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Horror remakes are nothing new, and neither is the backlash that welcomes each one that gets announced. But now for something completely different. Clive Barker is making his glorious return to screenwriting, and he signed on to pen the remake of the film that introduced his name to the masses, the 1987 sadomasochism party flick Hellraiser. It’s the film that gave birth to the iconic movie monster, Doug Bradley’s aptly named Pinhead. Excited yet? Because Barker is bringing Bradley back to play the leather-bound evil incarnate, making this one of the more unique remakes in recent years. And one for which I’d be willing to sacrifice a few unwitting neighbors.
The news actually came from Barker himself, via his Facebook page, which he promises will be the best place to find news of the project’s progress, because it’s all coming straight from the author himself. Take that, the rest of the media! So how did such an unlikely decision come together?
"A few weeks ago I had a very productive meeting with Bob Weinstein of Dimension Pictures," Barker wrote, "in the course of which I pitched a remake of the first Hellraiser film. The idea of my coming back to the original film and telling the story with a fresh intensity – honoring the structure and the designs from the first incarnation but hopefully creating an even darker and richer film – was attractive to Dimension." Heck yeah it was.
They’ve been trying for years to get a remake off the ground (or out of the attic, as it were), going so far as hiring writers a few years back. But there have been a slew of increasingly worse sequels that already served as examples of what outsiders do with the franchise. To have Barker back on board, essentially re-readapting his short story "The Hellbound Heart," was probably money-stacking music to Weinstein’s ears, so Barker was hired to write it. No word on a director just yet though.
As for Bradley’s inclusion, he says, "I told the Dimension team that in my opinion there could never be a Pinhead without Doug Bradley, and much to my delight Bob Weinstein agreed." It’s surprising to go back and watch the original film, noticing just how little screentime Pinhead gets, given how memorable the character is. And it’s great that the age of the character is of little importance. He last donned the pins for 2005’s forgettable Hellraiser: Hellworld, while Stephan Smith Collins took over the role for the even worse 2011 film Hellraiser: Revelations.
He also says the film will be opting for practical effects over CGI, which is yet another reason why this has now jumped to one of my more anticipated projects. After all, we haven’t been able to revel in the depravity of Barker adaptations in recent years, with the last one being 2009’s Dread. Luckily, he said once this remake is said and done, he'll be returning to the director's chair for a psychosexual project he's got cooked up.
Did you guys already break out the chains and puzzle boxes without me? That’s just mean. Here’s the original film’s trailer to show there are no hard feelings.