A complete departure from the continuing narrative of the first two films, this film finds Pinhead wreaking havoc on the streets of urban America with a whole new batch of demonic Cenobites.
The grisly premise sees Pinhead (Doug Bradley) convincing a slightly insane club owner, J.P, to kill all the young ladies he sleeps with and then allow Pinhead to have their blood. The film's heroine is a feisty TV reporter played by Terri Farrell who investigates these seemingly unconnected murders.
The film suffers by comparison to its predecessors, it lacks the sophistication and gothic horror that they conjured. The settings of Hellraiser 1/2 were an old stately Home and an Asylum respectively, these gave the viewer a sense of claustrophobia. Also, by relocating to America the film loses something of what made the stories unique, their Britishness. Perhaps this was the point, to make the problem of the Cenobites a universal one, however setting the film in Iran or Mozambique would have given this idea more resonance. By moving the horror to the US of A we have another gory slasher, Pinhead is reduced to one of many boogeymen doing his rounds.
The acting isn't very good and the direction seems sloppy. However, it is better than a lot of horror films, it should have been much better judging by the franchise's history.
As my teacher used to say 'it's a slippery slope, lads' and this horror franchise seems to on one judging by this mess. It will disappoint fans of the first two films. Doug Bradley deserves better.