Monday, November 17, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Hellraiser: Hellworld (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

The movie takes a break to play a music video called “Welcome To Hell” because I'd like to see YOU think of a way to make a movie feature length. What's that? Write a coherent story that doesn't need endless padding? Have you been READING these reviews so far? Surprising me yet again the police do show up, Chelsea banging on the window to get their attention but she's now joined the ranks of the invisible people so they don't see her. She pulls out her phone and calls 911 again, getting patched directly to one of the officers but he still can't see her in the window so thinks the whole thing is a stupid prank and leave. You COULD try breaking the window Chels...

Mike takes his new friend into the basement to have sex, but she pushes him into the remains room and locks the door. He finds Derrick's body and has the appropriate response, his horror cut short by a random Cenobite that kills him with a giant hook. I call BULLSHIT on this one! I saw Man of Steel, there is NO WAY a hook could pierce his super strong skin. You know the WORST thing about this though? Cavill ruining the tone by having a comical reaction to the Cenobite by quipping “Not good!” when he sees him? No, it's the fact we just lost the only interesting character in the movie not played by Lance Henriksen and there's still THIRTY MINUTES to go in this damn thing.

And that's not a sleight against Winnick who is doing a pretty good job in this movie, but her character is just written so dull with nothing to do that I really don't care about her. Which is sad, because she's now the one who has to carry the rest of the film since Henriksen is too busy digging holes to be in it. Realizing Chelsea now has to try to entertain us, the movie lets her out of the room and she goes running out of the house in pursuit of the cops. She's still invisible though, so she hops in her car and tries to leave but it's out of gas. Isn't THAT fucking convenient? The Host magically teleports into her backseat and says “It's like a bad horror movie, isn't it?”. Hahah, pointing out how much the movie sucks doesn't make it suck any less there guys.

She takes off screaming into the woods, because nine out of ten scientists recommend running into scary dark woods when you're in a horror film. She smacks into a cop who now can suddenly see her because why not, but Pinhead kills him with a stake before he can call for back up. COME ON NOW. This is downright insulting, I'd ask if the people making this have ever seen a Hellraiser movie but considering they made the last fucking two that'd be a waste of my time. It's fairly obvious involved in the production of this knew this would be the last Hellraiser movie they'd ever make so they just said “Fuck it!” and did whatever they felt like.

Chelsea gets a call from Jake begging her to help him, so she runs BACK into the house. Sharp cookie, this one. We see it was the Host that made the phone call, using his magic powers to imitate Jake's voice. Entering the house, Chelsea finds it is now completely deserted. We see a shot of her looking around with the entrance closed, then in the next shot it's open, and when it cuts back to her it's closed again. It's kind of sad when your movie makes a Michael Bay film look tightly edited.

Instead of Jake, Chelsea finds reanimated versions of Mike and Allison because you ALL knew they were going to go there. They chase here upstairs where she locks herself in the attic and walks right into... A PIGEON JUMP SCARE! Yep, that worked so great in Deader so let's do it again! How is it this movie had a budget of five million dollars, five times that of any of the first three movies and yet is UTTER shit?

Jake continues to search the house and finds a knife just in time to notice Chatterer is behind him, so she stabs him in the chest... only it's Chelsea. Umm... how did she get there? Did she borrow the Host's teleporter? Why wouldn't she announce her presence? Jake's phone begins to ring and he sees the caller is Chelsea, answering it so we can see she's still alive and well in the attic. Naturally when he looks down at the floor, the body is gone. They discuss what bullshit this entire movie is, rightfully pointing out that nothing is happening like Hellraiser is supposed to. Chelsea wonders if they're already dead and are being tormented since that's been the plot of the last THREE FUCKING MOVIES, but even I don't think this movie is incompetent enough to do that do us. Scratch that, I PRAY this movie isn't incompetent enough to do that to us.

While she waits for Jake to come to her (without warning him about Mike and Allison), Chelsea begins looking through a photo album and finds a picture that shocks her. The film won't let us see it because it'll spoil whatever ridiculous plot twist it has planned, so it has her get attacked by Adam's corpse to distract us. She gets away and reunites with Jake, showing him the photo which reveals the Host is Adam's father. HMMM, a father devastated by the loss of his son trying to get revenge on the people he holds responsible so he sets up an ultra elaborate trap to kill them? I- I can actually get behind this if they don't fuck it up too bad.

Right of cue there's the the Host, and Chelsea responds by KARATE KICKING HIM OFF THE FUCKING BALCONY! Fucking awesome! This doesn't kill him so they sprint outside, only to find the Host waiting for them because thankfully his teleporter wasn't broken in the fall. He yells “Boo!” at them and chuckles, which is probably the greatest use of “Boo!” you'll see in a movie EVER. I just can't hate too much on any movie where Henriksen gets to have this much fun. The two survivors find the makeshift grave plot he's been working on, which now totals five graves that have tubes sticking out of the dirt.

The Host warps into the frame to explain his master plan Bond Villain style, Jake yelling at him for being a terrible father to Adam so he attacks him. This somehow teleports Jake into one of the graves, which is that whole “fucking up a damn good plot twist” I was just worried about. The Host explains this as they've all been buried alive since the party began, as he drugged them with a chemical that put them into a highly suggestive trance-like state that he guided thanks to the cell phones he buried with them. Okay, I suppose that works. It's a little sloppy, but I'll accept it. Now the big question is can we finish the movie without ruining this genuinely inspired twist?

We jump ahead to the next day as the police are digging Chelsea out of her grave, as we see everyone else except for Jake has died during their premature entombment. Her and Jake exchange some nice words as sentimental music begins to play, and I'm just WAITING for Pinhead to jack this all up. An officer informs her they've all been missing for days and Adam's father has long since vacated the premises. An anonymous call drew them to the house, Chelsea wondering who it could have been. She looks at the house, seeing Adam's ghost in one of the windows watching. Uhh... sure, whatever. Although I suppose you could make the case Pinhead briefly let Adam out of Hell to help his friends because he's really more of an anti-hero in these sequels than anything.

Now fade to black movie and you'll- FUCK. It's still going, as we see the Host holed up in a seedy motel somewhere. He's going through a box of Adam's possessions, and hey it's the Lament Configuration. Might as well open it, right? Since Cenobites are all bullshit and don't exist? Why hello there Pinhead, welcome to Hellraiser: Hellworld! Frank is eviscerated for his EXCELLENT judgment, which despite being as predictable as a CBS sitcom at least it's fitting.

We're STILL not done though, as Chelsea and Jake are driving off to begin a life together somewhere. Oh, her phone starts ringing from an unknown number since they just can't let this movie end of a high note. There's no one on the other line, but there's the Host in the back seat who grabs the steering wheel and tries to make them crash. Chelsea regains control of the car, the Host teleporting out during these precious few seconds. As Chelsea and Jake look at each other confused as fuck, our final shot is of the police breaking into the Host's motel room to find the walls painted with blood. An officer shines his flashlight on the bloody puzzle box as finally, FINALLY the movie fades to black.

Cue the credits.

That last shot was unnecessary as SHIT and only served as a middle finger in what was surprisingly a well done ending. Of all the straight-to-video sequels this was definitely the best handled in regards to shoving in the Cenobite material, never once did it feel forced like the others. If anything, its inclusion probably made the story stronger than whatever it originally began life as.

So was this a good movie then? No, not particularly. My biggest complaint is the tone, these movies have never really been about the scares but at least they had a doom filled atmosphere that made you hesitant of the dark. This was just every horny teen slasher movie ever, woefully short on scares with a wildly inappropriate soundtrack that made Hellraiser III feel restrained. I also DESPISED Chelsea's character constantly pointing out the tropes of the franchise, she felt a LOT like Jamie Kennedy's fourth wall breaking character in the first Scream movie. That worked perfectly in the self aware Scream, but not so much here in a story that was trying to be serious.

Don't get me wrong though, this wasn't an awful movie since most of my complaints melted away with the revelation Pinhead WASN'T doing a Jason Voorhees impersonation and had never been there. Most of the actors were good, especially Henriksen (which is redundant to even say) and Cavill, who made every scene they were in enjoyable. This has nothing to do with Hellworld, but it made me dislike Man of Steel even more because director Zack Snyder REALLY wasted Cavill's ability there. Not that Superman has ever been a wise cracking jokester, but he actually does possess a personality. It's a shame Snyder didn't get Cavill the chance to inject some of that into Kal-El, but who am I to question the Visionary Director (TM) of 300?

Despite overstaying its welcome and being at least twenty minutes too long, I can't say I was ever bored like I was with the last three movies. This was thanks in a HUGE part to minimizing the shitty nonsensical transitions the series devolved into, which got old around the fifth movie. This also breaks the streak of the even numbered sequels being terrible, so good job everyone! You made a decent movie and a tolerable Hellraiser one, which is about as good as you can ask of the series this late into its lineage.

The final movie is finally here!