How do you watch the Hellraiser movies in order? Few horror franchises are as iconic or well known as the pleasurable gore fest that is Hellraiser. Based on Clive Barker’s novella, The Hellbound Heart, the IP has gifted us with plenty of kills, iconic monsters, and gruesome gateways to Hell.
However, with 11 horror movies in the series, including Hellraiser (2022) which introduced another new timeline, it can be tricky figuring out where to start your movie marathon. And trust us, you will want to get the full picture when it comes to Hellraiser. Telling the story of the mysterious Lament Configuration, the franchise details the consequences of solving puzzles and chasing after perverted pleasures. From Labyrinths in Hell, Pillars of Souls, split entries, and timeskips, Hellraiser is full of lore that, if not watched in the correct order, can leave you baffled.
While the first four Hellraiser movies are numbered, the rest of the entries in the franchise aren’t labelled, and can be as confusing as solving a deadly puzzle box. Luckily The Digital Fix is here to help you make sense of it all before your movie night. Here is how to watch the Hellraiser movies in order. Warning spoilers ahead!
How to watch the Hellraiser movies in order:
- Hellbound: Hellraiser II
- Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
- Hellraiser IV: Bloodline
- Hellraiser: Inferno
- Hellraiser: Hellseeker
- Hellraiser: Deader
- Hellraiser: Hellworld
- Hellraiser: Revelations
- Hellraiser: Judgement
- Hellraiser (2022)
Directed by the big man himself, Clive Barker, the first Hellraiser movie ever released is the go-to start for the timeline. Here we are introduced to the Cenobites, the famous Pinhead, portals and the mysterious Lament Configuration. In short, it introduces everything you need to know about the Hellraiser universe on a silver platter.
In the fantasy movie, Frank finds a mysterious puzzle box which turns out to be a device that summons sadomasochist beings, whose idea of ‘extreme pleasure’ is pretty questionable. After Frank falls victim to the puzzle box, his brother Larry moves into the old family house along with his wife Julia and daughter Kirsty.
Some murder and betrayal kick-off. Luckily, Kirsty manages to escape the Cenobites, but before she can destroy the puzzle box, a demonic entity saves the deadly portal…meaning more action is bound to happen.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Kirsty is back for this body horror movie sequel but not having the best time, if we are honest. She has been committed to a psychiatric hospital, which is pretty understandable given what she went through in the first thriller movie. However, bad luck strikes poor Kirsty again as her doctor, Dr Channard, turns out to be obsessed with the supernatural.
The Cenobites are summoned once again along with Julia – remember, she was Larry’s wife from the first movie (and also Frank’s lover). Julia seduces Mr bad doctor and gets him all excited to explore the Labyrinth of Hell. We also get more information into Pinhead’s backstory, which will come into play in the next film.
The movie ends with a giant pillar – known as The Pillar of Souls – being birthed out of a mattress, which again will be brought up in the next flick on our list…pretty standard Hellraiser stuff, right?
Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth (1992)
Pinhead has been split into two entities after discovering his past identity as the human Captain Elliot Spencer. The Pillar of Souls from that mattress we mentioned earlier, which just so happens to hold the trapped Pinhead entity, is bought by an owner of a nightclub, The Boiler Room. What could go wrong?!
Well, firstly, a teenage girl gets impaled by hooks, causing the reporter Joey to investigate the mysterious puzzle box, which is said to have been causing all the issues. The Pillar of Souls continues to kill people, sucking their life forces so Pinhead can free himself, which ultimately he does.
However, Joey manages to fuse Spencer and Pinhead back together and sends him to Hell. She then buries the Lament Configuration at a construction site. But as we all know, you can’t keep the ultimate pleasure at bay in Barker’s franchise.
Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (1996)
Bloodline is the last Hellraiser movie to receive a big theatrical release and focuses more on the origin of the Lament Configuration. Ok, now let’s get ready for some time jumps and a pretty confusing storyline because, in this science fiction movie, we go from 1796 in France all the way up to the year 2127. That’s right, in this Hellraiser movie, Pinhead goes to space.
At the end of the third movie, remember how the Lament Configuration was thrown into that construction site? Well, a building that had the same aesthetic as the puzzle box was built there in the ’90s. Who built it? Well, it was the ancestor of the guy who first built the Lament Configuration, and guess what? That guy was also related to Paul Merchant, who just so happens to be the one who lets loose Pinhead in a space station in 2127.
Luckily, at the end of the movie, Pinhead is officially killed when the station turns into a massive box thanks to a field of perpetual light after Merchant activates the Elysium Configuration – which is basically the anti-Lament Configuration device. Still with us? Good.
Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)
Ok, so here is the thing: while you can say that Hellraiser: Hellseeker is technically more fitting as the next chronological entry – as it features the final appearance of Ashley Laurence as Kristy – Inferno, is a good introduction to how separated the franchise is from this point on. Inferno, like the rest of the Hellraiser movies left in the IP, is more of a stand-alone ghost movie.
The puzzle box is found by the corrupt cop, Thorne, and some murders and hallucinations start to run his life. Pinhead is back…well, kinda, as he is using the Lament Configuration as a portal between the realms of the dead and the living to communicate and torture Thorne.
At the end of the day, Inferno is a fun psychological drama movie. It also lets us know that Pinhead is back, alive and kicking in the series – despite what Bloodline did to our fav sadomasochist slasher.
Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)
Hellseeker is another fun (albeit hokey) stand-alone movie that sees Kirsty and Pinhead reunite once again.
Now. Let’s get this straight, Hellseeker didn’t make it into the timeline before Bloodline because it barely makes any references to the events of the prior movies, and it ignores most of the built-up lore from the first four movies altogether. In short, its canon status is questionable at best, and it should be seen more as a stand-alone entry.
It tells the story of Kirsty and her husband Trevor, who have a car accident. Cue some more hallucinations, a surprising revenge plot, and Kristy makes a deal with Pinhead, signing over souls to the cenobite leader.
Hellraiser: Deader (2005)
Hellraiser: Deader is for all you fans of Pinhead and creepy cults. However, with only 13% on Rotten Tomatoes, even if cults are your thing, this may be one to miss. Like Inferno and Hellseaker, Deader is an unrelated, stand-alone movie. So, yeah, skip it if you like.
If you are curious about it, though, the movie follows the reporter Amy Klein as she is sent to investigate a compound after witnessing a videotape of a ritualistic murder. It turns out cult members are being reanimated, Pinhead is back, and Amy is thrown into a nightmare scenario. If you do decide to brave Deader, be warned it is a pretty bleak watch.
Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)
Hellworld was the last Hellraiser movie to feature Doug Bradley as Pinhead, and with that fact paired with an imaginative plot, it is an entry you have to see at least once in your lifetime. It also features the likes of a young Henry Cavil from The Witcher fame, so yeah, at least worth one watch, friends.
This film revolves around a group of people who have become obsessed with the online game called Hellworld. One youth is actually so into the game that he kills himself in order to offer his soul to Pinhead (yikes). Anyway, the rest of the gang end up invited to a private Hellworld party in a mansion, and soon, the Cenobites are hunting them. Here is another stand-alone 2000s movie, so again its place in the timeline isn’t a massive issue; come your movie marathon night.
Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)
People need to stop solving puzzles, stat! In Revelations, two friends, Steven and Nico, run away from home and travel to Mexico. However, the two disappear with their belongings returned to their parents. Among their recovered stuff is a video recording showing a very familiar ornate puzzle box.
One year later, Emma, Steven’s sister, does some digging and uncovers the truth about the two men’s events and encounters with the Cenobites. Revelations is packed with twisted sex, and erotism, so if that element plus plenty of gore is your favourite thing when it comes to the Hellraiser franchise, this entry will be right up your street.
Otherwise, again here is a stand-alone entry that doesn’t offer much in terms of the lore or mythology of the series. It’s up to you if you want to watch it or not.
Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)
While it never got a theatrical release date, Hellraiser: Judgment is easily one of the best Hellraiser movies following the original four. It also adds some exciting new lore to the franchise as Pinhead and the Cenobites must learn and adapt their soul harvesting methods to contend with advancing technology.
Two brothers are investigating a serial killer, whose crimes resemble the ten commandments. As expected, their case leads them to Hell, and soon hallucinations, Cenobites, and more murder is on the table. Judgement may not be impressive on a production level, but it is a story that brings some new ideas to the IP, and for that, we give it extra points and our recommendation to horror fans.
Hellraiser (2022) is a reboot, directed by David Brucker and produced by Clive Barker. It is a new adaptation of the 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart – meaning that it technically replaces the first Hellraiser film in the timeline.
The movie doesn’t follow the original ’80s movie plot perfectly, though. The suburban setting is gone and instead, big apartment blocks and fancy houses are the order of the day. There’s another set of protagonists, and Pinhead (played by Jamie Clayton) is back and better than ever.
For more horror guides, check out how to watch the Halloween movies, The Conjuring movies, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre timeline. We’ve also got a list of all the new movies coming out in 2023 for you to enjoy.