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Hellbound - All 11 Hellraiser franchise movies ranked

Hellbound – All 11 of the Hellraiser Franchise Movies Ranked

The Hellraiser franchise might be among the most recognizable in all of horror. Considering how maligned the franchise gets at times, it rather remarkable that it’s so revered. One reason is that the lead villain, Pinhead, played by Doug Bradley (usually), ranks among the most recognizable in the genre. The other is that Clive Barker’s story such a deep foundation in mythology that the only limitation to creativity is the deep dark abyss that the franchise is based on.

Welcome to my ranking of the Hellraiser movies! I’m sure that the list will enrage some readers, but let’s have fun.

11. Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)

What even is this? It’s the cinematic equivalent of a natural disaster. It’s thankfully only 75 minutes long, but you could use this movie as an interrogation tool at Guantanamo Bay. The budget was $300,000, but it feels like it was made out of used car parts at 3 am by your tweaker neighbor. The effects are not special. I couldn’t even finish it, and I watched all of Zombeavers. Doug Bradley probably read the script and hoped he had taken the bit part as a mover in the first movie (fun fact alert). Let’s all forget that this movie ever happened. Clive Barker wept.

10. Hellraiser: Deader (2005):

The seventh movie in every franchise is always…something. This movie exists. I had to watch it again because I forgot the ending. I didn’t miss much. That’s about all I have to say.

9. Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)

This movie feels very Y2K-ish. It’s unfortunate that it came out half a decade later. I feel like I’ve seen this plot in at least ten movies, all of which did it better. This is, sadly, the final performance of Doug Bradley. In Hellraiser movies, I mean. He’s not dead. As far as I know.

8. Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)

The most compelling part of this movie is the return of Kirsty Cotton, thankfully still played by Ashley Laurence. This feels like another stand-alone script where they drop in Pinhead to save the day. The best part of the movie is the Allstate Mayhem guy.

7. Hellraiser (2022)

I had high hopes for this movie. Jamie Clayton? YES. Protagonist battling an addiction? YES. Goran Visnjic? YEEEEEEEEEEEEAH BOI. Beginning with a very Law-and-Order-ish title card and a clearly conflicted antihero, Hellraiser (2022) started to go downhill from there. The script felt clunky and the acting seemed forced. I did, however, get to look at Jamie and Goran for a while. All in all, it’s a decent contribution to the Hellraiser canon. Worth a second watch.

All 11 of the Hellraiser franchise ranked - Hellraiser (2022) - Jamie Clayton as Pinhead, the Hell Priestess
Jamie Clayton as Pinhead, the Hell Priestess

6. Hellraiser: Hell on Earth (1992)

Is the third time the charm? No. However, the Pillar of Souls is metal AF. I’m still unsure why Joey needed to reunite Pinhead with his human form, but Terry Farrell’s performance saved this movie. The best part of it is the CD Cenobite, who would make an amazing action figure.

5. Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

Once a franchise goes to space, you know that things are about to get weird. This was the last Hellraiser movie released in theaters. Somehow this film grossed roughly twice its surprisingly decent budget. In spite of the fact that the director used the Alan Smithee alias, it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great, either. That’s why it’s in the middle of the list.

4. Hellraiser: Inferno (2000) 

Originally a stand-alone script, this is the first Hellraiser movie to go direct-to-video. In spite of this fact, the cast includes several well-known faces, including Craig Sheffer, Nick Turturro, and James Remar. The script is decent and the SFX are acceptable. However, the movie would have done itself a favor if it was a stand-alone indie film.

3. Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)

This movie is a lot more solid than I expected, especially after the dumpster fire that is Revelations. A few new characters are introduced, and the gray color scheme looks the way depression feels. Hats off to the costume designer and makeup department. I sincerely hope that The Auditor makes an appearance in a future Hellraiser film.

2. Hellraiser (1987)

What can I say about this movie that hasn’t been said? A few things, actually. The ensemble cast operates at level 11 in what may have been an otherwise forgotten movie. “The box”, which looks like the worst Rubik’s Cube ever, is truly a thing of beauty. My only beef with the movie is the lightning strikes at the end, which were created when the crew exhausted the SFX budget.

1. Hellraiser: Hellbound (1988)

True fans know that Hellbound, the second of the Hellraiser franchise, is superior to the original. (Malevolent Dave agrees with me.) Julia is back and badder than ever, and we all know that she is the real OG villain in this franchise.. Some of the special effects look dated, but pretty much anything is better than the lightning strikes used in the original. Actually, I lied. The SFX in Revelations are much worse.

There it is. Next up: my ranking of the Leprechaun franchise. Just kidding. I think.

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