Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)

hellraiser inferno poster 2000 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 5/10

Different attempt at a Hellraiser story

Change in style doesn't necessarily work

Movie Info

Movie Name: Hellraiser:  Inferno

Studio: Dimension Home Video

Genre(s): Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s): October 3, 2000

MPAA Rating: R


I just can’t pick!

Detective Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer) is a police officer with problems.  He likes to solve puzzles and problems but also isn’t happy at home with his wife and child.  When a man is found torn apart, Thorne learns a child might still be missing.  Taking possession of a strange puzzle box from the crime scene, Thorne spends the night with a prostitute in a hotel.  Haunted with bad dreams of nightmarish people after opening the box, Thorne goes home.  When the prostitute is found dead, Thorne and his partner Detective Tony Nenonen (Nicholas Turturro) cover up his involvement.  Thorne finds himself cracking-up as more of his contacts are killed as Thorne continues to search for the Engineer who could be holding a child as a hostage.

Hellraiser:  Inferno (or Hellraiser 5:  Inferno) followed Hellraiser:  Bloodline from 1996 and was directed by Scott Derrickson.  The movie was the first Hellraiser film not to go to be released in the theaters.  The movie was toned down in gore and considered more of a psychological thriller than horror…a big change for the series.  The movie is also the first movie to not really have any involvement from its creator Clive Barker.


I know you wanted to touch my heart, but seriously!

Hellraiser:  Inferno tries way too hard to be artsy.  It is well shot, but it is a shock to Hellraiser fans who went into it expecting something else.  The movie makes use of the lower budget, but then it gets into period near the end that has pretty lame “blue” set with wind that looks like it could be out of a 1980s music video.  The creativity level just dives at this point, though the plot gets interesting.

Craig Sheffer doesn’t really carry the movie.  He isn’t bad, but without a major villain like Pinhead (Doug Bradley) taking the the brunt of the movie, he kind of flounders.  It feels like he could be a guest detective on Law & Order, but it doesn’t feel like star power.  This isn’t the first time Craig Sheffer has crossed paths with Clive Barker, Sheffer was the star of Clive Barker’s Cabal adaptation Nightbreed.


Ok, ok, the bargain basement face-lift might have been a mistake

This Hellraiser almost felt like some of the supplemental Hellraiser footage.  In the Hellraiser comic book, the Cenobites are almost incidental characters with the people who access the box the stars.  This is how Hellraiser:  Inferno works.  It is more about Thorne’s coping with himself.  Pinhead isn’t the star…he isn’t even the star Cenobite (that would fall on the Engineer).  It is a tough turn for fans who were expecting gore and scares.

Hellraiser:  Inferno is a weird movie.  I can’t say I hated it, I didn’t love it.  I thought it was a bit more thought provoking than other Hellraiser films, but I didn’t really come into the Hellraiser film to think.  I wanted a bit more from this movie and it didn’t deliver.  Hellraiser:  Inferno is followed by Hellraiser:  Hellseeker in 2002.

Related Links:

Hellraiser (1987)

Hellbound:  Hellraiser II (1988)

Hellraiser III:  Hell on Earth (1992)

Hellraiser:  Bloodline (1996)

Hellraiser:  Hellseeker (2002)

Hellraiser:  Deader (2005)

Hellraiser:  Hellworld (2005)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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