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Review of Hellraiser: Tired Reboot Smells of Unrealized Potential

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Author/Atul K Rawat

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The renowned horror author and director Clive Barker frequently remarks that he had almost no idea what he was doing while making his directorial debut, Hellraiser.

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 He even goes so far as to say that he would have believed someone if they had shown him a plate of spaghetti and described it as a type of lens. 

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However much experience the director of this cutting-edge streaming reboot, David Bruckner, may have, his creation cannot even begin to compare to the (literary) vision of a novice like Barker.

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Hellraiser was a modest hit that gave birth to a ten-title franchise and was adapted from Barker's own novella The Hellbound Heart.

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Even if the Hellraiser brand doesn't exactly guarantee quality given the number of non-theatrical releases, this reboot's blandness (don't expect it to spawn even one sequel, let alone nine) 

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feels like something of a disservice to the iconography and darker implications of a series that nevertheless continues to have an impact on culture even 35 years later.

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What we receive is a rather tedious two hours, with actors who hardly sustain our interest for that long. Riley (Odessa A'zion), an unremarkable lead, is a recovering addict who shares a small apartment with her worried brother Matt (Brandon Flynn) and Colin (Adam Faison).

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She tries a get-rich-quick scheme with advice from her support group boyfriend Trevor (Drew Starkey), who encourages stealing from a safe that appears to be open, because she feels lost and helpless in life.

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She acquires a mysterious puzzle box—known to true experts as the Lament Configuration—which is of course a wicked device that produces a surprise blade. 

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Dead bodies begin to accumulate, and a tedious procedural about the box's history and an occult collector (Goran Visnjic) follows.

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