Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)

But, see? He loves kids? He can't be all bad, right? Wrong!

But, see? He loves kids? He can’t be all bad, right? Wrong!

I cannot say for certain that Hellraiser: Inferno is the absolute worst of the Hellraiser franchise, but that is only because I have not seen the ones that come after it. Honestly, I am afraid to. This one is just so terribly, head-shakingly bad, I’d hate to devote more time to movies like this. Unfortunately, I’m sort of a completist when it comes to these things, so I know I will inevitably delve deeper into the world of Hellraiser. I just hope the rest of them are better than this.

This time it’s a dirty cop who gets dragged into Pinhead’s underworld. Detective Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer) is a pretty despicable guy: he cheats on his wife with prostitutes, steals money from

The first finger.

The first finger.

dead guys, and sets up his partner for a crime he didn’t commit. His one positive characteristic, and what is supposed to be his redeeming quality, but isn’t at all, is that he really cares about kids.

Anyway, an old classmate of his is found torn to pieces. The only evidence is a disembodied finger and, you guessed it, a strange puzzle box. And, yes, you guessed it again, Thorne spirals downward into the world of hell once he gets his hands on it. Seems some underworld boss called simply “The Engineer” is probably behind this and a whole bunch of other shit. Thorne cares not about the bodies that pile up throughout his investigation, he cares only to save the life of the child whose fingers are found at every crime scene.

He's a sucker for the ladies.

He’s a sucker for the ladies.

Despite the ten-or-so minutes of internet research I did to find out why anyone bothered to write this movie, I couldn’t really find out much about it. It seems to me, though, this was never meant to be a Hellraiser movie. Pinhead is in it for maybe 10 seconds, and while there are Cenobite-like creatures in the film, they could have just as easily been any other type of creepy crawler. No, I think this is a movie that really aspired to be more like Seven or some other gory cop psychological thriller. The problem is, it doesn’t do that job well, either! Thorne is so completely unlikable, why should we care what happens to him? And that “twist” at the end? Lame, and quite stupid. This might be one of the most frustrating movies I’ve ever seen. I am absolutely stunned when I read reviews saying this is one of the better of the Hellraiser movies. That just simply isn’t true! It’s the least Hellraiser of any that I’ve seen, and it is just plain bad besides that. And what a shame to see Craig Sheffer, the underworld hero of Barker’s Nightbreed, return to his world with such a shit show.


2 Responses to “Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)”

  1. 1 ladyfaceladyface
    December 16, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Hurray for completists!

    I love that you tagged this with “THE WORST.” Why not “shit show” too?

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