Here's part three of the Hellraiser Saga... Once again this continues from where the last film ended, though it's a looser connection. The battle between Pinhead (Bradley) and his original human self, Captain Elliott Spencer, allowed him to break free of hells shackles. Entrapped in a monolith, he is awoken by Sandy (Leigh), when an accidental cut splashes blood on his stone features. Revealing himself to JP Monroe (Bernhardt), an unscrupulous womanising club owner, Pinhead makes a deal to free himself from his confines and to help JP to achieve his dreams...
This leads to lots of twists and turns in the storyline as you know you can't trust a daemon. The only thing which stands in his way is an aspiring investigative reporter, Joanne "Joey" Summerskill (Farrell), who's investigating the gory and violent murders which are appearing in the city.
The first thing that becomes evident is the amount of budget available for this film. Instead of being kept within the confines of a house or a hospital, now we're out in New York City. Penthouses, apartments, clubs, restaurants, ally's and streets. The locations are so much bigger. This is good, as it gives scope for a larger story with more hellish violence and gore... and it nearly delivers. Nearly, because the scene where the Cenobites finally take to the streets is actually underwhelming. What was required were a few more Cenobites and quite a few more victims, both pedestrians and police. It's nice to have explosions... I just wanted more.
The acting is okay, Bradley still stands out and is excellent as Pinhead. Farrell does a good job as the reporter. However, it's Bernhardt and Marshall, who plays Terri, who have their bouts of woodenness. The direction too is quite different from the first two, gone are the artistic and atmospheric lighting for a more natural feel. This is okay, but the film does lose a little of its mood and spirit, which added strength to the first two movies. I can understand the need for doing this. If you expand the daemons universe to include a lot more of reality then it stands to reason to get that feeling across would be to lose the more imaginative aspects of the filmmaking. That said there are still quite a few iconic shots, such as the entrance of Pinhead at the club and later in the church, and nicely thought out camera shots and angles.
Though I didn't find it as good as the first films it's still as enjoyable, though for different reasons... and as Pinhead would attain, variety is the spice of life.
Another good thing is that this film actually works as a stand-alone, you only need a vague idea about the previous stories; whereas, Hellbound actually made you feel as though you should have watched the first film before viewing. So for that reason, I would recommend this to all horror fans and newbies alike. This is a well written, structured, and acted film... which has its fair share of tension, fear, and suspense.