After 35 years and 10 films, hellraiser finally received a reboot. The new film stars actress Jamie Clayton as the infamous and iconic Pinhead. In the film series, a puzzle box, often referred to as the Lament Configuration, can be transformed into new shapes…acting as a key to open a door to hell.
Once summoned by the Puzzle Box, a group of interdimensional beings known as Cenobites arrive, bringing pleasure, pain, and often death. For these beings, pleasure and pain are intimately linked. Since they live in a realm beyond life and death, they simply react to physical sensations, unable to separate good from evil.
After watching the new movie, horror fans will probably want to scare, and one of the best ways to do that is with a great game. Because games are immersive and interactive, sometimes they can be still scarier than the movies. So if you liked hellraiserhere are five games you need to check out.
In Agony, players wake up as a lost soul trapped in hell. It’s a natural choice for fans of hellraiser since the film series also explores the tortures of the afterlife. Both hellraiser and Agony also feature tons of body horror. In the movies, cenobites often hang their victims, stretching them like a morbid form of bodily suspension…until the person is completely torn apart. In Agony, Hell is presented as a cavernous lair with walls made of scorched flesh, exposed bone and muscle. Blood oozes from virtually every corner of the game. Many characters from Agony they even look like they come straight out of hellraiser (the red goddess of the game could easily be mistaken for a cenobite).
However, Agony is a bit controversial. First, it was a critical and commercial disaster. The game was rejected upon release because it felt tedious and lacked things to do…although it continued to find a cult following in the years since its release. It is also controversial because it was originally rated AO (Adults Only), one of the very few games to receive the rating. To bring the game back to an M rating, the creators had to remove some demonic sex, nudity, and gore scenes. But do not worry, a lot yet made into the final product. Additionally, an uncut version can be downloaded for PC, giving gamers the full AO experience (which fans of hellraiser will probably prefer).
Alien: Isolation is another game that looks and sounds like hellraiser, and the reason is obvious. Both franchises were born from the mixture of horror and sexualization. For hellraiser, writer and director Clive Barker has openly said in interviews that his time in the BDSM scene inspired the story. The leather and latex outfits, the exposed flesh, and the cenobite’s obsession with feeling physical stimuli – even if it brings pain – were all aspects taken directly from the fetish scene.
Alien: Isolation is also considered one of the scariest games ever made, forcing players to run and hide from a xenomorph that hunts down and kills survivors trapped on a malfunctioning space station that’s been thrown into chaos. Adding to the terror is that there is no way to kill the alien in the game. Instead, players are forced to run, hide, and escape to the any end.
The xenomorph in Extraterrestrial was born from a similar combination. Designed by HR Giger, who called his art style “biomechanical”, the xenomorph was inspired by Giger’s obsession with mixing bodies with machines. Is it a vein or a tube? A heart or a battery? And has anyone ever noticed that the alien’s head looks surprisingly like an erect body part? Giger enjoyed creating sexualized and terrifying images, often depicting naked bodies that were part machine or connected to a larger structure.
Clive Barker even wrote the introduction to one of Giger’s art books, the Necronomicon, so there’s a good chance that Giger’s work is not only similar to Barker’s, but actually inspired Barker and even hellraiser in a certain way.
Dead in broad daylight
Curiously, hellraiser almost became a video game several times, but each attempt ended up failing. So for any fan who wants the closest thing to a hellraiser game they can get they must check Dead in broad daylight. In this 4 vs 1 game, one player takes the role of the killer and the others must fight to survive and try to escape.
The game also became famous for including horror icons like Pinhead, the main Cenobite. The hellraiser The DLC lets you play as Pinhead himself, who comes with his own special attacks that use hooks and chains, and even the Lament setup. Although it does not provide a real hellraiser gaming experience, it’s still incredibly fun and it’s the closest we’ve got so far.
Immortal by Clive Barker
For gamers who want more of Barker’s mix of horror and gothic fantasy, they should revisit his 2001 PC game, Immortal by Clive Barker. In the game, players take on the role of Patrick Galloway, who is called to a coastal estate by his friend, Jeremiah Covenant. Jeremiah claims supernatural entities have taken over his home, but it turns out the paranormal beings are actually Jeremiah’s siblings, all of whom were reanimated by a curse and turned into beings of pure evil. Before long, players are transported to a hellish realm where they must fight to end the curse and save their friend and his family.
For an older game, Immortal by Clive Barker actually has a pretty solid creepy vibe. As long as you’re okay with the dated look of the game, it can be really enjoyable thanks to its great story which was written by the horror legend himself.
For fans of the blood, gore and mayhem of hellraiser, Survive to is the perfect game. The story centers on a journalist who investigates a dilapidated insane asylum. Inside, absolute chaos erupted. Patients and doctors have become murderers, many with injuries so severe they should not be alive. Things get even worse when players learn that madness isn’t the only danger in the hospital…there’s also a malevolent entity, The Walrider, killing people one by one.
just like Alien: Isolation, the game is regularly hailed as one of the scariest games ever made, forcing players to navigate pitch-black hallways while footsteps can be heard around every corner. It’s incredibly (and almost unbearably) suspenseful at times, and a sense of dread lurks throughout the game.
hellraiser fans will also notice and appreciate how Survive to uses and subverts the concepts of religion. Barker often incorporated religion into his works, including Hellraiser. The film asked “What the hell?” and that iconic “Jesus wept” line is still one of the most memorable in the entire film. Survive to also subverts religion, using it as a plot device to add depth and questions to the story, while hinting at a much deeper danger.