Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)
Directed By: Scott Derickson
Starring: Craig Sheffer, Nicholas Turturro, James Remar, Doug Bradley, Nicholas Sadler, Lindsay Taylor, Noelle Evans
Subgenre: Demons & Possession
Synopsis: A detective tries to solve a series of brutal murders involving the Lament Configuration and the mysterious “Engineer.”
Thoughts: Even though this is the first of the Hellraiser sequels to go straight to video, I think it is one of the best sequels of the series. It takes a unique turn and is much more psychological than the previous installments. I loved the fact that it shows that the Cenobites can inflict mental anguish just as artfully as they can physical pain.
Craig Sheffer gives a great performance as Detective Thorne, trying to chase down The Engineer and his kidnap victim, a child. It’s a little crazy that the two best performances in this guy’s career are in Clive Barker stories (Nightbreed being the other). Nick Turturro also gives a very solid performance as Sheffer’s partner. Even though he doesn’t have much screen time, Doug Bradley is as awesome as ever as Pinhead.
Director Scott Derrickson followed up this great debut with the very solid Exorcism of Emily Rose and all signs pointed to him becoming a heavy hitter in the horror genre. His success garnered him the opportunity to direct a high budget Hollywood venture, which turned out to be The Day the Earth Stood Still. Guess they can’t all be winners. He has a few projects in the works, and I can’t wait to see what he brings us.
Inferno is a great example that there are some gems to be found in the world of Direct to Video, and it takes it a step further by being the fourth sequel in a series. I’ve often heard people say that “After the first two installments, the Hellraiser series isn’t worth your time.” While not all of the sequels are great, there are some pretty good ones, with Inferno being one of the best. What’s unique about most of the sequels is that they stand alone; you can pick any of them up and watch them without needing to know much in the way of the history of the series. If you have avoided the Hellraiser sequels, I suggest giving this one a shot, it’s worth it.