Let’s face it: the Hellraiser sequels are all horrible. Yes, even the second one. Oh, they’re (usually) written with at least a few ounces of intelligence — they’re (occasionally) all at least half-smart morality tales, filled with at least a few half-clever twists and turns that would make the Saw scribes nod in approval. They (often) all have something at least half-interesting and insightful to say about the decisions we make in life (and death!) and their often deadly consequences. They (sometimes) make valid points about self-delusion and personal responsibility, and Pinhead’s closing-act summarizing monologues are (always) delivered with the eloquence that comes from being an actor trained in Shakespeare (hats off to you, Doug Bradley). And yet they fail. Why? Because they’ve only ever been treated as cheap direct-to-video trash by those who shell out the few bucks to get them made, even the ones that actually got theatrical runs (though that ended way back in 1996 with the fourth installment, Bloodline). These stories have never been given the love and care they deserve to bring them to life, so there they sit and wallow in their bloody, wasted potential. So do yourself a favor and watch the original movie, which was directed by Clive Barker himself; it’s not a very good movie, either, but at least it’s actually trying to be one — and if you have to watch one of the sequels, watch this eighth installment, just to see just how rock freakin’ bottom it can actually go.