Ok… yeah… emm… I'm trying to think but words fail me. So I'll just say it plainly: "Hellraiser was shit." How shiity was it? Well, Ebert said it best, when paraphrasing King's remark about Clive Barker: "…but I have seen the future of implausible plotting, and his name is Clive Barker." True, Ebert did make a few mistakes recounting the plot, but it doesn't really matter, it doesn't make the plot any better, and the pace is bad no matter how you look at it.
It is a movie about a man who made a deal with a Rubik cube or something, and due to this pact he dies. Then his ex-lover kills people so he'll get his flesh back. Also- some ugly demons who were supposed to look interesting or something, especially the something part. One of them looks campy, with his sunglasses, but that's as close as it gets there.
Truth is, most of the lessons to learn from this movie have already been covered, only here we learn them as things not to do, as common pitfalls or whatever. But there is something that we can learn from this movie that I haven't covered: Appealing to the disgust factor.
You see, this movie is just disgusting. There's no better way to phrase that, or even to describe it. It ain't scary, ain't anything else. It was a disgusting movie, plain and simple. And one couldn't even say that it was being disgusting with a purpose. It was disgusting for the sake of being disgusting. It had a man that eats insects. Why? God knows. We later see him return and we learn that it was supposed to be some kind of foreshadowing or something, but it was a lazy kind of foreshadowing. It was the kind of foreshadowing that leaves you with a sour taste. And this one was the one with a "purpose".
Stephen King once wrote that if he can't terrify he horrifies, and that if he can't horrify he goes to the revulsion side of the spectrum*. I say something else: If you can't terrify and you can't horrify, please don't do horror, it might be better to all of us.
And I think that I'll leave this movie here, alone and (hopefully) forgotten. Maybe one day I'll find the way to get my time back, or just thee opportunity to ask Barker (or King) what crossed his mind when making this movie (or complimenting Barker).
How about you? Have you watched this movie? What have you taken from it? And what have you learned?
* I can't say that I like King's terminology, but it is a topic for another post, for another day.