Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996) – By Brian Morton

Remember
your first time? No! Not that first time, what kind of magazine do you
think this is??? I mean the first time you saw your favorite horror
movie. The tension, the suspense, the surprise and jumps in your seat?
Well, you know what they say, nothing beats the first time. But what
about the second time? It’s almost as good. We’re familiar with the
characters, we kind of know what to expect but there’s still some of
the thrill. Then there’s the third time, not as exciting, we’re getting
used to our partner, but still it’s usually better than the alternative.

Now, what about a fourth time? After three times, there’s really
nothing left to surprise us, in fact, some of the ‘shocks’ are now
merely something to laugh at. Well, that’s what I felt like watching
the fourth installment in the Hellraiser series, 1996’s, Hellraiser:
Bloodline. The first time we met the Cenobites, under Clive Barker’s
direction they were fearful beings that no one wanted to meet. By this,
our fourth meeting, the Cenobites are like that aggravating biker gang
in the Clint Eastwood monkey movies.

In true sequel fashion, Hellraiser: Bloodline is set in outer space.
This is basically the story of the toy maker who built the Cenobite’s
magic cube and his descendants. It seems that since the cube was built
the toy maker and his heirs have been trying to close the portal to
hell that it opened.

Set in Revolution era France, current day (1996) America and on a space
station in the future, Hellraiser: Bloodline is a mess of a story that
never really gels. The story in Revolutionary France is the tale of how
the box is made and how it becomes a portal into hell. Then in current
day 1996, the story is of the toy maker’s descendant who’s making a
giant box based on the original. And in the future, on a giant space
station, yet another of our toy makers descendants is trying to close
the portal to hell for once and for all…or until the next sequel
surfaces, whichever comes first. Overall, the story overreaches itself,
trying to tie three timelines together with the Hellraiser box is a
nice idea, but it never really gels, it feels more a series of bad
Twilight Zone episodes with the same actors and Pinhead instead of Rod
Serling.

In all, if you’re browsing through the video store looking for
something to watch and you see Hellraiser: Bloodline, or, in general,
any sequel that takes place in space, the rule of thumb is just walk
away!