie has to do is have at least two female characters, who have a conversation, that’s about something other than a man. “Hellraiser” has exactly two women in it (not including the seemingly female cenobite because her gender is never really specified). Julia and Kirsty however, only exchange a few lines throughout the film and they all have to do with Kirsty’s dad or Frank. Even if you want to consider the cenobite, it still doesn’t pass because their conversation is also about Frank.

Sidebar: “The Shining” doesn’t pass because Wendy and the two twin girls are the only women and they never even see each other. “The Amityville Horror” however, gets a pass only because Kathy has a conversation with her daughter about her creepy demon girl friend. The true horror of old horror movies: sexism.

Overall, I think the monsters and the plot of “Hellraiser” were chilling, It definitely seemed the scariest out of all the ones I watched. There was only one thing more off putting than the skinless guy with a lazy eye that was crawling around naked for half the movie, and that is the weird sexual undertone, present throughout the entire film. It was completely unnecessary and very obvious. We know every story has some weird connotation to sex but that doesn’t mean you need to make it blatantly obvious. It makes it hard to tell whether the film director was trying to be deep, or was just a major perv.

“Hellraiser” was not my favorite spooky movie out of the three I watched, I think that title probably goes to “The Shining”. However, I did find “Hellraiser” entertaining, if at times a little ridiculous. I give it 3 out of 5 spooky pumpkins.

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What is your favorite scary movie? If you would like to hear more about the Bechdal Test and also listen to some really hilarious ladies, I would recommend listening to the podcast “The Bechdal Cast.” Let me know what you thought of this series and share your spooky movie stories in the comments! Happy Halloween!!

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