Reboot or Remake?
Many people are in question whether this movie is a remake or a reboot. For those who have not read the novella but watched the series like me, we can conclude that this is a remake because of the major similarities of events in the movie. as I have began my research in videos explained and articles. I have noticed that they immediately connected this movie to the original novella that inspired the Hellraiser series; The Hellbound Hearts by Clive Barker. As I am yet to read the book, I am yet to uncover the similarities of the novella from the previous films. But all in all, it was a good reboot. a fresh start to for the horror icons to finally conquer this generation. Horror movie fans can now celebrate because the horror genre that was left behind by time is now being re-imagine to more than what we expected.
During a Hedonistic party at the mansion of the millionaire, Roland Voight, a sex-worker named Joey came across with a mechanical puzzle box which Voight insist that he solve in which he did eventually but a sharp knife suddenly pulls out of the box and stabs Joey then a series of chains began to pierce Joey then ripping him apart. The amazed Voight begins to kneel down to demand an audience of God.
Six years later, Riley, a recovering addict is living with his brother Matt, his boyfriend Colin and his roommate, Nora. Trevor, Riley's boyfriend, convinces her to try to sneak into a abandoned storage warehouse only to discover the mechanical puzzle box. Upon returning home she had an argument with her brother Matt and leaves carrying with her her belongings and the puzzle box. While crying in frustration, she tries to solve the box which she did but avoids being stabbed by the box's blade. The Cenobites, a group of deformed being being summoned from the box tells her that the blade was meant for her with her avoiding it she must choose another candidate to be sacrificed. Matt awakes in a dream where he is being held in chains, he then rush to locate riley only to find her lying in a park unconscious, while waking riley up he accidentally cuts himself with the blade. He then rushed to a nearby restroom to clean his wounds as Riley hears Matt screams she immediately run towards her only to see that Matt is nowhere to be found.
As she believes that the box caused the death of Matt, Riley and Trevor track down and locate Roland Voight's former lawyer, Serena Menaker. Serena attempts to take the box from Riley who warns her of it. A scuffle between them ensures until Serena is cut by the blade now being the new sacrifice, the Cenobites the appears taking her with them. Riley visits the abandoned mansion of Voight to investigate the Box and the recent events that is occurring to them. She finds her journals and learning about the Cenobites and the multiple configurations of the box. The journal states that the victim requires to be "marked" (cut by the blade) for the Cenobites to take once accomplished by the Box's holder will receive a "gift" coming from the entity that rules over Hell, Leviathan. Riley sees and apparition of Matt inside the mansion as she approaches him and embraces him she then is in shocked to see the apparition has been flayed.
Riley is surprised that Trevor, Colin, and Nora arrives in the mansion to fetch Riley and convinces her to come home, but Riley refuses telling them that she needs to find a way to get Matt back. They begin to investigate the mansion and they knew that the mansion has a mechanical doors that moves upon operated by the master switch on a certain room. Nora, being trapped inside one of the rooms is being stabbed with the box by an unknown person as a chase ensures. Trevor finally opens the door for her Riley and Colin helps her get up for them to escape. inside the van Riley sees a reflection of Nora, at the back of the van now being chained up by the Cenobites she then disappears from their sight. As they return to the mansion they are being chased by the Cenobites, Riley cuts herself with the box and Pinhead tells her that in order for her to wish to be granted she must sacrifice either Trevor or Colin as she refuses to they are chased by Chatter, a Cenobite but he is stabbed by Riley thus marking the Cenobite for the box's sacrifice. The Lead Cenobite, and her cohorts surrounds the mansion, the three enters back to the mansion plotting to kill all Cenobites by trapping them inside and stabbing them with the box's blade, failed to do so, the box is now lost and they have no idea where it is. they are revealed by the truth that Roland Voight, presumed dead, is still alive and well but with a device implanted in his chest. He then reveals that Trevor is working for him as the one who draws the victims in to the box, he then stabs, Colin to mark him for his wish. He tells Riley that the gift the Cenobites gives must be taken into consideration and must not taken lightly. When the box is accomplished it is then told that the Cenobites will provide a gift but accompanied with pain for the pleasure the provided. While talking to the Lead Cenobite, she explains that Roland sought sensation so they gave him something with him that will always make him feel pain without ever going numb. He is then granted with the Leviathan Configuration (Power) as a gift for the victim he presented. Riley then sneaks in and takes the Box in order to save Colin which she did but she has now in full decision to choose who will she sacrifice, she then choose Trevor because of his betrayal, he is then flayed by the Cenobites and finally escapes. Voight has now been granted by the Cenobites finally removing the nerve device in his chest healing the hole in his chest. As he finally felt happy and relieved he is then pierced by a chain carrying him towards what he meant as an Audience of God.
The Hell Priest grants Riley her gift but she refuses remembering what Voight said about taking the gifts from these creatures. the Hell Priest tells her that she chose to live her life with the guilt of her actions granting her her Lament Configuration, the Cenobites vanished and the Box reverts to its original form. As the two leaves Colin asks Riley if she made the right choice, the then remained silent.
Meanwhile in hell, Roland Voight is placed in a floating golden cross and undergoes his brutal transformation into a Cenobite.
The movie does not show each gifts the cenobites granted. here is the list of 7 configurations in the movie.
1. Lament Configuration - Life
2. Lore Configuration - Knowledge
3. Lauderant Configuration - Love
4. Liminal Configuration - Sensation
5. Lazarus Configuration - Resurrection
6. Leviathan Configuration - Power
As per Roland Voight's words the Cenobites will always grant gifts as per the holder's promise of sacrifice but they give it in a brutal form of gift.
How did Voight acquire the nerve device on his chest?
During the events of the first part of the film, he asked for Liminal Configuration which is sensation. If you are new to the Hellraiser lore, then you will definitely be confused about the device but if you have seen the previous movies we very well know that the Cenobites are very generous creatures and yes they are good in granting wishes but yes, they will ensure pain. All of their gifts are not without pain.
As greedy as he is once again he asks for another gift from the Cenobites which is the Leviathan Configuration meaning power. What could be that gift of power, yes, the transformation of Voight in to a cenobites, and again it is not without pain as he is brutally skinned and pinned with needles as he is lying in a cross seeing the invisible God he wants to make an audience with.
On Riley's side, she had the Lament Configuration which is life, the life of regret and guilt of her actions that is the pain she must bear. That is why maybe the Hell Priest did not put her in chains.
© 2022 John Artchie Rivera