Clive Barker Responds to Pascal Laugier's Hellraiser Reboot

March 8, 2009
Source: ShockTillYouDrop, Bloody Disgusting

Pinhead in Hellraiser

Yep, that headline is right. When Pinhead graces the big screen again with the help of French filmmaker Pascal Laugier, it will be in the form of a reboot to the original Hellraiser and not a remake, per se. At least that's what ShockTillYouDrop tells us came out of a recent interview FilmsActu had with the Martyrs director. Personally, I'm becoming blind to the dividing lines between remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, and so on. But on the subject of the Cenobites' return, Bloody Disgusting caught up with Clive Barker, also, and discussed the new project, specifically about it being in Laugier's demented little hands.

"I liked Martyrs a lot," Barker commented. "I'm very excited at the idea of [Laugier] doing it. Pascal is a very talented filmmaker, obviously a lot more talented than I was when I stepped onto the sound stage on [the first] Hellraiser and I hadn't really directed anything before… I am completely open and ready to be blown away. I don't have any possessiveness about it. I just want people to have fun."

That's such a great attitude, if you ask me. But we'll have to see what Barker says after he reviews Laugier's treatment in the coming weeks, since he's known to be brutally honest. On Laugier's version, and reaffirming the reboot-ness of the project, Barker also recently told STYD:

"I'm not certain but I believe he is going to back to the first movie but not with an obsessed loyalty. He's taking the first movie as a launching board, a rock model, but there are things you can obviously do now both visually and sexually. It was always a sexual movie. The censors [when I did the original] told me I had to cut a scene because it has spanking in it. You're telling me I can have the skinning, but I cant have the spanking? It's a different time, so I'm excited."

In other news surrounding the Hellraiser reboot, earlier this month makeup designer and franchise alum Gary J. Tunnicliffe released photos of his vision of what a revisited Pinhead might look like. Sadly for him, Barker isn't a fan. Learning why, I totally agree. "I thought they were provocative in the sense of hopefully making people take notice of what worked and what didn't work. I feel that the Pinhead design works best because it's geometric. It's very severe and schematized. Each of the squares are the same size, all the scars are laid out in a straight line. It isn't the work of somebody going at somebody else's face with a chainsaw. That, I think, is what makes the thing scary - ritual scarification. This is not crude, vicious slashing."

Barker also adds, "I think the combination of a very organized system of scarring with a nail at every intersection is almost mathematical in its precision. The fact that that's been done to somebody or worse, that they've done to themselves, is what makes that image powerful. Once you take away the squares all being the same size and the nails all being the same length, you are just left with a slasher victim, which I don't think Pinhead is. I think Pinhead is a priest at the alter of a S & M."

And that's why we love Clive Barker. A glossy, Plantinum Dunes return to Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street is one thing, but Hellraiser coming back in the hands of Laugier is quite another. I can't wait for this project to take shape and may just re-watch all eight original films. Well, okay, maybe just the first two, since those are the only good ones. In the world of rehashed horror, how does Hellraiser rate for you?

Find more posts: Movie News, Opinions



seems... interesting to say the least

pj on Mar 8, 2009


Hellraiser was always pretty cool, but not anything I felt they needed to reboot. Whatever, hopefully they'll go balls to the walls with it and really push the inevitable R rating. Also, as far as how the new Pinhead mock-ups look; I totally agree with the man. Making him covered in blood and violently slashed in the face is a bad idea. He's a torturer not a torturee.

Syphous on Mar 8, 2009


A re-boot could be interesting, but damn! the new pinhead design looks terrible!! I agree with Barker that the symmetrical scars are much more creepy. I also struggle to imagine anyone other that Doug Bradley as Pinhead, the same goes for Robert Englund as Freddy.

Metatasian on Mar 8, 2009


this will be cool ๐Ÿ˜€

zach on Mar 8, 2009


i have to admit that my very strong dislike for the remaking of an excellent film barely 20 years after it came out is finding the going tough against my interest in what someone like Laugier might do with the source material. we all dislike remakes less when we see one we like at least as much as the original, but it does happen so very, very rarely.

lumiรจre on Mar 8, 2009


I hate remakes.

Francis on Mar 8, 2009


Barker's being self-deprecating here. The first movie is wonderful and he did a great job whether you view it as the work of a first-time director or an experienced old hand. There are plenty of filmmakers who have been working for twenty or thirty years who have never made anything as imaginative as Hellraiser. It certainly doesn't need a remake, but kickstarting the franchise after it wandered off track, both in terms of quality and ideas is okay I guess. I just wish they'd give it a new title; when they call it the same thing as the original movie it feels to fans like they're trying to erase the original from our memories, replace it so that future generations will first think of the newer movie and the original becomes viewed as a quaint relic. That's one reason why so many people are fed up with remakes - just because you can improve the visual effects isn't enough of a justification as far as I'm concerned. If that were true we'd constantly be having rehashes of everything that already exists in ten-year cycles rather than filmmakers giving us anything new.

Mathieu on Mar 8, 2009


#7 I think your last paragraph is exactly what is happening and it is sad.

L on Mar 8, 2009


Pinhead was crazy! i remember when pinhead was getting tortured by this big ass monster, forgot who it was but = (

luke on Mar 8, 2009


sometimes remakes aren't bad at all... the fly (cronenberg) the thing (carpenter) i kind of see this like what happened with evil dead. raimi wanted to do more, but just couldn't afford it. since evil dead went on to be such a hit, he was able to finance the movie he really wanted to make, which was evil dead 2. we all know how that worked out. i think barker just see's this as a chance to do things in the movie that he just wasn't able to do the first time around. speaking of which, the scene in evil dead 2 when the spirit of the girl's father is breaking his way into the world, the camera zooms in on the wood in crazy ways and the character's hearing is super heightened seems very reminiscent of the the story, the hellbound heart, when frank opens the box and his senses go crazy. anyone ever noticed that? frank encountering the cenobites in the story is very different than in the movie, so there are things that can be done differently. i wouldn't be surprised to see a more androgynous version of the pinhead cenobite... of course most remakes are giant turds that need to be flushed down the toilet...

xcthulhu on Mar 8, 2009


Come on man, remake, reimiging, retelling, re whatever is all a fucking remake!!! Stop remaking making movies dammit!!!!!!!

REAL6 on Mar 8, 2009


i think that most remakes have some merit as a stand alone movie but some are also GARBAGE! to remake, redo or whatever the ell they call it is a waste of money as the original was and still is a great movie. sure technology has improved and it makes the effects in these older movies look fake but that is part of why we as movies fans love them! they're movies they're supposed to be fake in a sense. as far as the redo on pin head Barker hit the nail on the head, no pun intended either. the reason he was scary was because of the symmetrical line and perfect placement of the nails the "new" pin head looks LAME in comparison. more of a victim than the one dolling out the pain. will i watch it, sure i will but the original will never be replaced by this one as most remakes these days won't replace their originals.

thejugfather on Mar 8, 2009


I agree with #11, theres no difference between a remake, reboot, or re imagining. Like seriously

djw on Mar 8, 2009


"Personally, I'm becoming blind to the dividing lines between remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, and so on." It's easy. If Tim Burton's remake of 'Planet of the Apes' had been a huge success, we'd be calling them all re-imaginings today. But since Christopher Nolan's 'Batman Begins' was the ka-ching, it's fashionable for remakes to be called reboots now. I think they believe it's like success-through-association or something.

Chris on Mar 8, 2009


Usualy a reboot implies that theres gonna be a new era, like batman /terminator all had sequels i bet that this one also is gonna have a few, than its not realy a remake, its a reboot of the series. As for the pinhead, i dont aprove it, although on the bloodisgusting video he looks better, they could keep the head but get the leather coat again. I think thats where it falls flat, without the coat. Cheers

Alllout on Mar 9, 2009


How to define these things? You could clearly argue that Batman Begins and Casino Royale covered material not previously explored in their respective franchises and were hence 'rebooting' them rather than remaking anything (although a campy, non-official CR adaptation existed already of course). It's more straightforward with Terminator Salvation - it's certainly not a remake. It does not tell the same story as the 1984 release with shinier effects and a few new twists. It is intended to be both the start of a fresh trilogy and Terminator 4, so it's trying to be both a sequel and a reboot - it'll be interesting to see how it works. It's easy to be confused as filmmakers complicate matters by inventing new terms to sidestep the stigma of calling a movie a remake. But whatever kind of marketing spin they try to put on it, make no mistake; if the forthcoming movie is called Hellraiser, features similar characters or character names and covers the same basic origin and plot points, IT'S A REMAKE. And we don't need it.

Mathieu on Mar 9, 2009


I'm all for a remake, but pinhead should be left exactly the same. The original makeup and costume are absolutely perfect and timeless. These new photos are too base and chaotic. If I must use a D&Dism, pinhead was definitely lawful evil, not chaotic evil. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Geez.

YK on Mar 9, 2009


I'd love a new entry in the franchise that had the same kind of inventiveness and ambition as the first movie, rather than yet another straight-to-DVD sequel. But why does that have to be a remake? Why would anyone want to keep seeing the same movie recycled yet again, just with a bit more polish? I don't understand it. Surely there is another way to make a new movie about Pinhead and the cenobites that can stand on its own two feet, that doesn't require anyone to have in-depth knowledge of the previous films, but isn't replacing anything that already exists? But then I suppose that would require a bit of hard work without the guarantee of the easy money they can make by just tweaking an existing story and cashing in on name recognition. P.S. Just because a remake has sequels made to it, doesn't make it or the subsequent entries any more original. Even if the 'new' sequels follow on from the latest version rather than being a remake of the original sequel to the original movie (look at the recent Americanisations of J-Horror franchises), they're still just remakes and sequels to remakes. Which is about as fresh and new as a photocopy of a photocopy... my head hurts!

Mathieu on Mar 9, 2009


No matter how much you all say you hate reboots, you'll still be there on opening day and it's just a fad to hate them right now. The truth is that in the business it's much easier to market pre-existing characters to the public than try to entice interest in new ones in 5 minutes of trailer footage. Also, some films from the past are ripe for remakes because the times just don't translate well to today whether that be through technology or an evolved sense of humor. So stop whining and write something original if you're so sick of reboots, or go support your local art house theater so they can get the funding to create fresh ideas. The fact is that independent film suffers because when something original comes out it gets ignored at the box office by the same people complaining about reboots. When originality pulls in 30 million and reboots pull in 100 million you can't blame the studios for producing the films that make the money. It's simple supply and demand, and if the reboots weren't in demand than they wouldn't be getting made. So don't blame the studio beuracrats, but yourself for not supporting local indie cinema.

peloquin on Mar 9, 2009


Well, I have no intention of supporting this film. It's not a fad to complain about remakes, it's a fad that such a ridiculous number of them are being made this past decade. I agree with your point that they will continue to make them as long as people continue to pay to see them. If anyone is sick of pointless remakes but is still curious about the result, watch a free download of it instead and don't give them your money! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mathieu on Mar 9, 2009


I haven't seen the old movies yet,i should start collecting them.

Fisherr on Mar 9, 2009


I completely agree Mathieu...downloading is key to supporting the film makers you want to and boycotting the ones you don't. I look at buying a movie ticket as voting in an election, and I only vote for the film makers I believe in.

peloquin on Mar 9, 2009


peloquin for President! "So don't blame the studio beuracrats, but yourself for not supporting local indie cinema." "I look at buying a movie ticket as voting in an election, and I only vote for the film makers I believe in." This is good stuff!

Tim "Cloverfield" on Mar 9, 2009


DO you see why I am such a Fan?!

peloquinfan on Mar 9, 2009


More crap Feo LOVES!

feohatestheworld on Mar 9, 2009


peloquin is as the kids say, "The Shit!" ( meaning in a good way)

D-9 on Mar 9, 2009

27 guys crack me up, glad to see there are others like me out there. Whenever I'm in a theater watching a "Love Guru-esque" trailer and 90% of the people laugh I lose a little more faith in the humanity. So it's refreshing to see that some share similar philosophies. I enjoy your posts as well.

peloquin on Mar 9, 2009


*little more faith in humanity. bad

peloquin on Mar 9, 2009


"Whenever I'm in a theater watching a "Love Guru-esque" trailer and 90% of the people laugh I lose a little more faith in the humanity." peloquin. AMEN Brother!

Tim "CLoverfield" on Mar 10, 2009


guys lets just say this isnt gonna be anything better then the normal upto date cgi horrors. and all you americans out there are to blame for such non horror films!!!! lol(read up if you dont belive) this is just gonna be a strip down version of the orignal, with less blood,gore and more of the effects to take our minds off it.people take a leaf out of the orignal britt horrors.had everything from mass killings to record number of peeps missing limbs, and even children being killed off!!!!! GIVE THE PUBLIC WHAT THEY WANT.....GORE GORE AND NOTHING LESS :)) *so called sensitive people killed horror :(*

kickstart on Aug 30, 2009


kickstart - whatever. i dont want my hellraiser movie to full of gore, like some b grade movie. hellraiser was always that type of horror movie that screwed with your mind, think butterfly effect, or shutter island kind of movie, with pinhead instead. i love the gore in hellraiser, but dont make it like one of those shock movies, where every 30 seonds theres gore everywhere, that isnt hellraiser to me.

Matt D. on Sep 30, 2012

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