The 5 Best & 5 Worst Clive Barker Movies, According To IMDb
Clive Barker is an experimental horror auteur best known for his riveting debut feature, 1987’s Hellraiser. Here are his best and worst movies.
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Clive Barker is an experimental horror auteur best known for his riveting debut feature, 1987’s Hellraiser. While a polemical contribution to the genre, Hellraiser is undeniably moody, visceral, and original. Pinhead and his fellow Cenobites remain some of the most iconic characters in cinematic history.
Technically, Clive Barker has only directed three feature films – including Hellraiser. However, Barker’s fictional novels and short stories have been the inspiration for multiple films. Barker has even adapted a few of his published works into screenplays himself. Everything of Barker’s attests to his singular, unmatched approach to scary storytelling.
10 Best: The Midnight Meat Train (2008) – 6.1
Bradley Cooper stars in this adaptation of Barker’s short story “The Midnight Meat Train,” published in his acclaimed series Books of Blood. Cooper plays an obsessive and struggling photographer named Leon. Leon discovers a woman is missing the night after he saves her from being attacked by a group of men on the subway.
After the police drag their feet, Leon becomes obsessed with figuring out what happened to the woman. Eventually, he crosses paths with a butcher named Mahogany, at which point the film delves into sheer psychological terror. Ryûhei Kitamura directed the film, and Jeff Buhler wrote the screenplay.
9 Worst: Book of Blood (2009) – 5.3
Book of Blood is another film based on stories from Barker’s Books of Blood collection. Barker did not write the screenplay or direct this feature; John Harrison directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Darin Silverman. The source materials for the film are Barker’s framing stories in Books of Blood: “The Book of Blood” and “On Jerusalem Street (A Postscript).”
Jonas Armstrong plays a paranormal investigator whose work leads him to a house that serves as a meeting place for souls on their way to the afterlife. The film received positive reviews from critics, but many genre fans find Book of Blood daunting and slow-paced.
8 Best: Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) – 6.5
The follow-up to Barker’s artistic and intense Hellraiser was directed by Tony Randel with a screenplay by Peter Atkins. However, Barker served as executive producer and earned a writing credit for composing the novella the original film is adapted from. After the events of the first film, Kirsty Cotton finds herself in an institution managed by Dr. Phillip Channard.
While Kirsty vies to save her father from Hell, Dr. Channard invokes Pinhead and his Cenobites in hopes of finding the gateway for his own personal means. Full of evocative body horror, surreal set designs, and endless puzzles, Hellbound is revered among Barker fans as a strong sequel.
7 Worst: Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995) – 5.3
Tony Todd reprises the titular role in this sequel to 1992’s Candyman. Why is this franchise featured on a list of Clive Barker films? It’s because Barker wrote the short story that spawned the cinematic explorations of the vengeful spirit brutally murdered in the 19th century for being part of an interracial relationship.
Farewell to the Flesh was directed by Bill Condon and written by two people: Rand Ravich and Mark Kruger. While the first film takes place in Chicago, the sequel transpires in New Orleans. Candyman appears in the birthplace of jazz, where he targets a young, white schoolteacher. The film lacks the scope of the original while reveling too much in blood and gore.
6 Best: Nightbreed (1990) – 6.6
Nightbreed is Barker’s second film as director. Barker also wrote the screenplay based on his 1988 novel Cabal. Combining horror and fantasy, the ensemble feature stars Craig Sheffer as Aaron Boone, a young man drawn into a strange world known as Midian, where creatures called Nightbreeds reside.
Aaron is convinced by his deranged, psychopathic therapist – played by horror director David Cronenberg – he is responsible for serial murders committed by the therapist. Aaron, suffering from mental duress, seeks shelter in Midian, where he is eventually transformed into one of the monsters. While it never received critical acclaim, Nightbreed is a testament to Barker’s world-building skills.
5 Worst: Rawhead Rex (1986) – 5.3
Barker wrote the screenplay for Rawhead Rex, the second of his stories to be adapted into a feature-length film. Set in Ireland, the movie follows an ancient pagan god accidentally set loose in modern-day Ireland. The creature embarks upon a devastating, carnage-fueled trip around the island nation.
The subpar creature design and effects make the film more laughable than terrifying. Barker was not happy with how the film – directed by George Pavlou – turned out, and neither were critics.
4 Best: Candyman (1992) – 6.6
The title of the Barker story that inspired Bernard Rose’s screenplay for Candyman is “The Forbidden.” In the film, also directed by Rose, Virginia Madsden plays a graduate student named Helen living and working in Chicago. She starts investigating stories about the Candyman, a black man massacred by a white mob for being in love with a white woman. Rumor has it his spirit still haunts people in certain parts of the city.
Helen travels to the Cabrini-Green neighborhood to figure out if there’s truth to the urban legend, and she soon finds herself face-to-face with much more than an old story. Tony Todd gives a harrowing performance as the title character, and Candyman is considered a vital contribution to the horror genre. In fact, a remake of the film is set to be released in 2020.
3 Worst: Underworld (1985) – 4.2
Clive Barker’s first screenplay was co-written by James Caplin and based on a story from the Books of Blood. Directed by George Pavlou (who also directed Rawhead Rex), Underworld starts with the kidnapping of a high-end female sex worker and travels to London’s underground subway system, where a mad scientist harbors a deformed species of humans.
Fearful the sex worker has been kidnapped by the scientist, Dr. Savary, one of the woman’s clients hires a man to track her down. Like Rawhead Rex, Barker ended up hating what Pavlou did with his script.
2 Best: Hellraiser (1987) – 7.0
Barker’s cinematic career took off with the release of Hellraiser, a visionary, gothic tale that pushes horror to its limits. Based on Barker’s 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart, the film follows Ashley Laurence’s character Kirsty Cotton, a teenager sucked into a world occupied by supernatural explorers known as Cenobites.
These Cenobites, when summoned, open up humans to a world where there is no limit to carnal experiences and where there is no distinction between pleasure and pain. Barker’s old theatre compatriot Doug Bradley plays the most infamous Cenobite, Pinhead. The film’s success launched a long-running franchise.
1 Worst: Hellraiser: Revelations (2011) – 2.7
While Clive Barker received credit for creating the characters used in this ninth addition to the Hellraiser franchise, he had nothing to do with the making of the film. It’s the first Hellraiser movie not to feature Doug Bradley in the Pinhead role. The actor flatly refused to participate.
The film’s production company, Dimension Films, rushed the filming of the movie because they were set to lose the rights to the franchise. The result is a derivative, predictable, and poorly acted movie directed by Víctor García and written by Gary J. Tunnicliffe.
Link Source : https://screenrant.com/best-worst-clive-barker-movies-imdb-candyman-hellraiser/