New Horror Releases: End The Suffering: Hellraiser: Judgment (2018) Reviewed

In 1987, the world was given one of the most spectacular horror films ever made. Clive Barker’s Hellbound Heart was translated to the cinematic realm in a nearly perfect gruesome vision that combined a story of pleasure and pain with a demonic presence that would spawn a massive following and numerous sequels. Shortly after, Pinhead and his cenobites were cast into a shallow existence worse than any hell. Nothing in the series has or can live up to the heights of Hellraiser or Hellraiser II. 

Now, Dimension Films tries to revitalize the deadly Hellraiser series with another low budget franchise entry that may add new blood to the story, but ultimately follows the same path as its cheap predecessors. Centered yet again on a plot that involves police detectives, this is a call back to some of the worst parts of this entire franchise. Where the original two Hellraiser movies created vicious landscapes of dread, death, and brutality that relied wholly on practical effects that stand the test of time, Judgment plays like a cheap version of Se7en that just so happens to feature a mangled cast of new cenobites that can’t hold a candle to the first movies. With renewed interest that hinged on some smart marketing, it becomes quickly apparent that the only possible thing that can save Pinhead now is a total reboot by the master himself, Clive Barker.

Considering that Doug Bradley is once again missing from the role he defined, the new Pinhead actor is a spitting image of the originator. Even his voice is a perfect imitation of Bradley. Sadly though, his efforts would have been much more effecting with material that might support such a spot on tribute. For years, a remake or reboot has been discussed. And that’s what’s needed here. This constant string of sequels that they claim will live up to horror fans’ expectations has been disappointment after disappointment. Luckily, the woefully bad Pinhead of Revelations is nowhere to be found as Paul T. Taylor fits into this role snugly. But he’s wasted due to a script that can’t deliver anything new or spectacular to the multi tiered layers of Hell. 

I have such sights to show you. Ever been to Walmart?

Brandishing a story that 100 percent rips off the aforementioned David Fincher film, Judgment is played so safe that horror fans will not only dislike this project but may actually revolt. This sequel does nothing to further the series but instead treads water, repeating the exact same faults of every Hellraiser film since Bloodline.

Delivering none of the massive ideas that the first two movies so perfectly rendered, Judgment is the epitome of straight to video horror trash. Even the new cenobites are a disappointment. Featuring only a few minutes of gore and terror, this newest entry offers no characters to latch onto, no revelations, barebones characters, and a plot that makes no sense. The greatest parts of this movie come whenever Pinhead is on screen. Sadly, he's missing from the majority of this latest entry. 

If you're a die hard, maybe watch this for the awesome version of the lead cenobite. Other than that, there's not much here.