aka: Hellraiser: hellworld.com, Hellraiser 8
Director: Rick Bota
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Katheryn Winnick, Christopher Jacot, Khary Payton, Henry Cavill
Burning with evil
A young group of friends are fascinated by an online game called Hellworld. Even though the game caused one of their friends to commit suicide, the rest of the friends don’t think twice before accepting an invitation on the website to attend a private Hellworld party in a huge mansion.
When they arrive, they are greeted by a middle-aged party host who offers them drinks and shows them around. It doesn’t take long before the young ones get settled and start to have fun, but before the night is over they will find out that the party has more than booze and sex awaiting them.
Hellraiser in… cyberspace? Another Hellraiser, another finished script that had nothing to do with the original films that the studios found a way to add the cenobites into, another disappointment for the fans of Pinhead and co. Hellworld is more like a bad late 90’s slasher film with a big “twist” at the end that honestly doesn’t do anything except make the entire thing feel stupid.
The script is pretty lousy to begin with and the way they added the Hellraiser part into it made little sense and was also quite stupid. The characters were all unlikable youngsters that only had interest in partying hard and hooking up with the opposite gender, except the main girl who of course was not like that and another boy who served as her love interest. Very cliché, old and dull.
There’s so many plotholes in this film and nothing really makes any sense if you give it more than a thought. Thankfully, the pacing is quite quick and there’s always something going on, which keeps the film from becoming boring. The addition of Lance Henriksen is of course appreciated, but there’s little he can do either to raise the entertainment value of this film.
This was the third and final Hellraiser film that Rick Bota did. During his time the Hellraiser films went from having adult themes to now becoming a teen scream film. This also looks visually good, but there’s just no meat to be found here. There’s a few Saw-like death scenes, but nothing that will take the thoughts that this should never have been a Hellraiser film out of anybody’s head. At one point, Lance’s character even says “this is just like a bad horror movie, isn’t it?” and that’s a good summary of this film.
Hellraiser: Hellworld would put the end to the Hellraiser franchise for quite some years. It’s basically the exact opposite of the original film in theme and execution and I can’t see anyone that loves the first film enjoying this one. For completists only, and hardly even that.