Pinhead

When I was talking with some friends a while back about how much my wife and I enjoyed Insidious (probably one of the first genuinely well-made horror films in ages), I started thinking about how they’re almost sure to greenlight a sequel any day now (still waiting on that) for some studio to run into the ground like James Wan and Leigh Whannel’s previous collaboration, the Saw series. Saw got dumber and shittier as it went on, probably due to the fact that by fourth film or so the plot was incomprehensibly stupid. What’s the point of all this again? And Jigsaw had how many apprentices now? By the end of the series, I was expecting him to have solved the financial crisis by employing the majority of Americans to set moronic traps for each other. But the thing that’s easy to forget is that the first Saw movie was actually a pretty damn good movie. It wasn’t unique by any means. It owes a lot to Dario Argento and his fellow Italian Giallo filmmakers, but that’s not the point. The point is, Wan and Whannel paid attention. They actually put forth an effort to make a film that wasn’t a remake or a sequel or a cheap knockoff. They showed their hand as far as influences go, but fuck, so does Quentin Tarantino. Hell, even Saw II and Saw III weren’t bad. So maybe that’s the secret to making a horror film that’s not ball-crushingly idiotic. Maybe it just […]

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Coroner

It’s Halloween time (close enough, jerk bags!) so I’m turning the Coroner’s Report into a horror column! Wait what? Exactly. This is always a horror column, because that kind of thing is my bag, baby. But now it’s also part of the 31 Days of Horror and in honor of that, I’m jumping into the way back machine and traveling to 1987 to bring you an in-depth look at Clive Barker’s Hellraiser. This dark, gothic horror film follows Larry, his daughter Kirsty, and his second wife Julia as they move into a house previously occupied by the bad boy brother Frank. Written for the page and the screen by Clive Barker, who also directed, Hellraiser gave birth to one of the iconic characters of the genre: Pinhead. He’s what’s known as a Cenobite, an interdimensional traveler who bills himself as an angel to some, a demon to others. If your religion is all about hooks tearing your body apart, he’s an angel. If that’s your idea of hell, well… The crux of the story is Frank, who has escaped from the Cenobite Hell and seeks Julia’s help in returning to form. To do this, there will have to be murders and sacrifices. Duh.

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