Hellraiser: How the New Movie Reimagines Cenobites and the Hellish Puzzle Box

However, one familiar needle-filled face will be returning. This time around, the leader of the demonic sect, Pinhead, is played by Jamie Clayton. “Jamie scared the hell out of me,” Bruckner jokes about his lead actress. “Jamie always had a handle on it. She was always doing something with it that I would just come back to over and over again.” 

With practical effects comes prosthetics, which can be awkward at the best of times and torturous at the worst, but Clayton was up to the challenge. “She was truly fearless. Those aren’t easy shoes to fill,” says Bruckner. “In that space, she was as strong and confident as anyone could imagine.” 

Pictures of Clayton as the infamous Pinhead have been released, and suffice to say, they are striking. According to Bruckner, everyone on set felt the same upon seeing her. “You could hear a hush fall over the crew because it was like the hell priest is here, behold! She definitely conducted the character with a sense of majesty.”

With features The Ritual (2017) and The Night House (2020) under his belt, Bruckner has already become an exciting director to watch, and it looks like horror is where his heart is. “Horror is the only genre in film where it is still permitted to be a bit surreal,” he says. “Reality is agreed upon in a different way. There’s a freedom to it, and you can get weird.” 

On the idea of taking a stab at other horror franchises, Bruckner was humble, “I dare not say. I think I have to respect the movie gods.”

New franchises or not, Bruckner’s future will certainly contain horror as well as continued collaboration with writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski. And as for whether more Hellraiser films could be on the way? “Should the fans respond to this, should there be a desire to go further with it? I would be absolutely honored.”

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