Horror Movie Review: Hellraiser: Hell Seeker (2002)
Since Hellraiser: Inferno decided to take a more psychological approach than the previous entries, Hellraiser: Hell Seeker decided to follow suit and try something similar but also very different at the same time. Because this is the sixth sequel of the Hellraiser series and another straight to DVD sequel at that you might think that the quality of this film won’t be at a very high standard but you’d be wrong.
Trevor (Dean Winters) and Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) are out for a drive along the countryside when tragedy strikes. While kissing in the car, they swerve off the road to avoid hitting another driver and their car plummets off a bridge and into a river (kinda had that coming). Trevor manages to get out of the sunken wreckage with no problems but Kirsty’s seatbelt seems to be stuck and she is trapped inside the car. Trevor than wakes up in a hospital some time later and is visited by a police officer who says that Kirsty is missing. The police officer explains to Trevor, much to his surprise, that these events occurred over a month ago. It would seem that Trevor’s head injury was a little more severe than he first thought.
After he leaves the hospital and returns to work, he has recurring flashbacks of certain events that had taken place over the last few months and attempts to piece these memories together. Trevor begins to learn that just maybe he wasn’t the nicest guy after all as it becomes apparent that he had previously cheated on Kirsty with 3 different women (tut tut Trevor).
Hell Seeker is quite a tough movie to follow because as the viewer you’re not entirely sure if anything that you’re seeing is actually real or if it’s all in Trevor’s mind. In many instances the film transitions from one scene to another with a flash of light which is fairly effective in showing that we’re seeing one of Trevor’s memories but you really have to pay attention throughout.
Each night while walking home Trevor is stalked by a darkened figure but doesn’t really think much of it until he looks out of his apartment window to the adjacent apartment and notices the figure staring back at him…. This causes Trevor to vomit a full-grown eel and even though that may seem silly at the time it’s actually given a decent explanation at the end of the film.
Trevor finds himself the prime suspect in a murder case, and has two homicide detectives on his tail. One of the detectives is really supportive of Trevor and is looking to help him in any way that he can even claiming that he believes Trevor to be innocent. The other detective is much harder on Trevor and tells him that he is guilty and he will see him behind bars. There is a really cool resolution to the whole ‘good cop, bad cop’ story arc that I really liked but I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it.
While at home one evening Trevor decides to go through his and Kirsty’s home video collection and watches a tape that was recorded on Kirsty’s birthday. In the video Trevor hands Kirsty a small box-shaped gift…. She opens the gift and to her horror it is indeed the same box that destroyed her life all those years ago. She gets seriously angry at Trevor; as you can imagine, and we then get a flashback of Trevor buying the box from a very shady man even when it’s explained what will happen to the person who opens it. This leads Trevor to believe that he did murder Kirsty so he informs his best friend at the office about his guilty feelings but his friends reaction is rather strange.
Further flashbacks ensue as we finally get our first proper look at Pinhead and some interesting looking new Cenobites but sadly their screen time is short-lived. While walking home Trevor is stopped by his friend from the office who then puts a gun in his face and explains to him that they had a deal in which Trevor would kill Kirsty and then they would both split her inheritance. As you can imagine this comes as a great shock to Trevor who still doesn’t believe that he’s the bastard that everyone keeps telling him he is, alas his friend decides to shoot himself in the face (so long character who’s name I can’t remember).
The craziness continues and it becomes even harder to tell what’s actually happening but the end is nigh as Trevor is informed that the police have recovered a body from the river and they wish for him to identify it. He arrives at the morgue and approaches the table to remove the cover but is stopped as the entire room begins to shake and panels fall away from the wall as a rather familiar bluish light shines through. Pinhead appears and puts everything into prospective in the same fashion he did in Inferno and gives us an explanation for everything we’ve seen and it’s really well done actually.
Major spoilers ahead: The reality is that Kirsty is in fact still alive. Trevor learns that in reality he was never a good guy. He cheated on his wife with many other women. He then tried to get rid of Kirsty by making her reopen the Lament Configuration which she did, but before being taken, she struck one last deal with Pinhead. She tells Pinhead that she will give him five souls in exchange for hers. The flashbacks that Trevor had been having in which he sees himself killing the 3 women that he cheated on Kirsty with were in fact killed by Kirsty herself, she was also responsible for the shooting of him best friend.
Trevor is in shock about learning his true past and he takes off the covers on the operating table, believing Kirsty to be there. The person on the table is not Kirsty, but in fact him. He is the fifth soul and this entire time he has been in Hell living in limbo. Trying to rediscover his past and piece his life back together was his punishment for his disloyalty to his wife and his denial to accept who he truly was. The film ends with Kirsty walking away from a crime scene with the Lament Configuration in hand. It seems that she has pinned all of the murders on Trevor and shot Trevor through the head leading him to crash the car into the river.
Hell Seeker is a very solid entry into the series and I really enjoyed it but is it perfect? No way. Pinhead’s appearances are kept to a minimum which is good and the scenes in which he does appear are done really well. As always Doug Bradley does great with what he’s given. I do wish we’d seen more of the new Cenobites as from what I did see their makeup was quite impressive considering this is straight to DVD but unfortunately with their lack of screen time it feels wasted. The scenes in which we see Kirsty are really cool but she’s barely in the movie which is a huge disappointment, even if it does make sense in the context of the storyline. You can definitely tell that the budget was much tighter here as we don’t get much in the way of gore and there’s just something off about Pinheads makeup.
If you enjoyed the psychological approach of Hellraiser: Inferno as much as I did then you’ll enjoy Hell Seeker but if you’re hoping for a return to glory days of Hellraiser & Hellbound then you might be disappointed. It’s really interesting seeing the story unfold and piecing everything together at the same time as Trevor especially during the awesome reveal at the end which does a good job of clearing everything up.
Hellraiser: Hell Seeker
The Final Score - 6.0/10