How horror movie The Night House was nearly a Hellraiser flick

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Hellraiser director David Bruckner reveals that his last movie – The Night House – started life as a Hellraiser pitch, unbeknownst to him.

The new Hellraiser hit Hulu today, and is a reimagining of the story that features a new iteration of the Priest/Pinhead, played by Jamie Clayton.

The film is directed by David Bruckner, from a script by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, who previously collaborated on the critically acclaimed horror movie The Night House.

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What Bruckner didn’t realize when he was making The Night House however, was that the story started life as a Hellraiser pitch.

How David Bruckner made a Hellraiser movie without realizing

While speaking at the Fantastic Fest premiere of Hellraiser, director David Bruckner revealed the secret history of The Night House that he didn’t know about.

“I never imagined I’d get to make a Hellraiser movie,” Bruckner explained.

“Ben and Luke and myself all worked on a movie called The Night House and for the year-and-a-half of my life that was The Night House, Ben and Luke never told me that it was loosely based on a Hellraiser pitch that they had made in 2012. And of course, the themes throughout were certainly relevant in so many ways.

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“It started to come out when the movie was done and I was like, ‘That makes so much f**king sense.’ And at the time David Goyer has written a treatment for Spyglass, for Hellraiser, and they came on and wrote a draft, so I got the call and jumped on April 2020 and we just dug into it and it’s been Hellraiser since then.”

What is The Night House about?

Headlined by a hearbreaking Rebecca Hall performance, The Night House’s official synopsis is as follows…

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Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth is left alone in the lakeside home that he built for her. She tries as best she can to keep it together, but then nightmares come – disturbing visions of a presence in the house calling to her, beckoning to her with a ghostly allure. Against the advice of her friends, she begins digging into her husband’s belongings, yearning for answers. What she finds are secrets both strange and disturbing – a mystery she’s determined to unravel.

We won’t spoil the nature of that mystery here, but the parallels with Hellraiser are clear, and you can see how with a few tweaks, the Cenobites might have appeared.

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The Night House is currently streaming on Disney+ in the UK – which you can subscribe to here – while we’re still waiting for news of Hellraiser’s UK release.

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