Hellraiser: Inferno

Hellraiser: Inferno (also known as Hellraiser V: Inferno)[2] is a 2000 American horror film. It is the fifth installment in the Hellraiser series, and the first Hellraiser film to be released direct-to-video. It was directed by Scott Derrickson and released on October 3, 2000. The film concerns a corrupt detective who discovers Lemarchand's box at a crime scene, which results in his life gradually unraveling. Reviews of the film were mixed, largely because the film was not originally written to be a Hellraiser sequel, and the tone resembles more of a psychological horror film than a body horror film as the first few films were.

Hellraiser: Inferno
Home video poster
Directed byScott Derrickson
Produced byW.K. Border
Joel Soisson
Written byPaul Harris Boardman
Scott Derrickson
Based onCharacters
by Clive Barker
StarringDoug Bradley
Craig Sheffer
Nicholas Turturro
James Remar
Music byWalter Werzowa
CinematographyNathan Hope
Edited byKirk M. Morri
Distributed byDimension Home Video
Miramax Films
Release date
  • October 3, 2000 (2000-10-03)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States[1]
Budget$2 million


Joseph Thorne is a corrupt Denver police detective who regularly indulges in drug use and infidelity during the course of duty. At the scene of what appears to be a ritual murder, Thorne discovers a strange puzzle box, which he takes home in order to indulge his fascination with puzzles. After solving the box, Thorne begins to experience bizarre hallucinations, such as being seduced by a pair of mutilated women and being chased by a creature with no eyes or legs. Thorne also makes a connection between the murder and a killer known as "The Engineer," who is suspected of having kidnapped a child. Thorne goes in search of the Engineer, who in turn begins murdering Thorne's friends and associates, leaving behind one of the child's fingers at every crime scene.

While undergoing therapy for his hallucinations, Thorne's psychiatrist reveals himself to be "Pinhead", the leader of a group of entities known as the Cenobites, who use the puzzle box as a portal between their realm and the mortal realm. Pinhead informs Thorne that he has in fact been in the Cenobite's realm since opening the box, where they have been subjecting him to psychological torture for the various cruelties he has inflicted on others: The Engineer is a manifestation of Thorne's own cruelty, while the child is a personification of Thorne's innocence, which he has slowly been killing through corruption, hedonism, and violence. As hooked chains appear and begin to ensnare Thorne, Pinhead informs him that he will be subjected to an eternity of torment for his sins.



Clive Barker confirmed in an online appearance on AOL in 1996 after the American release of Hellraiser: Bloodline that Dimension Films intended to make a fifth installment in the series, while the film's screenwriter Peter Atkins claimed that there had been reshoots to leave room for at least two more sequels.[3] One concept was a project called Hellraiser: Hellfire, a pitch by Stephen Jones and Michael Marshall Smith in which Kirsty Cotton would face a plot by a cult to unleash the Leviathan and the Cenobites into the real world, with a climax involving a large Lament Configuration enclosing London. The pitch was rejected due to budgetary concerns after the film was opted to be released direct-to-video.[4] Although Barker was briefly in negotiations to return as executive producer in 1999 he was ultimately dropped from the production due to creative disagreements with the studio, and was barred from the providing any sort of assistance on the film.[5] Bob and Harvey Weinstein ultimately commissioned a script by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson. After giving Derrickson $10,000 to direct a single scene from the film, they hired him as the director. Doug Bradley has since claimed that Boardman's and Derrickson's script was originally not intended as a Hellraiser sequel, and that it was rewritten to provide connections to the series.[4]


Calum Marsh of Esquire called the film "shockingly good" and said, "Inferno feels less like a Hellraiser movie than a follow-up to Jacob's Ladder (or maybe a predecessor to Silent Hill), floating dream-like through hallucinatory David Lynchian visions and downplaying plot in favor of the surreal."[6] JoBlo.com's reviewer gave the film a seven out of ten rating, and also felt the film was not very similar to its predecessors, saying "Without a doubt the film’s biggest flaw is calling itself Hellraiser."[7] On an interview included on the DVD release, Doug Bradley seemed pleased with how the film turned out. He expressed enjoyment that the film made Pinhead more of a neutral character with the humans serving as the villains of the story, which is far closer to the way the character was portrayed in the original two films.



  1. ^ "Hellraiser Inferno (2000)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  2. ^ "Hellraiser V: Inferno - Official Site". Miramax.com. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  3. ^ "The Official Clive Barker Website - Hellraiser 4". www.clivebarker.info. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  4. ^ a b Paul, Zachary (2018-02-13). "A Waste of Good Suffering: The 'Hellraiser' Franchise [Part 2]". Bloody Disgusting!. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  5. ^ "The Official Clive Barker Website - Hellraiser 5". www.clivebarker.info. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  6. ^ Marsh, Calum (2013-10-24). "The (Halloween) Netflix Streaming Endorsement: The Shockingly Good Hellraiser V". Esquire. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
  7. ^ "Hellraiser 5: Inferno (2000)". JoBlo.com. Retrieved 2017-10-30.

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