We got to see our first look at Jamie Clayton‘s version of Pinhead in the upcoming Hulu reboot of Hellraiser yesterday. Besides the normal trolls coming out because “wah, Pinhead is a girl and not Doug Bradley” (go read The Hellbound Heart again, losers), some people had issues with the lighting for the big reveal image for Pinhead. I was one of them, I thought, it’s too dark, you can’t really see much. After some more thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that it’s kind of perfect, especially when you look at the image of the other Cenobite we saw, The Mask.
Take a look at this opinion from Twitter:
Comparing it to other iterations of Pinhead, this new version is partly CG, yes, which is disappointing on a quick thought, but we haven’t seen them in action, it might be amazing, we’ll have to see when the movie comes out. But would we rather have Cenobites in full blinding light? Or the more backlit, dim, versions we got all the way back in the original Hellraiser?
Part of what makes those monsters so intriguing and interesting is that we don’t see much of them. Yes, Hellraiser isn’t really about Pinhead and Friends, it’s more about Kirsty, Frank, Julia, and Larry. In the film, the Cenobites when they make their grand entrance they’re in a dimly lit room, that does end up lighting up a bit, but that first look is the most important. You don’t see every detail of their disfigured, grotesque features. With light breaking through shudders, we get better looks at all of the Cenobites eventually.
What’s Better? Mega-Brightness Or Not?
That’s really up to you how you feel when it comes to seeing Pinhead for the first time. I’d have preferred that it was a full-body shot, but that’s something we’re going to see eventually anyway. After looking at the digitally brightened shot on the right, I much prefer the darker, dimmer, more intriguing version we got. It’s nice to see all the detail, including the neck wounds and the features of Pinhead’s face, but that takes away from the moody reveal.
When you compare it to the horribly washed-out version from Hellraiser: Bloodline, it’s like night and day. Sometimes less is more when it comes to horror and brightness for promotional images is definitely the case here.
Going off about how awesome Jamie Clayton looks as Pinhead for a moment, this is about as perfect as we can get when it comes to a blend of CG and makeup. It’s just a still image, but the words from Director David Bruckner on all things Hellraiser that came out yesterday are already a good sign. Add in the fact that Clive Barker is involved with this project, and you’ve got a recipe for a killer Hellraiser sequel/story.
The new Cenobite, simply named “The Mask” also looks absolutely thrilling.
Looking at this one, which is a film still, it looks even better. The blueish lighting in the background, this one doesn’t need any changes to lighting to get across the intrigue and horror of the Cenobites. They’re so grotesque but you can’t keep your eyes off them. As movie monsters, they just work.
So to answer the question, no, the lighting in the new shot isn’t “too dark”. It’s a Cenobite, and it’s a publicity shot, I’d rather them be too dark than too light. We’ll have all the time in the world to get 4K rips of Pinhead when the movie releases on Hulu (and hopefully Blu-ray).
Let’s See Them In Action
Hellraiser releases on Hulu on October 7th, 2022. It stars Jamie Clayton as Pinhead, Odessa A’zion as Riley, Goran Visnjic, and has a screenplay by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski. Here’s what Director David Bruckner had to say about Clayton as Pinhead.
We felt a kind of anticipation around the fans to reimagine the character. We knew we wanted Pinhead to be a woman. Jamie was just the right person for the role. A person’s identity can be really exciting for a role in many ways, but I have to emphasize that Jamie absolutely killed, that’s how we got there.
What Doug Bradley did with the character is so iconic, We didn’t want to do a Doug Bradley impression, we just didn’t think that’s possible to do. There will be suffering, but you’re going to get a sense of what Pinhead’s desires might be in a way that hits a little different.
I’ll be ready with the rest of you to stream it right when it drops. Between this and the upcoming Hellraiser series for HBO (that we haven’t heard anything about in a long time), it’s a good time to be a Hellraiser fan.
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