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All the Cenobites from Hellraiser ranked

We've been through every Cenobite in all of the eight or so Hellraiser movies and ranked each of these devilish characters for your pleasure.

Hellraiser cenobites ranked: Pinhead

Summoned by those brave, or foolish, enough to solve the Lament Configuration, the Cenobites are angels to some and demons to others, servants of The Leviathan, the Lord of Hell. First introduced in Clive Barker’s book The Hellbound Heart, these monsters are probably best known for their appearance in the Hellraiser horror movie franchise.

Over the course of ten horror movies, countless comic books, and different stories, a number of different Cenobites have been introduced. These theologians of pain share a few common attributes, they all wear black leather, adore causing pleasure and pain (there’s no difference to them), and they all love a piercing or two. Despite this, though, there’s a lot of variation between these hell-bound horrors, so we thought it’d be fun to rank them.

To do so, we’ve both been delighted by the pleasures of the first two films and slowly been sucked into hell as the franchise goes on, and we endure the pain of the straight-to-DVD sequels. But to paraphrase another horror series that also goes off the deep end, it’s all for you, dear reader! So enjoy our ranking of all the Cenobites from across the Hellraiser movies.

All the Cenobites ranked from worst to best: 

  • Pinhead Knock-off
  • Bound 2
  • Bound
  • Barbie
  •  Stitch
  • The Mother
  • Camerahead
  • Little Sister
  • Wire Twins
  • Conjoined Twins
  • Pistonhead
  • The Masque
  • Surgeon
  • The Doctor
  • The Asphyx
  • Angelique
  • CD
  • Dreamer
  • The Gasp
  • The Weeper
  • Female Cenobite
  • Pinhead (2022)
  • Chatterer
  • Pinhead
  • Butterball

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Pseudo Pinhead

Pinhead knock off

What even is this? This looks exactly how teen edge lords would design Pinhead, pushing everything to the extreme to the point it falls off the mountain of fear and into the dreaded valley of goofiness.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Bound 2

Bound 2

Bound 2? Seriously? Bound 2 is on this list by virtue of being a live-action Cenobite, and that’s about it. There are comic book Cenobites I like more than Bound 2 — and that’s saying something.

Bound is what happens when a scriptwriter forgets to remove a Cenobite placeholder from their draft screenplay. Bound 2 is what happens when that same screenwriter cared so little about forgetting to remove that placeholder that they rip off their own lazy design.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Bound


The fact it took so long to name a Cenobite after the B in BDSM proves that Clive Barker was actively trying to avoid the obvious.

Bound’s saved from the lowest ranking by virtue of being a female Cenobite and also because you have to rank the original higher than its photocopied duplicate.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Barbie


Barbie ranks higher than Bound on this list despite essentially being exactly the same design because of his name. It honestly took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that this mangled mess of meat was named Barbie, not after the popular children’s toy but because its eyes are wrapped in barbed wire. I guess if I were a Cenobite, I’d be called Pointless because I miss the point a lot, and points are spiky… you get the joke.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Stitch


The only Stitch this page recognizes is the Disney movie one that hangs out with Lilo in Hawaii. I still like her more than Bound, though…

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: The Mother

The Mother

The Mother’s looks like the ghost from The Woman in Black if she’d been fed through a blender, which is a pretty cool aesthetic, although not one we’re keen to try and replicate. Unfortunately, we barely see anything of this particular Cenobite, so it’s impossible to rank her any higher than this.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked:: Camerahead


Camerahead is such a forgettable Cenobite that for the longest time, I was calling him “Videohead” in this article. I only realized his real name while checking to see if I’d missed any of the bazillion sex pervert monsters that fill this franchise.

Still, he gets points for being weird, at least, and he can kill people with his camera, which is nice. I also like his mustache. It makes me think of other Cenobites who might be improved by the addition of a mustache.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Little Sister

Little Sister

Little Sister has a face like a well-used bar of soap and is basically a worse version of the Wire Twins. What, you don’t know who the Wire Twins are? Well, keep reading…

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Wire twins

Wire Twins

The Wire Twins look like someone wearing a sexy Voldemort costume for Halloween, and as such, I cannot take them seriously. Still, they hang out with a Chatterer rip-off, which is something.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Twins

Conjoined Twins

The Conjoined Twins were introduced in Hellraiser: Bloodlines and were originally, and this may come as a shock, twin brothers Mark and Michael Norrington.

I’ve ranked them quite low on this list because, while I like how they remind me of the burned remains MacReady finds in The Thing while exploring the burned Norwegian base, I hate how the little flesh loop that connects them reminds me of Turkey Twizzlers — a disgusting British foodstuff. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, count yourself lucky…

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Pistonhead


Pistonhead looks like he was rejected by the Garbage Pail Kids for being too ugly, and if you know anything about the Garbage Pail Kids, you’ll appreciate how ugly that makes him.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: The Masque

The Masque

The Masque reminds me of Lady Cassandra, that weird piece of skin who plagued the Ninth and Tenth Doctors back in the day and is a really impressive-looking beast who’s clearly inspired by Frank Cotton’s cruel death at the end of the original Hellraiser.

Unfortuantely, while The Masque’s design is awe-inspiring, he’s not the most memorable of the reimagined Cenobites, so we’re not putting him any higher.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Surgeon


Now we’re talking. Finally, we get to the really good Cenobites. The Surgeon looks like the bastard child of Voldo and Karl Ruprecht Kroenen, who then got sent to an over-enthusiastic orthodontist.

The result is a terrifying creature with a permanent sneer. His existence also lends credibility to my fan theory that all dentists became Cenobites. Still, he’s basically a worse version of The Doctor, which leads me on to…

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked:: Doctor

The Doctor

It may be Hellraiser sacrilege to put The Doctor, aka Dr Channard, so low on this list, but there’s something about this Cenobite I just don’t like as much as others. I think the general idea of seeing a human tortured, flayed, and eventually puréed before they’re poured into the black leather apron of a Cenobite is a cool idea.

Unfortunately, I think the general design is a bit bland for my tastes; he’s just a grey guy with medical tools for fingers. I like when The Leviathan latches on to his head with its lamprey-like appendage and starts using him as a murderous marionette, but that’s about it.

I think, though, my biggest problem with The Doctor is how he disposes of the original quartet of Cenobites so easily. It feels like swapping some shiny Pokemon cards for a bin bag full of chips; it just doesn’t make sense.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: The Asphyx

The Asphyx

The Asphyx isn’t my favorite Cenobite, but as a claustrophobe, the idea of spending eternity with my head wrapped in a towel made of my own skin sounds like Hell on Earth, so I’ve ranked her highly out of pity.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Angelique


Angelique is an interesting Cenobite. Unlike all the others who are humans transformed by the various tortures of hell into servants of the Leviathan, Angelique is an out-and-out demon. Well, sort of. She started life as a demon who possessed the corpse of a woman, who was then turned into a Cenobite by Pinhead.

Angelique’s unique backstory and exposed skull make her one of the more interesting Cenobites to come from beyond the original four movies. Unfortunately, she’s also in Hellraiser 4, which is basically ‘Cenobites in Space’, and I can’t abide it.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: CD


CD is the subject of serious discourse in the two Hellraiser group chats I’m in (one wasn’t enough to contain the boys and me on the quest for ultimate pleasure). I know people who genuinely think he’s one of the more interesting Cenobites, and I agree in a kitsch kind of way.

With his goofy mouth, stupid mask, and weird electronic noises, he’s a fun design, plus he lives up to his namesake and throws CDs like shuriken. Despite that, I’m not ranking him higher, partly out of spite and partly because goofiness alone does not make a Cenobite.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked:Dreamer


Dreamer is far and away the best Cenobite introduced in Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth. Unlike Pistonhead, CD, Camerahead (or is it Videohead?), and Barbie, she looks like something from the first two films.

It’s a relatively subtle piece of design work, and that makes it all the creepier. Also, like the Female Cenobite, she’s got her throat torn open, but for some reason, she’s got a cigarette in hers. Each to their own, I guess, but remember, smoking kills more people than the Cenobites.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: The Gasp

The Gasp

I absolutely love the design of The Gasp. It’s a bit derivative of the Female Cenobite, so we’re not going to rank it higher than her, but I mean, look at this beautiful creature. It’s weird, it’s gruesome, it’s perhaps vaguely sexual, it’s everything Clive Barker envisioned the Cenobites being.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: The Weeper

The Weeper

Dear lord, The Weeper’s very existence is enough to convince you that there is no God. At first glance, this disturbing monstrosity with its pitch-black eyes and neatly sliced flesh looks like something that crawled out of a nightmare Stephen King once had, but it gets so much worse when you notice that its eyes are wet with tears.

Why’s it crying? Does it remember the human it used to be? Is it in pain? Or are those tears of joy that it’s found a new plaything? It doesn’t bear thinking about…

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked:: Female Cenobite

Female Cenobite

A superb piece of design, the Female Cenobite, has the goriest design of the original quartet of Hell Priests. The most notable part of her design is, of course, that her throat has been slashed open, exposing the meat beneath, and then wire has been sewn through the wound, preventing it from closing.

Creepy as this is, it’s not my favourite thing about the way she looks. I really like her hair, or what’s left of her hair, at least. She’s got these wispy thin strands that hint she was once a normal woman and not a callous agent of The Leviathan. I’d have ranked her higher if it wasn’t for one thing: she doesn’t really talk, which is a shame because, in the book, she’s the leader of this particular Gash instead of Pinhead.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Pinhead (2022)

Pinhead (2022)

While I love the original Hellraiser movie, Barker was forced to make more than a few compromises to bring his novella to the big screen. The biggest difference from the book is the way the Cenobites look. In the book, they’re presented as androgynous beings who cloak themselves in the ruins of their own flesh. For the ’87 film, they were given a more S&M-inspired look, presumably to make them more intimidating (and because it was cheaper).

With Hulu paying for the effects in the new movie, though, the creatures who crawled out of Barker’s imagination were finally given form, and that’s best exemplified by the new Pinhead. The decision to cast Jamie Clayton was inspired, and she lends this new incarnation of the Leviathan’s most faithful servant an otherworldly presence and mystique that separates her from Doug Bradley’s more vicious and cruel take on the character.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked:: Chatterer

Chatterer and every variation of him

Of the original four Cenobites introduced in Hellraiser, Chatterer clearly left the biggest impression on viewers outside of Pinhead himself. He’s horrifically scarred, missing his eyes, and has his mouth wired open. All he does in the original movie, as his name suggests, is chatter his exposed teeth and serve as Pinhead’s mute muscle, but he’s easily the most prolific Cenobite aide from Pinhead.

I totally understand why. He’s one freaky-looking Cenobite, and I’d probably have ranked him higher if his design hadn’t been ripped off in almost every other bloody Hellraiser movie. Seriously, we’ve had Chatterer I-III, a female Chatterer, a dog Chatterer, a Chatterer (2022) and even half a Chatterer. We get it. He’s cool-looking. Go make something else!

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Pinhead


What can you say about this icon that’s not been said before? I remember the first time I ever saw Pinhead. He was on the cover of a VHS box in Blockbuster. Being far too young to rent Hellraiser, I didn’t pick up Clive Barker’s magnum opus (if memory serves, I opted for Dumb and Dumber), but the cover alone left an impression on me.

With his head full of pins, a lattice of facial scars, and cold dark eyes, I’ve always thought he was impeccably designed, especially when you consider he was done on a budget of about 12 pennies (I’m rounding up).

Beyond his incredible appearance, The Dark Prince of Pain has a huge advantage over his callously cruel colleagues: he can talk. While Cenobites all share the same goal of dragging humans to the Leviathan, it’s Pinhead who serves as his ambassador and proxy, essentially giving him a motive the mute cenobites lack.

Back when I first saw that Hellraiser VHS, I presumed Pinhead was a slasher villain in the vein of Jason or Freddy Kreuger. It was only when I watched the film that I realized how wrong I was. He’s neither angel nor demon. He’s simply Pinhead, an envoy of experience who functions less as the antagonist and more as the McGuffin that Frank and Kirtsy desperately want to avoid.

Unfortunately, the nuance in Pinhead’s character was lost over the years, and later movies make him more of a bloodthirsty figure, dumbing down the initial concept, which is why I can’t put him in the number one spot.

Hellraiser Cenobites ranked: Butterball


Oh, my beautiful baby boy. I adore the design of Butterball. It’s just so odd. Of the original four Cenobites, he’s arguably the least gruesome but easily the oddest. With his sallow, greasy skin, folds of fat, and a tiny pair of sunglasses, he could almost pass for a human. Almost being the keyword, there’s something indefinably off about him. He looks like the meat sweats made flesh.

Perhaps the reason I like him so much is how he represents a different type of excess from his demonic brothers and sisters. They’re all occult sex and impossible viscera; Butterball looks like he spent his time in Hell at the buffet eating unholy sausage rolls, which is exactly where I’d be if I ever solved the Lament Configuration.

He also has one advantage over his boss; when he dies in Hellbound: Hellraiser 2, he stays dead, not suffering the motive decay and overexposure of Pinhead and Chatterer. Rest in peace, my gluttonous friend. You were too greasy for this cruel world.

If you are keen on horror, you can read our Hellraiser (2022) review. You can also check out all the new movies heading our way in 2023, like Fast and Furious 10, The Meg 2, and Indiana Jones 5.