The stars of the Hellraiser movies have never been the hedonistic humans who get their mitts on the Lament Configuration. No, the real stars of the show are Pinhead and his demonic posse, the Cenobites. This is something the Hellraiser 2022 cast is clearly aware of because, according to director David Bruckner, they helped design the monsters.
“There’s so much you can do in the Hellraiser world,” he told Screen Rant. “Cenobites as a concept are just such incredible movie monsters. We really enjoyed focusing on their human qualities and thinking about the human body augmented and how far you can push that in different directions.”
“We tried to give each of them a personality that was a combination of the stories as revealed in their designs, but also what each of the actors brought to them,” he continued. “One of the great things about doing practical work is that you’re there on the ground.”
“It’s everybody’s having an experience together, and the limitations that you face become things that you pull from, and you use,” he finished. “Just like the way Jamie was fighting the voice in the throat, for some of the other Cenobites’ movement was tricky. We found ways to use that in strange ways, and it’s just a testament to the virtues and the pain of working practically.”
Bruckner worked hard to ensure his horror movie was as practical as possible. “Every puzzle box is practical, and every Cenobite is practical. We had a very practical approach to the film that’s in keeping with the franchise, but there was VFX augmentation,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “There were moments where we leaned into digital, but we tried to be very, very judicious as to when that would happen.”
“In horror especially, CGI can really pull you out of the experience. You really need that extra 10 per cent of belief when you’re watching something to really ingest the anxiety and the fear of a particular image. Your lizard brain has to believe, so to speak.”
Hellraiser hits the streaming service Hulu on October 7 in the US, but there’s no UK release date right now because we can’t have nice things, apparently. Anyway, if you like a good scare, check out our list of the best ghost movies.