Hellraiser Director David Bruckner on How He Approached Revitalizing a Horror Franchise

Hellraiser Director David Bruckner on How He Approached Revitalizing a Horror Franchise

Hellraiser arrives on Hulu just in time for Halloween, aiming to offer a fresh, modernised take on the Clive Barker series — which, after its groundbreaking 1987 original film, has since been more of a straight-to-video affair. Tasked with this tall order is director David Bruckner, who spoke about his new film at a recent Hellraiser press event.

“It’s my first time ever working with sacred IP and feeling a responsibility to what has come before us,” Brucker told the group of journalists. His previous films include The Night House, The Ritual, and segments in 2012’s V/H/S anthology film and Shudder’s current Creepshow series. “And also really just being so blown away — Hellraiser is pretty hard. I was joking, you know, it could be a person with a mask on and a knife, but it’s not, they’re inter-dimensional BDSM demons coming from a labyrinth. It’s complicated stuff to get right. Actually making one of these films, my admiration goes to all the filmmakers that have come before us on it. So [we were] holding that in as high regard as we can, but also — and this is something that we all talked about as a team, and I think everybody was on board for — it was like we also have a responsibility to just lose ourselves in this and allow it to take us in different directions if we’re so compelled, and to be true to the story that we’re telling.”

io9 was able to ask Brucker about the film’s title, which follows the trend (see: Scream, Halloween) of later entries in long-running franchises of being named after the first film in the series. We also asked if he considered his Hellraiser to be a reboot, a sequel, or something else.

“[Hellraiser] just sounded better than Hellraiser 11,” Brucker said. “If it was up to me, we’d put the year on it when we discuss it, because I think we all kind of know where it situates. But it just didn’t feel appropriate to put an additional title on it this time. As far as what fans can expect, it’s a re-imagining, to one degree. I also think that it fits within the world of Hellraiser and what you’ve seen before in many ways. I wouldn’t say it’s strict canon. Again, we let our imaginations run with this. And I’m a big believer that, you know, movies are dreams and sometimes they present strange iterations of one another, and that we should just embrace that and kind of run with it. My suggestion to fans is to go into it not thinking exactly where it’s fitting in the history of the series and to just experience the film. And then, I don’t know. We’ll see what conversations grow from there.”

Hellraiser arrives on Hulu October 7.

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