Alternate titles : Hellraiser 4 : Bloodline, Hellraiser 4 : Bloodline Story

Tagline : "The most terrifying of all"

Hellraiser : Bloodline (Part 4)Largely ignoring the previous films, with a plot that runs parralel to them. This Fourth entry in the series starts off at a remote space station in outer space, in the year 2127. There we are introduced to Dr. Paul Merchant (Bruce Ramsey), whose hijacked the station, to summon up Pinhead (played once more by Doug Bradley) and his new band of Cenobites using the old puzzle box, in the hope of stopping them once and for all.

But his plans hit a snag when the station is boarded by company troops and he is thrown into a holding cell. Forced to explain his actions to their commanding officer, Rimmer (Christine Harnoss), he starts to tell her about the puzzle box and it's origins. The film then descends into a series of flashbacks, within flashbacks, that traces his family's history and shows us the run-ins they've had with Pinhead and Co, over the years.

It turns out that one of his ancestors, a Frenchman named Phillipe LeMerchant (Ramsey again), created the puzzlebox for a wealthy aristocrat called Genevieve, who dabbled in the black arts (hold on, wasn't it established that it was a CHINESE puzzle box in the earlier films?) and used it to summon up a demon named Angelique (Valentina Vargas).

Flashing forward to present day 1996 (remember, this film is a few years old now), and another one of his ancestors named John Merchant (Ramsey again) who was apparently the designer of the building seen at the end of part 3, who is working on a design that will shut the gateway to the Cenobites Hell forever. However, Angelique turns up and recovers the box buried in the foundations during the previous film, and summons up Pinhead, whereupon John discovers that his design doesn't work properly, much to his dismay.

We then go back to the future and find that the whole space station that Dr Merchant hi-jacked is actually one big trap for Pinhead, and he only has a limited time left to spring it. However, with Rimmer believing him to be a lunatic and with the cenobites roaming the station, things now look grim for them.

Whilst not as gripping or gory as the previous Hellraiser films this is still fairly entertaining, although it's made a little confusing by the fact that the plotline runs in parallel with the previous films, rather than just following on from them. Fans of the original may be a little disappointed, I actually enjoyed it better the second time I saw it, but it is still quite good as far as sequels go.

Overall Marks : 6/10.

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Buy the UK DVD  [Amazon UK]


Buy the US BD set (4-7) [Amazon US]

Buy the US DVD set (3-8) [Amazon US]


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