Though it isn't the most easily classifiable film, I still view it in the same league/genre with Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. In my opinion, however in terms of sheer horror it's better than all of them. Yes it's flawed and a bit non-sensicle, but what's scarier than the fear of the unknown? Pinhead trumps Freddie and Jason because he represents terror beyond anything we can imagine.
Awesome concepts. Sort of like Lovecraft meets S&M. The acting's pretty dodgy though. And I had a hard time seeing Julia as this big-time seductress. She's not a dog or anything ... it could just be the '80's gay-man-presentation ... but the hair and mom-slacks made her seem like somebody's nympho-grammy. Still, if you want visionary monster movies, set your Puzzle-Box for "Clive Barker." He craps Genius!!!
Nearly a direct adaptation of the novel which it is based on. This is as good as it could be given the budget, my only real gripe with this movie is the lack of development for the brother's character, he frames the book and is hardly mentioned here.
(rewatch) i forgot how genuinely weird the premise of this movie is. compared to your average john carpenter rip off, it's like avant garde theater or something. a shame that the direction is so run of the mill. with a jean rollin or even a david lynch behind the camera, this could have been a freaky little treat. instead, it's an interesting curiosity with some fun s & m flourishes slipping in under the radar.