Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)
WRITERS: Carl Dupre and Tim Day
DIRECTOR: Rick Bota
STARRING: Dean Winters as Trevor
Ashley Laurence as Kirsty
William S. Taylor as Detective Lange
Jody Thompson as Tawny
Trevor White as Bret
Doug Bradley as Pinhead
QUICK CUT: Kirsty Cotton reconnects with an old friend and introduces him to her new family and his coworkers.
Trevor - A man who works at what is probably a car insurance place, and has somehow married Kirsty from the first two movies. He’s our focus, he’s falling apart, and as the mystery unfolds around him, you have to wonder…why him?
Kirsty - Once the star of the franchise, now she ends up relegated to little more than flashbacks and a plot device.
Pinhead - Always mysterious, ever present, and fortunately not showing up with any puns. They almost get the balance right with him here.
TRISK ANALYSIS: Welcome back, Triskelions! It's August, and it is actually past due to hit up the Hellraiser franchise again. But it's been a hot week, so it's all good. And we are truly into the dark days of the Hellraiser franchise, with #6 in the series, Hellseeker.
The movie opens up with Trevor and his wife driving down a road smiling and laughing and...wait. Kirsty? Kirsty, is that you?? Good to see you ag...
...Oop, shortly afterwards the car goes off the road into the river, Trev gets out, and Kirsty drowns. That was a waste of a perfectly good Kirsty.
But then Trevor suddenly snaps awake in a hospital, because that was all a dream. But at least it's of events that may have occurred, so not a total foul there.
They give him stuff to relax and he finds himself in a creepy torture hospital because everything BEFORE was all a dream. Sigh.
His doctor cuts open Mayhem's skull, grabs some Pin like objects, and pokes at his brain. Well that sure is subtle.
But as the pins are driven deeper into his noodle, Trevor wakes up AGAIN because now THAT was all a dream. For squawk's sake, we're not even eight minutes in, and how many layers of Hellception is this???
As Mayhem is being released, a detective shows up to ask a few questions, and we learn that Kirsty is missing, so who knows.
He heads home after pissing off the wrong guy with a boom box on the bus, and we get more of Kirsty in flashbacks. Wow, relegated to flashbacks.
Trev heads into work, finds a ratty business card for "All Problems Solved" and ends up in the ass end of nowhere. He looks around the place and...wakes up because IT WAS JUST A DREAM.
He tries to get some snacks and one of his coworkers tries to be all over him on the snack machine. She seems to imply this is business as usual, but Trev has no memory of this or much of anything else.
The police call him back down to the station to move the plot along a bit, including some evidence that the car accident may not have been an accident.
He gets dropped off by the bus again, and is being stalked by a masked figure, a figure that watches him from the apartment across the way. He begins choking and spitting out water and...look, did that bus take him home, or drop him off on Elm Street??
...Apparently Elm Street, because after barfing up AN ENTIRE EEL, he WAKES BACK UP AGAIN.
Once he's flirted with the neighbour that woke him up, Trevor goes through some old home videos, one of which shows him giving Kirsty a box. A...puzzle box. She recognises it and freaks right the fuck out.
Gwen from work shows up so they can finish what they started on the snack machine, but he sends her off. Except the camera keeps recording them banging. That is, until a pair of Cenobites show up on film to go all Laura Palmer on her.
But before that can go any further...TREVOR WAKES UP BACK AT WORK BECAUSE IT WAS ALLASDFGHJKL
His coworker takes note that he's freaking out a lot, so sends him to see an accupuncturist, and gee.
Speaking of which, the ol' lead Cenobite himself finally shows up 35 minutes late without Starbucks. But he does utilise his pins and does some accupuncture on Trevor all his own.
But then Trevor WAKES UP FROM YET ANOTHER DREAM.
The police call him BACK to the station, because we paid for this set, and by damn we are gonna use it. They've decided this is a homicide case, because Kirsty was kinda rich thanks to a little inheritance from Uncle Frank. YAY continuity!
But Mayhem heads back home, his neighbour shows up and tries to make out with him. Dude has so many women, it's making my head spin.
However, just as they're getting it on, a Cenobite appears and Trevor wakes UP FROM ANOTHER OH MY GOD WHY.
After finding Tawny still alive, the cops call him BACK TO THE STATION AND I AM STUCK IN A LOOP.
Trevor leaves the police station, heads to work...where the cop is waiting for him with the puzzle box they just found at the crime scene. ...Why couldn't we do this five seconds ago?
He heads back for some more accupuncture headache therapy, and...starts making out with THAT woman too.
The plot starts crumbling around Mayhem as he tries to find his doctor, she's nowhere to be seen, until she IS...but then someone asks him who he's talking to so...I'unno.
Mayhem tries to find answers, heads back to the warehouse, and finds Pinhead in a puddle, where he taunts his latest victim.
As he stumbles home, he runs into his coworker, who pulls a gun on Trev. And we get some more plot. They conspired to kill Kirsty, make it look like an accident, and split the money.
But since that's all mixed up now, he shoots himself in the head because...uh, reasons.
The headaches return, he heads back to Sage, and before he can ask her when the third season of The Gifted is coming, the cops show up and find him with the icepick in his hand and standing over her dead body.
But things go from worse to terrible for Trevor as they dredge up a body, AND have found all his other victims.
Detective Lange takes Trevor deep into the basement, down a hall, and towards the morgue to ID the body. But at one point pushes him through a gate and locks it behind Trevor.
He starts going on about how "We are the sum of two entirely different people," and gee. If only we had done more with that sort of philosophy throughout the movie. It really would have elevated this movie considerably.
Trevor makes his way to the most unclean morgue ever, is about to reveal the person under the sheet, when the room starts shaking, reverberating my subwoofer, and lights start sparking.
Cracks appear in the walls, light pours in, and the music builds to a grand crescendo a Pinhead stands revealed!! ...An epic reveal that would have been far, far more effective if he had not been sprinkled all throughout this mess.
Pinhead chains up Mayhem, and reveals the plot; what he really wanted was to finally collect on his original victim; Kirsty. It was all a plot to get her the box, but she made a deal, to offer five souls - the girls he was banging, his coworker, and Trevor himself.
Which uh...kinda paints Kirsty in a really bad light? She's a bit of a murderer at this point? I do not like this turn. Not to mention the plot is all about little miss barely in the movie.
Included in the infodump flashbacks is Kirsty shooting Trevor in the head, causing the car crash and thus THE ENTIRE MOVIE WAS A DREAM...IN HELL.
To be honest, there's a lot I like about this movie, mostly from the production level, but I feel so betrayed by this ending.
Mayhem finally whips back the sheet to reveal himself on the slab, and we snap back to reality where he's just been dredged up. And if you watch carefully, you can see amongst the police and forensics, almost every single character from the movie, like this is the Wizard of Oz. If the Wizard had nails rammed in his skull.
And Kirsty tells the cops "He just shot himself while we were driving, and then we were in the water"? How is that in ANY WAY believable?
Before she leaves, Lange hands Kirsty the puzzle box, since it was an anniversary gift, not the murder weapon, and something she can remember her loving husband by. There is nothing correct about that sentence.
Video: It looks pretty good, and it should since it came out in 2002.
Audio: Some solid atmospherics in the surround.
Sound Bite: "You're creeping me out...and I'm the coroner!"
Body Count: Not too great, but they’re handled pretty well.
1 - Wife drowns four and a half minutes in.
2 - Mistress Gwen dies on camera.
3 - Neighbour mistress dies tied to a chair.
4 - Coworker shoots himself Ray?
5 - Trevor finds Sage with an icepick in her face.
6 - Trevor dies from a gunshot at the start of the movie.
Best Corpse: Ben wins the prize, because it was nicely out of nowhere.
Blood Type - C+: Not a whole ton of gore, but it does what it does fairly well. A lot of the cenobites seemed like cheap dollar store knock offs, though, with no real imagination behind them.
Sex Appeal: Trevor bangs so many girls, there was bound to be boobs.
Drink Up! Every time IT WAS ALL A DREAM. SUFFER CHILDREN.
Video Nasties: This time out, I decided to include a clip of Lange’s philosophy.
Movie Review: Hssss. Okay, pushing apart my obvious issues of too many dreams, this is NOT a terrible movie. The cenobites are used sparingly and to good effect. It was a treat to see Kirsty again, however under utilised, and the concept is not bad. In fact, it’s so good, they did most of it in the previous movie! This is a slightly better take on the idea though. If you could moosh the two together, there is a great movie lurking in there somewhere. But it looks good, is well made, and despite being frustrating has some good moments, it just all feels a little off and hollow, especially with that little twist at the end making for us following a story that ultimately didn’t matter from the wrong perspective. It’s too clever for its own good. Three out of five accupuncture needles…but only just barely.
Entertainment Value: The kills are good, there’s some wonderful WTF of trying to figure out what’s going on the first time through, and the acting is pretty good, especially from the usual suspects. When I wasn’t flipping over tables, I was at least entertained. Three out of five origami boxes.