We’ve simply invited you here to talk. To hear your thoughts and desires. The Auditor
First thing I want to point out is that the only thing Clive Barker had to do with this movie was bringing the original characters to life. Technically, as memory serves, he only Directed and Wrote the first. At least the first three had continuity, then Bloodline went down a different path. The constant in these sequels is Doug Bradley as Pinhead through Hellword in 2005, which is my least favorite in the franchise, but that’s not for now, today, I’m talking about Hellraiser Judgment.
I will give Gary J. Tunnicliffe credit for doing another Hellraiser sequel after Revelations, which had a worse Pinhead than Judgment. He does have creativity, and added some interesting characters to the mix, who I will discuss a bit later, but I hope he doesn’t do another.
Pinhead just isn’t sexy with Paul T. Taylor in the role, and to me that’s how he’s supposed to be. He looks uncomfortable, and menacing, but mostly uncomfortable. I also thought this Pinhead was a bit lazy, he didn’t do much until the end, though we see him a few times sitting on his stone throne or talking to various Cenobites, having the Auditor do most of the heavy lifting.
Something I’m over with many horror films lately is the grainy filter they’re using. It doesn’t really add anything but try to make it look old. If this is in modern time, why does it need to look old? Maybe I’m missing the point of its use, but in my opinion, it has come to the point of being trite.
I loved Fur Elise in the soundtrack, adding an extra nuance with the creepy out of tune piano. I’m glad it wasn’t overdone and only played when the Cenobites were in the house. I enjoyed the minimal, though Saw-esque, contraptions like the typewriter, sink, trough, and…oh wait, that’s all there were.
The new Cenobites weren’t awful. The Auditor is an interesting Cenobite listening to the details of the Offender. I liked him. The Assessor is a disgusting blob of a man, though I don’t know how he’s a Cenobite, he didn’t appear to have any outward changes; maybe, it was just his insides that digest and regurgitate confessions. The Cleaners were different, but somehow familiar, cleaning the bodies of the Offenders (inside and out.) Then there’s the Surgeon and the Butcher. Honestly, I’m not sure which was which. The Gimp-like character with the blades rode on the back of the big guy with a baby mask.
The plot of the story wasn’t anything new, it’s a typical murder mystery where you find out at the end that your suspicions were correct and one of the perceived protagonists was committing the murders. I felt that there were things that needed a bit more information, like how the detective knew what the Auditor was going to say, was it because of his police training? And why did Jophiel come? I know the workings of Heaven and Hell are mysterious, but, seriously, why did God send her? At first, I thought it was a set up for another movie, then that was quickly taken out of the future.
All in all, I did like the movie, and would give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars. It had some great visuals, with a fun “hidden track” scene at the end of the credits, which I normally don’t watch, but for some reason did with this movie. I’ve seen worse in this franchise, and much better, so go ahead and give it look, just don’t have high expectations; remember it is a direct to video release.