Mad as Hell about HELLRAISER - Mania.com



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Mad as Hell about HELLRAISER

    August 31, 2000

First off, let me identify myself as the co-writer and the director of Hellraiser: Inferno. I am the director whom Clive Barker described as 'very nice'a description which was perhaps as hastily uttered as were his aspersions toward my film.

His reaction, I must admit, was not entirely unexpected. The Hellraiser franchise had (in my opinion) traveled too far in one direction and had quite simply run out of steam. The only interesting path to take in creating another sequel seemed to be the path of total reinvention.

Of course Clive Barker isn't going to appreciate that.

I never expected that he would appreciate seeing the treasured iconography of his brainchild tossed out the window and replaced with a whole new set of rules. But it seems to me that I made a movie that is too good or at least too provocative for him to just simply dismiss, as he obviously dismissed Hellraiser: Bloodline. This movie actually upset him, and I think I know why.

Mr. Barker's comments about the film were extremely negative, but the positive responses I have received regarding this film have been equally extreme. Most of the people who have seen it have said that they think it is the best Hellraiser film of them all. When C.S. Lewis published 'The Screwtape Letters', he said that his book was met with either laudatory praise or with that sort of anger which tells an author that he has hit his mark. Well, I have hit my mark, and this is, in fact, a very good film. It is philosophically ambitious (unlike Hellraiser II, III, or IV), and it represents a moral framework outside that of the previous Hellraiser films and (apparently) outside that of Clive Barker's personal taste.

Quite simply, I subverted Clive Barker's franchise with a point of view that he does not share, and I think that really pisses him off.

I'm honestly not angry about Mr. Barker's comments, and I would even return the gesture of calling him 'very nice'. However, I do want readers to note that his distaste for the film was not due to its lack of intrigue or quality, but rather to it's violation of what he deems to be interesting (if not sacred) about the Hellraiser mythology.

So in short, viewers need to watch this picture with an open mind, and remember that Clive Barker has only made one good picture, and perhaps for that reason, he's a little territorial when it comes to the man with the pins in his head.

Scott Derrickson
Co-writer and director of Hellraiser: Inferno

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