Before I first saw The Evil Dead, Hellraiser was, hands down, my favorite movie. It is dark and gritty and sets the standard for serious, scary horror. Frank, a hedonist of the highest order, presses his lusty luck too far one day and ends up dead at the hands of the Cenobites, a group of monsters who occupy the the space between Hell and Earth. The S&M-themed demons are summoned via a puzzle box and promise pleasure and pain beyond one’s wildest dreams. After Frank has his soul torn the fuck apart, his brother moves in. Quite accidentally, the lady of the house stumbles across Frank’s living corpse after he manages to escape the clutches of the Cenobites. But his body is woefully incomplete. He needs blood to regain his natural human form. The good lady is kind enough to help him.
The grim-faced leader of the Cenobites, known affectionately as Pinhead, is probably the best horror movie monster ever created. He is scarier than anything evil because he completely lacks affect. He doesn’t care about having your soul, but he will have it. Because that’s just what he does. This film and its sequel are superb. The other seven films in the franchise vary in quality.
This movie’s climax is a thing of beauty. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.