Like many long running film series, the Hellraisers have not fared well in the hands of the system. Ever descending budgets tagged with studio disinterest and/or a cynicism that just exploits the title for meagre gains while the reputation spirals ever downwards.
However things are possibly looking up for Clive Barker’s creation with him on board with the HBO TV series and there’s still the oft mooted remake or reboot of the first film. In the meantime, we have Hellraiser: Revelations from 2011.

Mixing up with found footage we have two friends Nico (Jay Gillespie) and Steven (Nick Eversman) on a road trip to Tijuana seemingly bored of their privileged life, looking for some excitement. This they find in booze and prostitutes and managing to get their car stolen the find themselves with the box.

The film then cuts back to Steven’s sister Emma (Tracey Fairway) viewing the footage through a camera (getting very upset at the footage of her boyfriend Nico playing away with a hooker) at her parents’ home who are hosting a dinner party with Steven’s parents. It turns out that the boys have been missing for a while and they are naturally concerned. Emma also now has the box, interspersed with shots of Pinhead (Garret Dillahunt) and the Cenobites seemingly waiting in anticipation to get going. It’s very odd.

Told via flashback we learn that Nico is a selfish, privileged, unpleasant individual, Steven not quite so but he is complicit with Nico’s actions. Tempted by a vagrant (Daniel Buran) to take the box, Nico does opens it and the inevitable happens. Switching back to the family home (where all the cars have mysteriously disappeared) they are trapped and visited by the aforementioned vagrant and eventually Steven makes his way back to the family home to provide some questions and answers.

Hellraiser: Revelations harps back to the first couple of films for this entry, though to say too much would act as spoilers. Suffice to say they don’t really help the film that much as it has pretty much fallen apart by then anyway with angry teens and the revelations that the parents haven’t exactly been behaving themselves, leading to some major Alpha male behaviour.

There’s a lack of discipline in all areas of the production, that sits with the obvious lack of budget that director Victor Garcia had at his disposal evidenced by the sets and really quite shoddy lighting and effects.

The film badly misses the presence of Doug Bradley if only to give the film some gravitas and presence as Dillahunt hasn’t. He would however have been landed with the same lumpy script that through Steve’s rant in the house tries to make some social commentary about the safe lives of the rich and privileged having an adverse effect on their offspring leading them to revolt against their status. It’s clumsy and not at all convincing if that was the point of it.

All told the characters are cardboard though the players are fine working with what they have. It’s all a very scrappy in what is a very tired film series that is mercifully short at 75 minutes. The Blu-Ray doesn’t have any extra scenes or extras at all.

Hellraiser: Revelations is released on digital from 22 February and Blu-Ray and DVD on 1 March.