Nonetheless, using the ghosts sparingly works. We're shown just enough to maintain a timbre of dread. When the ghosts do show up, they're as beautiful as they are horrifying. And when we do get to that creepy mansion, the sets become characters in their own right. See the preview below for some great shots of both the ghosts and the sets. I definitely recommend seeing this one on the big screen if you can.
Occasionally the plot drags on a bit (especially toward the beginning), but if you trust that it's setting you up for some good old fashioned spookiness, you won't be disappointed.
As in a lot of horror fiction, one of the central questions of Crimson Peak becomes: who are the real monsters - the living or the dead? The ghosts aren't the only creepy things in this movie.
The Last Witch Hunter
urban fantasy. It feels like a campaign in the role-playing game, Mage: The Ascension, which isn't surprising considering Vin Diesel's frequently avowed love of Dungeons & Dragons. There are reports that the main character is loosely based on one of Diesel's D&D characters (see this article for details).
I'm not normally a big fan of urban fantasy. I like my fantasy to be as far removed from the real world as possible. I just don't care if there's a secret cabal of werewolves in the sewers of Chicago or vampires lurking in the Hot Topic at your local mall. But somehow The Last Witch Hunter made me actually care about a secret order that hunts misbehaving witches while sparing the good ones (and there are good witches, one of which is played by Rose Leslie, who you might remember as Ygritte from Game of Thrones). The title character is a witch hunter, aided by an order of Catholic priests (two of which are played by Michael Caine and Elijiah Wood).
Witches killed the main character's wife and child 800 years ago and it was the Witch Queen who cursed him with ever lasting life (yeah, he's been hunting witches for 800 years). Now you might think a lot of witch hating would follow from all this, but that's not the case. In fact, Kaulder (Diesel) even teams up with one of the good witches to hunt the nasty ones. This raises a worthwhile question: If witch hunters and witches can get along, why can't we?
Is this high art? No, but it's not pretending to be. It's not nearly at the level of atmospheric creepiness as Crimson Peak, but if you're looking for a fun time with a dash of Halloween spirit, this one might conjure up the spell you're looking for.
Lovecraftian notion of beings from another dimension summoned by strange artifacts. Maybe it's the reflections on pleasure and pain. Maybe I just think Pinhead is cool. Whatever the reason, a bit over a year ago I decided to watch all the Hellraiser movies. Yes, there are nine of them. Now that I've watched all nine, I agree with Katie Rife, who wrote this aptly titled article: "Watching all 9 Hellraiser movies is an exercise in mashochism."
In the last few days I've watched the last three: Hellraiser: Deader (2005), Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005), and Hellraiser: Revelations (2011). The first two were okay. Revelations is the ghoulish abomination of the series, and not in a good way.
Let's start with Deader. Like most latter day Hellraiser movies, this one tries to stay hip by glomming on to whatever's popular at the time. For example, in the previous installment, Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002), you get to see Dean Winters (Dennis Duffy from 30 Rock) do his best to be a character from Se7en or Memento. It's no coincidence that Deader was released the same year as Hostel (2005). Both involve horrific happenings in a thoroughly Other-ized Eastern Europe. In Deader, a journalist goes to Romania to investigate some crazy death cult. What follows is hard to describe, as in genuinely confusing, not just because I want to avoid spoilers. Suffice it to say, there's a puzzle cube (aka, the Lament Configuration) and Pinhead and his Cenobite friends make their (far too few) appearances. Some thoughts about death ensue. Not particularly deep thoughts, but interesting nonetheless.
Released just a few months after Deader, Hellworld starts with a group of young people who are addicted to an MMORPG called - you guessed it! - Hellworld. Hence, the tag line on the poster above: "Evil goes online." What follows is the Hellraiser answer to the Scream movies: a self-aware meta-parody in which the Hellraiser universe is the basis of a video game and (allegedly) not real. In fact, you might wonder if the premise of this one is that Pinhead and company have really been figments of people's macabre imaginations all along. Of course, while you are wondering this, the Cenobites might descend upon you, anyway, especially if, like the characters of Hellworld, you get invited to a big creepy house for a hedonistic party in which guests are picked off one by one. Oh, and Lance Henrikson is perfect as the creepy host of the party. Of the last few Hellraiser movies, this was my favorite.
What to say about Revelations? An unholy abomination that should never have seen the light of day? A steaming pile of dripping wet garbage? A movie that, at a very short 75 minutes, was about 80 minutes too long?
|"You're not my real Pinhead!"|
In fact, here's my trick or treat wish for the world: let's all pretend there are only eight Hellraiser movies.