The First ‘Hellraiser’ Reviews Are Praising Jamie Clayton’s Horrifying Portrayal Of Pinhead

Hulu is getting a head start on the Halloween season this year with the release of the upcoming Hellraiser reboot next week. Hellraiser, for anyone unfamiliar and afraid of needles, is the 1987 cult classic horror film from Clive Barker, which spawned several sequels and one hell of a creepy leader.

The 2022 version, from The Night House director David Bruckner, follows a “young woman struggling with addiction who comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon the Cenobites, a group of sadistic supernatural beings from another dimension.” Jamie Clayton stars as Pinhead, the unsettling leader of the Cenobites, complete with the iconic pins in her head (naturally).

Though the film won’t premiere on Hulu until next week, many horror fans were able to see the screening at Fantastic Fest this week, and the reviews are quite optimistic! Many were praising the story for staying true to the original mythology while giving a fresh new look. Also, Clayton’s Pinhead seems to be just as creepy as the original, if not more. Though the pacing of the film seems to be a bit lackluster, it seems like Hulu has a good one on its hands.

Alan Cerny, Vital Thrills

Clayton brings a sensuality to Pinhead that was a bit lacking to Bradley’s work. Hellraiser is a surprisingly horny movie and thank the Labyrinth for that. Considering too much horror is chaste these days, it’s refreshing that David Bruckner doesn’t shy away from the sex. The sexuality of the Hellraiser films was always a feature, not a bug, and Bruckner puts all that back into the film.

It’s exciting to see what lies ahead for this series, if Disney (!) decides to make more of these. Just typing that feels strange. I was fortunate to see this in a movie theater, with the soundtrack pounding on speakers and the spectacular gore on a fifty-foot screen for all to bathe in. It’s a big movie with a big budget, and Hellraiser (2022) deserves that scope and that kind of treatment.

Nathaniel Muir, APT Comics:

There is always some concern when it comes to remakes. Horror fans tend to be a little more forgiving since the genre is littered with them, but a tinge of hesitation is always there. The new Hellraiser is a much-needed breath of fresh air to the long-suffering franchise. Bruckner is amazing behind the camera while Clayton’s performance has her poised to be the new face of horror.

Shannon McGrew, Nightmarish

Hellraiser captures the visual cacophony of pain and pleasure that honors the original while still forging its own path. Jamie Clayton is Pinhead perfection and a worthy successor to Doug Bradley. Dark, violent + sexual, Bruckner and Co. certainly have such sights to show you.

Chris Evangelista, Slash Film:

Clayton makes for a great Pinhead — she’s wisely not trying to emulate Doug Bradley’s now-iconic performance and instead is making the character her own. This isn’t quippy, slasher Pinhead. This is a Pinhead who likes to watch, and wait.

While some reviews are not published yet, early previews of the film are overwhelmingly positive and impressive.

Hellraiser will debut on Hulu on October 7th.