Hellraiser III is a masterpiece in comparison to this abortion. Holy mother of Leviathan, this was painful to sit through. A group of dipshit teenagers are really into Hellworld, an online videogame based on the Hellraiser universe. In this film, Hellraiser is just a movie series (and, despite years of direct-to-video sequels, inexplicably really popular). One of the friends is so obsessed with the game, he kills himself over it for some reason never explained. By playing the game really well, the surviving kids all win tickets to a special Hellworld party hosted by Lance Henriksen. As in every single Hellraiser since V, things start to get weird and the kids can't tell what is real and what is not. Turns out, Lance is the dad of their dead friend and wants revenge on the kids for not preventing his son's suicide. Obviously, the best way to go about this is to study up on the Hellraiser mythology, amass a huge Hellraiser collection, convince the owners of the videogame to offer the invite to its players, setup an elaborate party in a huge mansion, acquire a hallucinogen, dose the kids you want to torture, bury them alive with cellphones and talk to them to scare them to death. Simple, really. Oh, and, surprise, surprise: Pinhead is really for real and really kills Lance at the end. Shocking.
I met Lance at a con recently and he's a super-nice guy, so I say this with lots of love: "Dude, why did you agree to be in this?" Lance is far too good for this garbage. Speaking of casting, I love all of the pretty people who happen to be both huge Hellraiser nerds and videogame geeks. Right. I'm a horror nerd, so feel like I can say this: we're not a good-looking people. In real life, you wouldn't really want to attend a Hellraiser party in which people are walking around topless and having sex on couches. It wouldn't be a pretty sight.
Horrible acting, a plot that makes no sense and a ghost that dials 911: Hellworld should've been the nail in Hellraiser's coffin. Sadly, it looks like I'm in for an even worse sequel tomorrow night. (3/10)
The Walking Dead: "TS-19" (2010) directed by Guy Ferland
This CDC business happened way, way too early in the series. Inside, they get a nice break, with real food and hot showers and safety from the dead. We haven't seen them go through enough hardship for this to really mean anything. Hell, Rick just had a hot shower five episodes ago. And, until the zombie, attack, they were perfectly comfortable at their campsite for quite a while. This break should've been the prison, as in the comics, which comes after weeks and weeks of really hard living on the road and tons of hard work to secure the place.
I'm also not of fan of the plague exposition in this episode. Using super-technology, the remaining doctor at the CDC shows everyone a magically impossible scan of the neural activity in a person's brain as they die and turn. He then claims to not know what the root cause is -- viral, bacterial, fungal, etc. -- yet forces everyone to take a blood test. What the hell was he looking for in the blood if it doesn't know the cause? Ugh. Keep the plague a mystery. After 8 whole years of comics, we still don't know as much as they just learned in episode 6 of the show.
I'm crossing my fingers for season 2 to improve from here. What they really need next is an extended period of hard living on the road to really drive home how crappy the world has become.