I like to think that I am a connoisseur of my horror flicks. From my first viewing of Child’s Play, trembling behind the sofa at the fact a DOLL could be so scary, onto the more beastly of killers, your Freddies and your Jasons… However there’s only one REALLY scary film that has stuck with me for years, to the point in which I will be sat at my desk and be idly doodling designs for new and more intricate puzzle designs, and all manner of occult like symbols and the like, to the point where I will sit and debate as though it were my own creation its brilliance, shouting down any and all opposition that seeks to dethrone my favourite, and that’s Hellraiser.
So often I would watch the bog standard slasher flicks and think “God, it’s the same thing” with your boiler rooms and your utility suits. Hell, even the bloody kitchen knives might a well be the same brand! but when I first caught a glimpse of that puzzle box, heard the telltale chink of the chains, watches them shoot through the darkness and eviscerate some poor soul, to the maniacal laughing of pinhead I was transfixed. The opening theme send a chill down your spine, one of the only ones that doesn’t try to trick you into easy scares with thundering strings. The main characters weren’t your average blonde bimbo tripping down a hallway, drinking and smoking their lives away. Your killer, not a faceless automaton, but a cold, devious, veritably Shakespearean picture of true horror, effortlessly quotable and truly terrifying. And Christ don’t get me started on the Cenobites! The chatterer? I don’t honestly think that there could be a scarier thing to meet in a dark alley. I mean, even the premise of the box, there for anyone who is truly bored with life, and is looking for the ultimate escape, the most hidden pleasures and endless desires. It was a true break from the norm!
Clive Barker outdid himself as he easily skewed the conventional horror fare, nary a quick cut to be seen, no stabby chasey sequences, or last minute scares. So great was the impact on me I even have the Lament Configuration puzzle box on my desk in work I’m that hooked. Now, granted, they have declined in quality over the past few instalments but the first three were damn brilliant.
Adult, sophisticated horror, what more would you want?
What horror movie scarred you for life, stuck with you through your formative years, or opened your eyes to the possibilities of the genre? Let us know and you could win some amazing Halloween goodies!