This movie is absolutely disgusting but definitely a must see for any horror junkie. Clive Barker’s body horror from 1987 brings to life all of my childhood fears of the beings that inhabit the depths of Hell. Frank Cotton purchases a puzzle box knowing that if solved, would open a gate to another dimension filled with unimaginable horrors and carnality. He is a total sleazebag who has exhausted the pleasures of the flesh that are available to him in the mortal realm and is seeking something more. Frank solves the box and dies shortly after in an attic that looks like a drug den.
Cut to the living, Larry (Frank’s brother) is trying to repair his strained marriage with his wife Julia who we find out was having an affair with Frank and is still totally hot for him. Larry’s teen daughter, Kirsty refuses to live with couple and is living on her own. Larry, cuts his hand randomly and lets the blood drip into the same location where Frank was flayed to death unwittingly resurrecting his skinless corpse. Julia finds him and this is where we figure out that Julia is still into him, total gag. Julia then starts to collect men for Frank so that he can use their blood and tissue to fully regenerate. Kirsty comes over to the house unannounced after seeing Julia smuggling men and encounters Frank who tries to attack her but she escapes with the puzzle box in hand. Kirsty ends up in the hospital, unsure of why, probably tripped and fell over nothing but while in the hospital – she solves the puzzle box, opening the gates of Hell and allowing the Cenobites into her hospital room. Enter, Pinhead (total fox) and some other Cenobites of lesser importance who make a deal with Kirsty to not take her back to their realm and subject her to torture if Frank admits to escaping. Upon arriving at the home though, Larry is dead and Frank is wearing his skin like a suit. This leads to Julia getting stabbed and consumed by Frank (how do you miss) and the Cenobites ripping Frank to shreds with chains. Kirsty ultimately sends the Cenobites back to Hell and closes the gateway by solving the puzzle in reverse.
Pretty much every other film in the franchise is literally the worst but this one holds its own for being absolutely terrifying. Total gross-out body horror, and some of the most nightmarish villains but absolutely worth a watch. Fun story, after having watched this at way too young of an age, I comforted people by repeating this epic quote, No tears please – it is a waste of good suffering. Needless to say, nobody found this comforting in the least 😀
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