It is easy to forget that Pinhead — originally credited as “Lead Cenobite” in Hellraiser before the nickname stuck — is not really the true antagonist of the original masterfully macabre supernatural classic from 1987. However, putting the ghostly-faced, sadomasochistic, extra-dimensional entity on the poster is what made the film a franchise-spawning success, and the character one of the most recognizable horror movie icons of all time.
Well, pleasure-seekers, it looks like Pinhead is coming back in a way you have never seen the villain before and in a whole new version of the story that is coming exclusively to Hulu in 2022. One of the most anticipated upcoming horror movies promises to “have such sights to show you,” but, for now, we will let you in on what we already do know about the new Hellraiser movie — starting with when the Cenobites will be summoned again.
Hellraiser Premieres On Hulu On October 7
The last time a Hellraiser movie came out was actually not too long ago. In 2018, the ninth installment of the franchise, Hellraiser: Judgment, was released straight to video. However, this latest film will be the first to premiere as a streaming exclusive.
Just in time for the Halloween season, Hellraiser is set to drop on Hulu on October 7, 2022. The premiere event is part of the digital platform’s annual celebration of the best horror movies of all time and the holiday in general, called “Huluween.”
Hellraiser Is A Reimagining Of Clive Barker’s Original Classic
What makes the original Hellraiser movie — also the directorial debut of the legendary Clive Barker — such a timeless classic of the horror genre is its refreshingly unique and unusually romantic main plot. Based on Barker’s novella, The Hellbound Heart, it follows a woman (Clare Higgins) who discovers the partially reformed body of her dead lover and brother-in-law (a role shared by Sean Chapman with Oliver Smith under heavy prosthetics) and turns to murder to help him achieve full resurrection. When her stepdaughter (Ashley Laurence) discovers what is happening, she must contend with a group of frightening demonic beings — led by the one eventually known as “Pinhead” — who have been pursuing her uncle since he summoned them with a mysterious puzzle box.
Hulu’s new Hellraiser movie — for which Barker also returns as a producer — takes things in a new direction. This time, the one summoning the Cenobites is a woman struggling with addiction who has no idea what sights she will be shown when she comes into possession of the Lament Configuration, which is the official name for the very same puzzle box from the original story. The plot is not the only major change to the story that this reimagining has in store.
The Hellraiser Cast Features Jamie Clayton As Pinhead
Doug Bradley became an instant horror icon by originating the role of Pinhead and reprising him six times before Stephan Smith Collins took over for 2011’s Hellraiser: Revelations and Paul T. Taylor stepped in most recently. Making history as the first transgender woman to play the role in Hulu’s new film is Jamie Clayton, who teased her transformation into the classic character nearly a year ago on Instagram, and whose “pinned up” looked was first shown in a 15-second trailer released in August.
Best known from Netflix’s sci-fi series Sense8 and Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q, this will not be her first time tackling the horror genre, having made her feature film debut in Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon, appearing in the 2019 thriller Chain of Death, and starring alongside Susan Sarandon and more in HBO Max’s cancelled pilot for Red Bird Lane.
Also confirmed to appear in the Hellraiser cast are Odessa A’zion from Netflix’s Grand Army, Adam Faison from Hulu’s Into the Dark installment, Midnight Kiss, Outer Banks cast member Drew Starkey, Brandon Flynn (from another recent reimagining of a classic villain called Ratched), and Normal People star Aoife Hinds. Jason Liles (who played George in Rampage) also stars, alongside Yinka Olorunnife (who played a ghost in 2019’s Stephen King-inspired short Willa), Selina Lo from Hulu’s Boss Level, Halo cast member Zachary Hing, Kit Clarke from Netflix’s Get Even, former ER star Goran Visnjic, and Hiam Abbass from HBO’s Succession. None of the cast members listed above, save Clayton, have had a specific character officially attributed to them yet.
David Bruckner Directs Hellraiser
Taking over the helming of a Hellraiser movie is no small feat, knowing that hordes of horror fans will be counting on you to deliver the greatest pleasure (and pain) possible. Luckily, Hulu’s reimagining has chosen someone with a pretty good track record in the genre.
The director of the new Hellraiser is David Bruckner, who started out directing segments for anthology horror movies The Signal from 2007, 2012’s V/H/S (also a great found footage thriller, for which he helmed the most terrifying story, in my opinion) and Southbound in 2015. Two years later saw the release of his first solo outing with the Netflix original horror movie, The Ritual, which he followed by helming two episodes of Shudder’s own anthology TV show spun-off from George A. Romero’s Creepshow in 2019. Bruckner scored his most acclaimed, high profile hit yet with the Rebecca Hall-led The Night House, which was considered among the best horror movies from 2021 by many.
Ben Collins And Luke Piotrowski Wrote The Screenplay For Hellraiser
The screenwriters behind Hulu’s Hellraiser are also no strangers to horror and, furthermore, are frequent collaborators of director David Bruckner. In fact, Ben Collins and his writing partner, Luke Piotrowski, made their feature-length film debut penning 2016’s Siren — which was inspired by Bruckner’s V/H/S segment, “Amateur Night” — and later reunited with him to co-write and executive produce The Night House.
Their second feature-length effort was an original thriller (in either sense of the phrase) called Super Dark Times from 2017, which they followed with the Akiva Goldsmith-directed haunted house flick, Stephanie, the same year. Collins and Piotrowski have written another film that is currently in pre-production — The Sisters of Samhain, which, according to Deadline, will also reunite them with Siren director Gregg Bishop.
Producer David S. Goyer Wrote The Story For Hellraiser
Hellraiser will also mark a reunion for David Bruckner, Ben Collins, and Luke Piotrowski with fellow The Night House producers David S. Goyer and Keith Levine and consulting producer Todd Williams. Goyer (who also recently co-developed Netflix’s adaptation of The Sandman) wrote the story for the new Hulu film and also produced it alongside Levine, who was also a producer on MTV’s Scream: The Series and even worked as a production manager on 2018’s Hellraiser: Judgment.
Marc Toberoff (an executive producer of another Hulu original franchise revival, Prey) also has a producer’s credit. Listed as executive producers alongside Williams are Gary Barber and Peter Oillataguerre, who both recently produced the fifth Scream movie and are currently backing the upcoming sixth installment. Serving as co-producers are Chris Stone (also a production manager for Scream: The Series) and Gracie Wheelan, who perviously worked with Goyer on the Spotify original podcast, Batman Unburied.
I will admit that, as much as I enjoy the original Hellraiser, I cannot call myself a fan of the sequels that followed. However, with a whole new take on its flagship antagonist, one of the most talented horror directors at the helm, and all the talent involved, this new Hulu exclusive reboot just might raise the right amount of hell.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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