Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996)
Plot: Spanning four centuries, this petrifying Gothic thriller recounts the anguished past of the L’Merchant clan, who unwittingly fashioned the puzzle box that unlocked the gates of Hades and unleashed the monstrous Cenobites. As Pinhead and his band of diabolical demons propagate evil on Earth, three generations of L’Merchants battle the legions of darkness to annihilate Pinhead … permanently.
My Review: I honestly don’t know why I’m continuing with this series – because I haven‘t really enjoyed the first three – I guess its just so I can say that I’ve seen them all. I have seen Bloodlines before, way back when it first came out to one of the movie channels for the first time. I watched part of it and was interested in it based on the amount of gore it had. But I had only seen parts of it that time and never went back to rewatch it from beginning to end. I didn’t remember a thing about it going into this viewing. Netflix was streaming the rest of the series so I figured “why not?” as I had all intentions of watching them all months ago but stopped after part three.
This movie starts sometime in the future in space on some spaceship with some weird robot (sorta reminds me of a terminator) holding the puzzle box. A man is controlling the robot (opening the box), while a bunch of men with guns come storming in. The box goes out of control, pinhead is released, and the man is taken into custody where he begins telling the story of the first puzzle box and how it relates to him and what he was trying to do..
From here on the movie goes from past (when the puzzle box was first made), then to the present, and then to the future. The movie is confusing but it isn’t the switch from time to time that is confusing. To be quite honest I’m not sure how much baring the first three entries have on this one – not much I think – but I barely remember Hellraiser II & Hellraiser III. I have to admit I felt kind of stupid that I was so confused as to what was going on, maybe its because I don‘t know the series that well or , or maybe its bad writing. I was confused on a few different points – How did Angelique know there was a box hidden in the wall of that building? Is that from Hellraiser 3? Do the demons want the box, or do they want others to have access to the box to summon them? What happened to all the other boxes mentioned in the movie? I just found overall the whole movie to be confusing.
I hear a lot of people don’t like this movie and that it’s a “bad” movie. To be honest I didn’t think it was “bad” it would have been kinda good actually if it hadn’t been so confusing. Where did the rest of the series fit into what was going on in this film? I don’t like it when a “simple” movie turns out to be so confusing.
Gore/FX: In the beginning there are some obvious computer graphics when there are close ups of the robots hands opening the box. Later more crappy computer graphics with some light beams/streaks. Other then that there is a pretty big amount of gore and it all looks pretty decent. In fact, when I think of the Hellraiser series I always thought they’d be pretty gory – like this movie was. The first three aren’t that gory if I recall correctly.
Sexual Content: Yup, there are some sex scenes and female nudity.
Acting: The acting wasn’t all that bad, normal for the year and genre. A little odd that one guy played three different characters over the span of a few centuries. But at least it was easy to then know they were related. Kim Myers plays the wife of John Merchant (the guy in the present) Nightmare on Elm Street fans will recognize her from Nightmare on Elm Street 2.
Overall: I don’t like confusing movies especially if they aren’t untangled by the end of them. If this movie hadn’t been as confusing as it was I’d probably give it three stars instead. I found it to be a decent mini-prequel, and it was entertaining but it could have been a lot better.
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