Looks like Dimension has tapped French director Pascal Laugier to write and helm the long-gestating remake of Clive Barker’s 1987 horror classic Hellraiser. On one hand, Laugier, whose controversial horror movie Martyrs received his country’s rare 18+ rating because of its depictions of violence and exploration of human torture, seems a natural fit, given that Hellraiser is also a violent film that deals with the exploration of human torture. But at the same time, the original movie’s success was due to its being based on Barker’s creepy novella, The Hellbound Heart, which was as heady and thought-provoking as it was terrifying and horrific (okay, the movie also owes a lot to Pinhead’s awesomeness). Hopefully, Laugier will give graphic violence a backseat in the reboot and tap his undeniable talents as a disturbing mindscrewdirector using Barker’s text as the focus. If successful, the director could quiet critics that dismiss him as a purveyor of mere “torture porn.”
At the same time, as we learned with recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween remakes, there is something to be said about leaving the campy, grainy, and yes, scary originals be (we’ll have to wait and see what happens with upcoming remakes of Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th), and I fear a slick, 21st century Hellraiser remake will result in a movie even further from capturing the intellectual perversity of Barker’s book than the classic-if-imperfect original did.
What of it, PopWatchers? Psyched for Pinhead’s return, or wish they’d just leave these classics alone? What horror remakes have you loved and loathed?
addCredit(“Dimension Films/Everett Collection”)