How Clive Barker influenced the new Hellraiser

hellraiser-jamie-clayton-pinheadSpyglass Media Group

The director of the 2022 Hellraiser has revealed how Clive Barker – who wrote and directed the original – influenced the making of the new movie.

Clive Barker published terrifying novella The Hellbound Heart in 1986, then wrote and directed the movie adaptation Hellraiser a year later. Since then the story of ‘Pinhead’ and his army of Cenobites blurring the line between pleasure and pain has appeared in sequels and spinoffs in all sorts of media.

And now the franchise is back, thanks to a big-budget reinvention that hits streaming on October 7, and stars Jamie Clayton as the iconic chief Cenobite.

The film premiered at Fantastic Fest in Texas this week, and after the screening, director David Bruckner spoke about how Barker helped shepherd the film during production.

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Reinventing Hellraiser

“Clive came on when we were in prep,” explains Bruckner. “We were in Serbia at the time and we started talking, for certain periods, almost every night. He was wonderful and generous. He always greeted us knowing that this was going to be a reinvention. This was going to be something different.

“Our first conversation – before he really knew what work had been done – was, ‘You can’t try to emulate this. It can’t be done. How are you going to get around this.’

“I showed him the designs, I showed him the path we were on, and he welcomed it as a departure, and really played the role of a great collaborator and a great producer.”

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How Hellbound Heart influenced the new movie

Bruckner continues: “He’d send me imagery. He would think of things. He’d call me and we’d engage on little things. Then when the movie was done, he saw several cuts and weighed in.

“He obviously understands the material better than anybody, and would often find what he referred to as shared obsessions. Ways we were processing and how it was emerging into different things.

“Some of my favorite nights were when we’d talk about Hellbound Heart – which was an inspiration to us in many ways – and we would find passages in that, and find common ground where themes would emerge that were the same; what he was doing and where we were going. I’m grateful for his time, and he’s been very supportive.”

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The new Hellraiser hits Hulu on October 7, while you can read our Fantastic Fest review here.