12 Days Of Christmas: Hellraiser

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me… A puzzle box that opens to a horrible hell dimension.

Sometimes you just have to find that object of your desire – whatever that may be. In Clive Barker’s 1987 horror masterpiece Hellraiser – Frank (Sean Chapman) is looking for the ultimate experience in pleasure and pain. He finds The Lament Configuration, a puzzle box, that when solved opens another dimension. The box was made by a French toymaker for a wealthy aristocrat who was obsessed with the dark arts. Frank buys the box from a shifty looking merchant in Morocco and takes the box back to his house. Unfortunately for Frank, the creatures from the other dimension are only interested in his pain for their pleasure.

The movie shifts to Frank’s brother Larry (Andrew Robinson), Larry’s wife Julia (Clare Higgins) and Larry’s daughter Kristy (Ashley Laurence). They have just moved into the house that Frank was in when he was “taken”. Julia had an affair with Frank and still lusts after him. When Larry accidentally cuts his hand, his blood brings Frank back from the other dimension minus skin and other vital parts. Julia discovers Frank and agrees to help restore him by bringing him victims. Meanwhile Kristy finds the box.

Clive Barker adapted his own novella The Hellbound Heart for this movie after he was dissatisfied with the way his stories were being made into films. The film was a hit and has spawned eight sequels. The sequels – like most horror franchises are just crap. Still when a strange and creepy man offers you a strange puzzle box – I’d kindly decline it.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.