Before we even begin to dissect the latest outing from the Hellraiser franchise, we must first look to its writer and director, Gary J Tunnicliffe.
If ever there was a guy completely immersed in the world of Pinhead and his fellow cenobites it’s Tunnicliffe.
Having provided the make up effects for all the Hellraiser films since Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, Tunnicliffe has also written the previous instalment, written and directed the surprisingly decent short, No More Souls: One Last Slice of Sensation. Hell, he’s even played a cenobite in one of the movies.
Now he turns his attention to the director’s chair, which may have horror enthusiasts a little concerned due to the fact that he’s only really dealt with kid friendly films outside of Hellraiser.
But the very fact that he has been so integral to the look and feel of this world, would lead you to believe that he could very well be the man for the job…
However, as much as Judgement is his movie and the look and feel of it is actually quite beautiful and gloriously bloody in places, it never manages to lift itself from the straight-to-video Budget that we find ourselves.
Ignoring, (if at all possible) that Doug Bradley once again has been left in the darkest recesses of the Leviathan’s domain, never to be Pinhead again.
Instead, we’re left with Paul T. Taylor to take on the notorious role, and although he does an ample enough job, it just never feels right, and you’re left hungry for more as a result.
We are treated to a mere 15 seconds or so of Heather Langenkamp playing the landlady of one of the victims, but her presence is soon forgotten as we forced back into the somewhat rickety plot line.
Speaking of which, here is my main grief about this picture.
We’re treated to a fairly decent beginning, introduced to a character called The Auditor, (played by Tunnicliffe) as he goes around reaping the world of demented souls through a fairly grotesque and torturous process, much to the delight of fans no doubt.
The Auditor soon becomes secondary as we follow two brother detectives and a third female detective as they try and uncover who this serial killer is.
The more we deviate away from the sexual, violent, and depraved world of The Auditor, the cheaper and less authentic the film becomes.
Ever since we were introduced to Craig Sheffer’s Detective Joseph Thorne in Hellraiser: Inferno, it feels like filmmakers are compelled to include some downtrodden and beaten detective into the fold, as they try to uncover clues into the hidden world.
This feels to me like it’s completely missing the point of Clive Barker’s original creation.
Detailing people’s obsession with searching for the ultimate in satisfaction and pleasure; pushing themselves beyond the state of ecstasy into a world of no return.
It is this compulsive, addictive personality that is sadly lacking in these later films, and because of this, Pinhead feels more like a voyeur in his own land, and unable to enact the sheer desolation that sent chills to the bone from the original movie.
It’s a brave attempt to lure people back into the world we came to love, but Tunnicliffe’s vision starts with a good pulse, but whimpers out and dies as he drowns in the history of previous outings.
As a result, we’re forever shackled to the walls without ever feeling like we’ve had our souls torn apart.
Instead, like Pinhead throughout this movie, we’re left wallowing and yearning for the days of yore.
What does this mean to the genre as a whole? It can spell good news as the movie business see success and a money opportunity to exploit this genre to the bone.
This could mean an outpour of horrendous carbon copy movies that will grate to the bone, but it can’t be as bad as Amityville: The Awakening, Leatherface, or Jeepers Creepers 3 right?
But let’s not be too hasty on the negative-front. What does look promising is that we could very well get some fine horror films churning out over the coming years.
So with that in mind, the team stitched our collective minds together and come up with 18 of the most anticipated horror movies coming out that we would love to bring into the operating theatre and splice them wide open.
Directed by Alex Garland and starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Oscar Isaac looks off the dial.
The fact that it has been picked up by Netflix for a release some 17 days after its cinematic release has left some people scratching their heads as to whether or not this film has merit, but that’s old school thinking.
We at Surgeons see this at as a bold attempt at a streaming company to make their move onto the big arena.
If the trailer is anything to go by this film could be a massive hit and shape up the distribution method in a big way.
Some may instantly see comparisons with The Autopsy of Jane Doe with this one, but this story of a city cop fresh out of rehab, who takes up a role at the city hospital morgue, could very well be a trippy affair, where sanity is on the line.
You’d be remiss to neglect this one on the list. With the return of Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle in their respective roles, alongside the creative minds of David Gordon Green and Danny McBride, can we finally see Michael Myers rampaging his way that will delight and reignite the franchise once more?
The House With A Clock In Its Walls
Cate Blanchett and Jack Black lead the charge in Eli Roth’s latest feature about a young orphan and his magical uncle who go in search of a clock that could bring about the end of the world.
Could we see a return of fantasy horror on the big screen? Can Roth extend his bloody touch to go beyond the success of Green Inferno?
Whilst this has already been released in the States, the Surgeons team who are based in Australia, need to wait with eager anticipation for Elise Rainer and her team of ghost hunters to delve into the Further once more.
Early reports suggest that Lin Shaye continues to impress in her role, but that the franchise may have run its course. We’ll have to wait and see before we cast our thoughts on the latest addition to the franchise.
2015’s release of The Witch and its success may have reawakened that love of folk horror, which has been embedded in British culture with the likes of The Wicker Man, Witchfinder General, and Blood on Satan’s Claw, has some of our team intrigued by this latest offering.
Set in 1920’s Ireland, a twin brother and sister must endure a sinister presence with a strong hold over them that may result in turning them against one another with drastic circumstances.
Whether you like him or not Jason Statham has a habit of packing a punch when it comes to ‘balls to the wall, testosterone-fuelled action movies.
Now he must come face-to-face come face to face with a 70-foot shark.
“You’re gonna need a bigger air tank.”
The New Mutants
When Logan was released and with the success that followed, Marvel were then faced with the enterprise of a much darker world.
In steps, The New Mutants which sees Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Split) and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) among the imprisoned young mutants as they discover their new-found abilities and potential salvation.
Speaking of franchises, The Conjuringuniverse continues to expand and haunt in more delectable ways to terrify our souls with the much-anticipated return of Valak.
In this instance, Rome is our setting and Father Burke is sent to investigate the mysterious death of a nun. Burke played by Demian Bichir, who I hope is given more time to flex his acting muscles compared to his under-used performance in Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.
Gary Dauberman from It, Annabelle:Creation, and The Conjuring 2 is back on board to write the screenplay, so expect similar twists, turns, and scares to arise.
In addition, Corin Hardy steps in to direct, who oversaw the surprisingly decent The Hallow from a few years back and has been given the vote of confidence to resurrect The Crow, starring Jason Mamoa.
Becoming something of the lesser cousin to the Alien franchise, The Predator universe has never managed to really make a dent beyond its original Arnie feature, which surprises as it is ripe full of potential.
One of the original stars Shane Black is on to direct, so you could argue that there isn’t anyone closer to the source to re-capture the magic of the first film, and he has proven success with Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and Iron Man 3, but is that enough to win over fans and the many?
The additions of Oliva Munn, and Thomas Jane, who has had a something of a career comeback with Before I Wake, and 1922 of late, could very well help cement this together.
Where some were left aggrieved following the screening of It Comes At Night, (which is probably the best example of false advertising when it comes to luring your audience in – as an aside its actually a pretty decent and intense movie, just not how it was promoted) will no doubt have their needs met in this movie, which promises an intense and horrific ordeal.
John Krasinski directs and stars in his passion project alongside Emily Blunt as part of a family forced to live in silence from an unknown threat that will attack with the slightest noise.
The first film had horror fans divided – a bit like vegemite, you either love it, or hate it. For those that fell into the former category, they can rejoice as the trio of masked psychopaths return to reek havoc on some more prey.
The cast includes Christina Hendricks (Mad Men, The Neon Demon) and Martin Henderson (The Ring, Everest) and is directed by Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down, The Other Side of the Door) but don’t let that sway you as he also helmed the magnificent F, and if he could tap the rage and anarchy unleashed in that movie, we could have a surprise hit on our hands.
Horror production giants, Blumhouse, who have been partly responsible for the rise in recent genre movies will be hoping to keep the trend going and repeat their successes of Get Out, and Happy Death Day.
Truth or Dare follows a group of friends who play a deadly version of said game when those that break the rules start a meet a grisly end.
Critically praised film director, Steven Soderbergh enters the horror arena with his usual approach to exploring different filming techniques, in this instance shooting the entire film on an iPhone camera.
The cast is also impressive with Claire Foy (The Crown), entering a mental institution and once again reality comes into question. Foy is accompanied by Juno Temple (Horns), Aimee Mullins (Stranger Things), Amy Irving (Carrie) and Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project).
If The New Mutants is going to push the boundaires of darkness in the Marvel universe, then Venom will surely rip that apart and enter whole new level of insanity.
With Tom Hardy taking on the titular character, you can expect some hefty weight in the acting department.
It’s a project that is shrouded in secrecy at the moment and just a few screenshots that have been handed out to the media. Lets hope that it will be worth the wait.
Helen Mirren takes on the role of Lady Winchester house, heiress to the Winchester firearms, who becomes obsessed with building a house to trap ghosts with one of the most obscure architecture ever built.
From the creative minds of the Spierig Brothers (Undead, Daybreakers), this movie could be hit or miss.