Hellraiser: Hellworld Rick Bota

Hellraiser: Hellworld is a half-decent, albeit formulaic, horror flick. It's not great by any standard, but compared to some of the bigger theatrical releases from Dimension, it's right on par. The film boasts a cast of young smart-alecks who occasionally break the fourth wall to make smarmy comments like "necessary tit-shot" to poke fun at the slasher genre. This type of wink at the audience has become common thanks to the oh-so clever writing of Scream scribe Kevin Williamson, and while that now old shtick is disappointing in a highly anticipated Wes Craven film like Cursed, in an entry like Hellworld in a marginally successful franchise, it never had it so good. Fans of the original Hellraiser movies might be disappointed that this one veers even further away from the character of Pinhead, preferring to showcase a cookie-cutter ensemble of hip high-school kids. The lesser-known actors actually provide slightly more colourful performances than expected. The death scenes follow the standard formula, though: one kid dies, about 20 minutes of weak story development crawls by and then there's another effective murder. Lance Henriksen is an inspired choice to play the deranged man keeping Pinhead's legacy (and body count) up-to-date and his creepy performance keeps the film moving. The kids are fans of an online Hellraiser game, but they're a lot better looking than most online-gamers you know, and they're invited to an exclusive party in a creepy old mansion for having the highest scores. Instead of asthmatic videogame junkies comparing cheat-codes they find hundreds of surgically enhanced babes wearing white masks and dancing to rave music. Who knew a party thrown by an online game moderator would have this kind of potential? There are a couple weak extras that are only worth watching if one of your relatives was in the film. (Dimension)