My Two Cents | Books Of Blood (2020) : Why Send a Movie To Do The Job of a TV Series?

There’s quite a few problems with the adaptations based of the work of Clive Barker – of which there’ve been plenty – though the greatest in my opinion is that Barker tends to have nothing to do with them (beyond writing the material they’re based upon).

I don’t claim to know what’s going on behind the scenes in all instances, but as a series they’re pretty uneven (which tends to happen when a studio produces movies not because they have a story to tell more than they’re doing whatever they can to keep a license to a franchise).

So, let’s take a look at the Hellraiser series so far.

Hellraiser (1987) and it’s sequel, Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) are the best of the series. Both also have the participation of Clive Barker, as opposed to just being based on the characters he created.

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Hellraiser: Inferno (2000) and Hellraiser: Judgement (2018) all introduce some interesting ideas though not up to the standards of the first two movies.

Now, Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002), Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005), Hellraiser: Deader (2005) – two movies in a series coming out the same year is never a good sign – and Hellraiser: Revelations (2011) are watchable though as ‘Hellraiser’ movies none work particularly well.

(It’s worth mentioning that when I say a movie “isn’t good” I mean less that it’s unwatchable – none of these movies are – than they oftentimes look cheap and don’t advance the mythology in any significant way).

Another example of this tendency to produce movies to maintain the right to do so are the Spider-Man movies produced by Sony.

They vary in terms of quality though Sony has to produce them within a certain window of time. If not, they run the risk of losing rights to the franchise entirely, which means the likelihood is high that you’re going to produce mediocre movies – like The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) – and worse – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014).

So, the Hellraiser movies are on the whole, not very good and I don’t see why that’s going to change when as far as I can tell this latest attempt to create a movie based on the work of Clive Barker doesn’t seem to have him anywhere in sight.

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