Pinhead returns, although fans of the series may be more than a little disappointed with this fifth instalment, which owes little or nothing to the previous films.
This time the plot centres around a rather unpleasant LA Cop named Joseph Thorne (Craig Sheffer), who's investigating a series of murder cases, which seem to involve a missing child. Several victims have been been found torn to pieces, and a finger taken from a young child left next to each body. Though eager to bring the killer to justice and find the child, we soon get the impression that Thorne isn't the nicest of persons, as he continually cheats on his wife with prostitutes, snorts drugs and double crosses his friends at every opportunity.
He eventually discovers the killer to be a man known as "The Engineer", but it seems this engineer is no ordinary serial killer. In the course of trying to track him down, he finds reality and fantasy begin to blur as he is he drawn into a series of flashbacks within flashbacks, that are so confusing that its hard to tell what's real or not anymore. As we find out he is being haunted by the demons of his past, and it would seem some of Pinhead's Cenobites.
Could this have something to do with the strange puzzle box he discovered in a motel room? Obviously yes, but it's not till the very end we discover what's going on, but even then you may have to do a double take to understand what the film was about. Indeed, I got the impression this probably started life as an unrelated film that was rewritten to include Pinhead and co, as it bears virtually no relationship to previous Hellraiser films and the Cenobites actually seem superfluous to the plot, which focuses on Thorne trying to catch The Engineer whilst being haunted by his past demons, in what appears to be a blatant reworking of "Jacob's Ladder".
On the plus side, there were some cool new cenobites, it's just a pity they don't occupy anywhere near enough screen time. If you were a fan of the first 3, or 4, films. You might want to skip the rest of the series from this point onwards.