One of the most iconic horror characters was spawned from the 80s horror classic Hellraiser. Pinhead, an imposing Cenobite dressed in black vinyl with pins impaled in his face and body, is one of the most horrifying and recognizable horror villains. Pinhead is a Cenobite, a race of formerly human beings who inhabit Hell torturing the souls of humans in S&M rituals. Pinhead, unlike many of the horror villains that populated horror movies in the 80s, is quick witted and clever which only makes him more terrifying. The same actor has consistently played Pinhead which has made the Cenobite a terrifying presence in all of the Hellraiser films.
The Cenobites are summoned through the use of an ornate puzzle box. They are able to lure victims to themselves using the puzzle box and it opens a portal to the dimension that they inhabit, as well as other dimensions. In the original Hellraiser film a man named Frank buys the puzzle box in a market in a Morocco. When he gets home he solves the puzzle box and is immediately assaulted and killed by the Cenobites who come to take his soul. A black robed priest appears after Frank is taken and resets the puzzle box, which causes the room that Frank was killed in to look normal again and not filled with blood and viscera. Frank’s brother Larry moves into the home where Frank lived because he is having family problems and he starts to explore the house. When he cuts his hand on a nail and his blood drips on the floor in the room where Frank was taken Frank is resurrected. Larry’s wife who had an affair with Frank finds Frank in the house and becomes obsessed with helping Frank become human again. She starts luring victims to the home so that the Cenobites can kill them. With every victim’s death Frank gets closer to total resurrection.
Larry’s daughter Kirsty follows her stepmom Julia to the house and finds out what is going on. When Frank is able to escape from the Cenobites with Julia’s help Kirsty bargains for her life with Pinhead, promising to deliver Frank if she is spared. She is able to deliver Frank to Pinhead, but then Pinhead tries to kill her anyway. She is saved by solving the puzzle box and closing the portal to the realm of the Cenobites.
The movie was panned by critics for being weak in story and character development but during the 80s many horror films had weak stories and character development. The creation of the terrifying Pinhead was the real draw of the film, and Pinhead was strong enough as a character to carry the film through many sequels.
Pinhead was originally conceptualized by Clive Barker before the novella that Hellraiser was based on was even created. The novella played with religious philosophy as well as themes of life and death that didn’t make it into the movie. The original Hellraiser film is going to be rebooted finally in 2014, like many popular classic horror movies. The reboot of Hellraiser has been in the works since 2006 but it has been plagued with casting problems, including trouble getting the right director and writers on board. Just recently Clive Barker announced that he himself will be writing the remake of Hellraiser which made fans very happy. With the reboot finally going forward Clive Barker can tell the Hellraiser story the way he originally envisioned it without worrying about other writers changing the vision.
Clive Barker was quick to reassure fans that Pinhead will remain the same in concept and design. He also assured fans that he wouldn’t be using a lot CGI effects to up the ante in the film. He said that he will be using makeup and other effects to create the look of the film and the characters and not using CGI added in after the film is finished. Horror fans everywhere were relieved to hear that one of the masters of horror would be going the old school route with the remake of one of the most revered horror films of the 80s.