It's a question that plagues horror fans at least once during their travels across Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Shudder, and iTunes: What the hell happened to the Hellraiser series? The first one is good, they remember, and Part 2 was pretty insane... but what happened after that? There were more? Then they realize there are NINE more.
Hellraiser is a fascinatingly bad horror franchise, if I'm being brutally honest. Three theatrical sequels would follow the shocking, 1987 original, with five additional direct-to-DVD sequels bleeding out of the franchise's soul through the 2000s. This week sees the release of the tenth installment, Hellraiser: Judgment, and it's certainly nothing compared to Clive Barker's source material, the 1986 novella "The Hellbound Heart" (which is definitely worth checking out, especially if you dig the first few movies.) But terrible horror sequels are nothing new, right? What makes the Hellraiser series so particularly awful? Let's look at the tape(s).