Well, Hellraiser fans have been eagerly awaiting 2022’s entry in the long-running franchise and are hoping it’s a return to form for a horror movie series that has had its ups and downs. David Bruckner’s new movie, out now on Hulu, has a reimagined version of Pinhead, played by Jamie Clayton.
Hellraiser (2022) stars Odessa A’Zion as Riley, a young woman struggling with addiction. She lives with her brother Matt (Brandon Flynn), his boyfriend Colin (Adam Faison) and their roommate Nora (Aoife Hinds). One night, Riley’s boyfriend Trevor (Drew Starkey) convinces Riley to crack a safe in an abandoned warehouse, as he believes that there must be something valuable inside.
But – guess what – it’s the puzzle box known in the series as the Lament Configuration. Matt later finds Riley with the box, a blade comes out of it and stabs his hand, then he disappears. The rest of the movie sees Riley, Colin, Trevor and Nora trying to find out more about the box, and trying to track down Matt. Goran Visnjic also stars, as the villainous billionaire Roland Voight, and the gang’s quest leads them to his abandoned mansion. Once they enter the mansion, things get confusing, so let us take you through the final act of the movie here. Spoilers are clearly ahead for the ending of Hellraiser (2022)! Enter at your own peril.
Hellraiser (2022) ending explained
Firstly, it’s important to know that the puzzle box in this Hellraiser has six configurations: Lament (Life), Lore (Knowledge), Lauderant (Love), Liminal (Sensation), Lazarus (Resurrection) and Leviathan.
It’s also useful to know who the different Cenobites are: of course there’s Pinhead AKA The Priest (Jamie Clayton), then there’s The Weeper, The Gasp, The Asphyx, The Mother, The Masque, and everyone’s favourite – The Chatterer.
The big twist of Bruckner’s new monster movie comes at around one hour and 20 minutes in, when we discover that Riley’s boyfriend Trevor (Drew Starkey) has been in cahoots with Voight (Goran Visnjic) this whole time. Voight has paid Trevor to find victims to ‘feed’ him, hoping that this will lead to him being freed of his painful existence.
Shortly after this, Riley (Odessa A’Zion) and Colin (Adam Faison) make the decision to let one of the Cenobites (who we presume is The Asphyx) in to the Voight mansion, in the hope they can use its blood to get to the next configuration instead of having to sacrifice one of their own. Riley has already lost her brother Matt (Brandon Flynn) and roommate Nora (Aoife Hinds) by this stage, and doesn’t want to sacrifice either Colin or Trevor (who she doesn’t know is a traitor).
But Riley drops the puzzle box, and Colin can’t find it. This is because Voight has picked it up and he stabs Colin in the stomach with it, giving him a nice long slice. This is the first time that Riley has seen Voight in the flesh – and what flesh it is.
Voight has the previous puzzle box – in its Liminal Configuration – shoved through his entire chest, in place of his heart and lungs – and it’s keeping him alive. Riley discovers Trevor’s treachery, and Colin helpfully asks; “what is that? What the fuck is happening?” leading Voight to do some exposition. He explains that “I chose Liminal, I chose sensation” but the Cenobites’ tastes were not what he imagined.
Riley is most interested in the Lazarus Configuration, believing it will bring her brother Matt back. Voight explains that whatever the Cenobites promise, all they have to give is pain. Colin tries to escape, but is trapped by The Gasp (Selina Lo), who begins to torture him.
Riley lets Pinhead AKA The Priest (Jamie Clayton) and some of the other Cenobites into the cage that Voight believes he is safe in. Voight begs The Priest to take the box out of his chest and let him die. She tells him that there’s no retreat, once a threshold has been crossed. “Gifts cannot be ungiven, only exchanges can be made…For your efforts, we offer you the Leviathan Configuration.”
Meanwhile, Riley is begging The Gasp to leave Colin alone. Riley stabs Trevor with her puzzle box, which is the final blood tribute it needs. This causes Voight’s box to disintegrate and fall out of his chest, and his organs re-grow, healing him. Only for the hole to immediately reappear, thanks to an enormously thick chain which is launched through his body and lifts him up. The Priest has “such sights to show” him (the crowd goes wild). Voight ascends further and further up, while Trevor is dropped into a pit – perhaps suggesting that one is going to Heaven and one to Hell – although surely that’s all the same when the Cenobites are in charge?
The Priest asks Riley what she wants from them, and Matt appears saying “Riley, take me home” but Riley knows that nothing good can come from the Cenobites, so she says she wants nothing. The Priest says that she will live a bitter life, full of regret – “you have chosen the Lament Configuration.” The box returns to its original cubic form, Riley puts it down on the floor of Voight’s mansion, and the Cenobites disappear.
Riley and Colin leave. Colin asks her if she made the right choice, and Riley doesn’t answer. We see Voight in what looks like angelic form, in what looks like Heaven. His skin is stripped away and pins are stuck in him – turning him into a Cenobite. But maybe not just any Cenobite – maybe the King of the Cenobites – Leviathan himself…