The Cenobites in Barker's HELLRAISER are ridiculously cool creations, but they frustratingly only hint at a far more satisfying mythology (and I can't begin to comment on the "seductiveness" of Julia without sounding like a jerk, so I won't ...) This movie's aces in the whole mythology department ... and it's URBAN legend ... which makes it absolutely unique amongst films of this kind. And Ms. Madsen ... Oy Vey!!!
Saw this in the 90´s and thought it was shit since I was quite taken with the short story by Barker. Saw it again last night and liked it a whole lot. The acting and direction was solid and the story is great. Shame that the photography is really shitty and make the whole movie look like a cheap TV-movie. Plus points for Glass' score.
Possibly the best horror film of the 90s. The Cabrini-Green and urban spray-painted settings adds a lot to this creepy haunting tale, an aura that it was going for manages quite nicely. The final 20 or so minutes do take away from what had been building, but just as much they're needed. For standing out among horrors in a decade of letdowns, I award it 9/10.
A startling study of urban legends do exist. (And yes, Clive Barker does owe some credits since it's based on his short story.) Really gruesome and thought-provoking, this film is not on everyone's taste in horror but contains a fantastic & haunting score by Philip Glass and Tony Tood plays a perfect villain unlike any other I've seen. Once you start watching, you'll never want to hear another urban legend again.
Robitaille is an indelible horror figure, worthy of a place in horror fans' nightmares. An eerie mood is sustained throughout due to an unusual locale (for a horror flick) and an outstanding score by Philip Glass. Rose offers up an interesting juxtaposition of time periods with Robitaille representing mid-19th century America being placed within early 1990s urban contemporary America.
A thematically ambitious film in want of space to do its plethora of ideas justice. The villain alone is associated with religion, race, class, sex and nature, but his impact is mostly dependent on Todd's audio/visual peculiarities. Still, it's viscerally effective, an atmosphere of persecution, the moral degradation of a well-played heroine and uncommonly repulsive violence evoking a sense of grotesque melancholia.
This is what a horror film should be. An intelligent and engrossing supernatural mystery with great creepy atmosphere and just the right amount of shocking gore. Virginia Madsen is excellent in the lead, and Tony Todd cements his reputation as a horror icon. Writer/director Bernard Rose has created probably the only really good adaptation of a Clive Barker story - even if it does get a bit melodramatic at times.