This is a film which thrives on over-whelming violence and stunning visuals whilst watering-down the erotic mysticism of the earlier movies in the series. You get the feeling that Pinhead is edging closer to the standard cinema ‘boogeyman’ (Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers etc.) as his killing-spree becomes increasingly indiscriminate. Nevertheless, Anthony Hickox’s direction is both fluid and punchy enabling the movie to hurl itself towards an aesthetically-pleasing finale. Doug Bradley’s performance as the human ‘Pinhead’ is great to watch and adds much-needed depth to a film which lacks the substance of Barker’s original premise.
All things considered, the magic of the first “Hellraiser” is a little lacking and we are left with a well-designed but sadly hollow shell of a movie. Despite this, the cynical professionalism of the film manages to land it way above “Hellbound” and many other genre efforts; meaning ‘Hell-on-Earth’ remains a well-made and entertaining franchise filler.