Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hellraiser: Deader (2005)

Director: Rick Bota
Notable Cast: Kari Wuhrer, Paul Rhys, Simon Kunz, Marc Warren, Doug Bradley, Georgina Rylance

Drat, drat and double drat! They were doing so good! I mean Hellseeker faltered a bit from Inferno, but now the Hellraiser franchise is slowly circling the drain again and it starts with the significant fall in quality of Deader. Not that this seventh entry is all bad and in fact the film has a lot of fun and twisted ideas on hand that could have potentially ignited another solid entry into the franchise, but the execution of the film is stale and can't keep the concept afloat. This leaves Deader as a film that's more or less for fans only and even then it comes off as disappointing.

Amy Klein is your self destructive journalist on a mission. One that gets the scoop on all the dirty shit whilst submitting herself to it all. That's why she was let go from the New York Post. That's why she is working at London Underground. That's why she is sent to Bucharest to investigate a group of suicide cultists that seem to come back to life by the power of their charismatic leader. Turns out she is some sort of 'chosen one' after she finds out that their leader, Winter, has connections to some mysterious box and that he is creating an army to battle against it. Looks like Amy might raise a little hell in Bucharest.

Now the reason why Deader fails more often than not is because, quite frankly, it rarely makes sense. The concept of a group of people lead by a descendant of the toy maker, established in Hellrasier: Bloodline, looking to beat death using the puzzle box is quite intriguing. In fact, there are even moments in the movie that I thoroughly enjoyed (the desperation and panic of the knife-in-the-back-bathroom sequence, for example). What happens though, is that Deader tends to lose focus and make weird leaps in logic that seemingly makes it forget what its actually doing. It gives it a disjointed and somewhat head scratching, odd flow where everything seems to be a dream or utter bullshit. Our lead actress follows this same pattern giving us a moment or two before losing herself in a story that never quite makes any sense. Let's throw a hooded man that's going to knife her here! Does it make sense? Absolutely not. But its a DREAM! Cough - cop out - cough. Let's get real shall we? By the time the third act rolls around, the "nightmarish" attempts at giving the film that tone collapse on any kind of logistical approach and it just becomes silly instead of surreal.

  Deader does have some moments. Like I said, the concept is actually some what intriguing and the acting can be good, but the film is just too random and off center to actually be able to make anything cohesive. Everything is just too hit or miss in this film and it suffers so much from its lack of continuity. If you enjoyed Inferno or Hellseeker like I did, than you probably should stop there on the high note. Cause Deader just doesn't make the cut. It tries to be smart, but ends up just confused.

BONUS RANT: There are so many things I wanted to say in this section - details that made me go 'wtf?!', but I have to say the biggest one is our underground know it all character Joey. Joey is the most random fucking thing in this movie. He seems to know everything and warn Amy about staying away from the Deaders, yet lives ON A FUCKING SUBWAY TRAIN full of sex and debauchery where no one seems to question why. How is this even possible?! Then to top it off, he shows up at the very end during the big conflict and randomly dies and spouts off a one liner. WHAT?! WHAT?! Where the hell did you come from? Why? Who? Just another prime example of this film's utter nonsense.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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