Wow. Usually this is something only reserved for groups of unshaven males, huddled around a bong and a table full of snacks, on a Friday night. Watching the first three Hellraiser movies back-to-back-to-back is an intense commitment, and L.A.’s Cinefamily has definitely thrown down the viewing gauntlet with this triple feature. Based on a short story by horror novelist Clive Barker, who also wrote the screenplay and directed the first film, this incredibly twisted franchise involves a Pandora’s box of sorts that passes from owner to owner, inevitably opening the door to Hell. And with this box and all its sadomasochistic pleasure come a group of evil freaks known as the Cenobites, led by the now-iconic Pinhead, who generally bring a ruckus wherever they show up.
The first two movies in this triple feature are genuinely scary and disturbing, even by 1980s standards, but the third is completely laughable and amusing. All in all, there are plenty of skinless bodies, arcane sex rituals, and gore to keep horror fans satisfied. This will be a long night.