Surprise premiere of ‘Hellraiser’ bleeds all over Fantastic Fest

Hellraiser premieres at Fantastic Fest
Credit: Spyglass/Hulu

The hotly anticipated Hellraiser reboot is upon us, and fans lucky enough to be in attendance at Fantastic Fest were treated to the premiere of the upcoming Hulu exclusive film, and seems to have been received quite well by those in attendance. 

The film is filled with new frights and a newly-cast Jamie Clayton in the role of Pinhead commandeering her army of cenobites to terrorize victims in ways appropriate for 2022. In the Q&A session following the film, director David Bruckner discusses how social taboos such as BDSM which existed in the 1980s don’t necessarily apply in a modern age, and the challenge that presented in creating new cenobites and bringing back existing fan favorites. 

“And in exploring that we just felt like our attitudes on you know, that direct of a BDSM reference had kind of changed. You know, black leather in particular and that entire subculture, something that is not quite as transgressive as it was in the 80s. It’s now something that’s pretty above board. You know, we can talk about it, it’s the culture, the time, the communication. My mom’s reading Fifty Shades. Like, it’s just a different time.”

Bruckner also reflected on how the 2022 adaptation of the horror classic came to be – having previously worked with writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski on 2020’s The Night House. At the time, Bruckner had no knowledge of the aforementioned film is loosely based on a Hellraiser pitch the writers made back in 2012. 

“Ben and Luke never told me that it was loosely based on a Hellraiser pitch that they had made back in 2012. But of course, the themes throughout were certainly relevant in so many ways. And it started to come out when movie was done. I was like, that makes perfect fucking sense. And at the time, David Goyer had written treatment for Spyglass for Hellraiser. And they had come on and done a draft. And so I got the call jumped on April 2020. And we just dug into it, and it’s been Hellraiser since then.”

The original Hellraiser came out in 1987 and was directed by Clive Barker with Doug Bradley portraying the lead cenobite, Pinhead. Bradley recently shared his thoughts on the mantle of Pinhead being passed on to Jamie Clayton.

Pinhead is one of the most terrifying slasher villains of all time, and has the credentials to prove it, having topped our list of slasher villains with the highest body counts

Hellraiser is set to officially premiere at Beyond Fest on Oct. 4, with the terror hitting the general public on Hulu a few days later on Oct. 7.