Detectives Sean and David Carter are on the case to hunt down a gruesome serial killer who is terrorizing the city. Joining forces with Detective Christine Egerton, they dig deeper into a maze of horror, which may lead them into the depths of hell.
Let me start out by saying that I’ve always been a major fan of the Hellraiser franchise and I feel no different on this one. That being said there are a few things I could gripe about on this installment and there’s a few that I could praise. My gripes would be that it seemed the film was on a very strict budget, but most of the Hellraiser films feel like that. The major gripe is that I felt absolutely no emotion for any of the characters. Although their acting was well done, there simply was no buildup, backstory or character sympathy involved in any of them, we never get to know any of them. I seriously felt nothing, and I was so emotionless over them that I did not care if they lived or died. No matter how horrible or shocking a scene was. It’s a fact that there will be no emotional impact if we don’t harbor any interest in the characters. I could probably lay down a few more gripes but I’ll refrain from that, this is why I only gave it 3 stars and not 4. Also, although the acting was great on all parts, the storyline fell flat, it was not done well at all in my opinion and it wasn’t because of it lacking in the budget part either! I also felt it was way too short, it could’ve easily been at least half an hour longer in my opinion.
Some of the things I did enjoy was the fact that I went in thinking that I might not like this installment simply for the fact that Doug Bradley wasn’t in this one either because I think he was the best Pinhead ever. Well, that was until Paul T. Taylor took over the role in this part. I have to admit, the film not having Doug in it was not any reason for the 3-star review because I was extremely impressed with the new guy. Serious, he comes a very close second here and I really hope we get to see more of him in future installments. Another cool thing is that I learned that our movie was actually filmed entirely in Oklahoma, with 55 Ludovico Place being there as well. Funny because I always thought this address was in England ;).
With Judgment we have Pinhead and the Auditor discussing ways to reconstruct their methods of harvesting souls mesh with the ever advancing human technology which is now making the gateway to hell antiquated. Meanwhile back on earth, we have three detectives investigating a serial killer known as the Preceptor, whose murders are based on the Ten Commandments. A connection to one of the victims lead them to a local criminal who went missing near the famous and now abandoned house at 55 Ludovico Place, which you’ll recall was the main location in the first Hellraiser where Frank Cotton originally lived and ended up solving that puzzle box there. And that years later, his brother Larry and wife Julia moved in the house, while we discover that Frank was torn apart yet able to come back again in the same attic after the cenobites found out he escaped, and Frank confessed. At the end of the original Hellraiser, the walls in the house collapse, and in Hellbound: Hellraiser II, the police investigate what happened there.
One of the detectives end up following a lead to the house and loses consciousness but soon wakes up to discover that he’s in the Stygian Inquisition’s domain in hell. As the Inquisition prepares to hand down a verdict on the detective for his sins, an angel intervenes and tells them to release him, leaving him to escape the realm with a stolen puzzle box, while the Auditor requests Pinhead’s guidance on the matter. He soon returns to the house with another detective who is also his brother to search it again, finding no trace of hell or the Inquisition. That night he is haunted by visions of the Cenobites and hell’s denizens, who promise “judgment and redemption” to anyone who opens the box.
So, at the end of the day, the cast and crew did a decent job with Judgment. This installment has enough in common with the rest of the franchise, and it actually opened new territory. There’s a good chance that we will see a direct sequel to this one. It can certainly go into new and exciting places now. Judgment was definitely the best Hellraiser since the second one, to me anyway, and a big congratulations to everyone involved for making a limited budget into a pretty good film!
Title: Hellraiser: Judgment
Release Date: February 3, 2018
Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Suspense
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Randy Wayne, Rheagan Wallace, Paul Taylor
MPAA Rated: NR
Directors: Gary J. Tunnicliffe
Reviewed by: Mad Hatter
Our Rating: 2.8 /5
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