After reading on Wikipedia that this movie didn't start life as a Hellraiser movie (same as V and VI), things make a little more sense. No wonder the Cenobite stuff feels tacked on in these sequels... it was. Even ignoring the Hellraiser bits, I can't say I really understand what the hell was going on in this movie. There's a cult in Romania who believe their flesh isn't really what they are. To prove this, they kill themselves and their leader, Winter, somehow resurrects them with a deep kiss. For some reason, the cult thinks reporter Amy Klein is "the chosen one" and gets her to come to Romania so that she might join them. Apparently, she has the ability to both solve the box and kill herself for the cult. Why that is special, I'm not sure. There's a vague mention that Winter is fighting with Pinhead over the box (Winter, apparently, being John Merchant's brother from part IV) and having Amy do these things will somehow help, but it's never made very clear what exactly the goal is.
As a former Sliders watcher, I can't say I am a Kari Wuhrer fan due to the stuff that went down behind the scenes on that show. Even so, I have to give her props here. Even though she's stuck in Pinhead, Part 7, she gives the role all of her energy. She's probably the series' best protagonist since Kirsty, I'd have to admit (though, frankly, that ain't saying much). I particularly liked the scene where she wakes up with a giant knife stuck in her back. Her freaking out over the situation -- especially since she's feeling no pain from the wound -- was great, as was her solution for getting the knife out (wedging it in a cabinet door and pulling).
There are some other nice moments in the movie as well. While searching for Winter, Amy walks into a basement hallway that keeps getting narrower and narrower. When she's about stuck, barely able to inch forward in the small space, a hooded man with a knife starts approaching from behind. It's quite an effective and claustrophobic scene. I also thought the Cenobites appearing in a blaze of blue lighting was a nice updating of the cartoony effects seen in the first film.
Despite this stuff, the movie's still a mess. It's barely coherent and we're still doing the "protagonist can't tell what is real anymore" shtick started in V. I'm getting sick of this approach to Hellraiser. (6/10)
The Walking Dead: "Wildfire" (2010) directed by Ernest R. Dickerson
This episode is mainly focused on how the group decides to deal with death. Daryl wants to shoot the bitten Jim before he's even dead. Rick stops him and declares that they aren't killers. Glenn insists that the dead members of the group be buried instead of burned. Carol applies a pickax to her dead, abusive husband's skull with a little too much gusto. Andrea stays with her sister until she awakens as zombie, first apologizing to her and then blowing her brains out. I especially liked the scene with Andrea. They really get up close to the process of a dead body waking up as a zombie, forcing you to really think about it. Watching such a thing happen to a loved one would be horrible. As you struggle to get used to the huge hole in your life their death means to you, you suddenly see them take a couple of ragged breaths and open their eyes. It'd be very tempting to imagine that they're really going to be OK after all. I suspect this is how a lot of the plague spread; being bitten by those you love.
The CDC stopover was not in the comic series, but it really does make sense. It's located in Atlanta, anyway, so might as well stop there just in case. What I don't really understand was everyone's objections to going there with Rick. What was the downside? Do they have anything better to do than go to the one place in the entire world that might have the cure? It seemed like some false tension was generated for the drama.