This 2022 Hellraiser film, directed by David Bruckner and written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, is a reboot of Clive Barker’s famous 1987 supernatural horror film. It’s the 11th film in the Hellraiser franchise, but you don’t need to have seen the previous ten to comprehend the plot of the new picture. All of the key Hellraiser themes are present in the new one—there is a race of demonic monsters called the Cenobites, who are summoned by a puzzle box that opens a portal to a Hell-like dimension—but there are significant modifications. Don’t worry, Barker, the film’s executive producer, has authorised everything.
Even if you’ve seen the original, you might not be able to follow the plot of Hellraiser 2022. A lot is going on, from demonic puzzle boxes to bloody human sacrifices.
Don’t worry if you had problems following the story; Decider is here to help. Continue reading for a summary of the Hellraiser 2022 narrative and an explanation of the Hellraiser 2022 finale.
Major Hellraiser spoilers follow. Duh!
WHAT IS THE SUMMARY OF THE HELLRAISER 2022 PLOT?
The film begins with a young man named Joey being summoned into a spooky chamber by a terrifying man named Ronald Voight (Goran Vinji). Voight challenges Joey to solve his puzzle box, a complex, ornate Rubik’s cube. Joey does, in fact, solve it—and is promptly stabbed by the hidden knife in the box. Demonic chains string up Joey as a portal to another dimension opens. “I am a repentant of the Leviathan,” Voight confesses as he looks up to the heavens. Please give me this audience. Please grant me this boon.” Okay, then!
Meanwhile, Riley McKendry (Odessa A’zion) is a recovered addict who lives with her brother, Matt (Brandon Flynn), and Colin, her brother’s lover (Adam Faison). Riley is dating a new guy named Trevor (Drew Starkey), which her brother does not approve of because he believes Trevor is bad news, will get Riley in trouble, and cause her to relapse. When Trevor recruits Riley for a job stealing an abandoned warehouse where he believes expensive commodities are stored in a shipment, he is more or less proven correct. The two break into the house, but all they find is the strange puzzle box from the opening, albeit in a different shape.
Riley’s brother reaches a breaking point and pushes her out when she arrives home late and inebriated. She finds herself popping pills in the middle of the night at a playground and pulls out the puzzle box. She reveals the hidden dagger in the box and summons the High Priest, also known as Pinhead (Jamie Clayton), the leader of the Cenobites, extradimensional demonic entities. Pinhead (for simplicity, let’s just call her Pinhead) informs Riley that the blade was meant for her and invites her to accompany them. “If not you, bring us another,” Pinhead adds. So this demon is not completely unreasonable!
WHAT IS THE HELLRAISER 2022 ENDING EXPLAINED?
Riley, Trevor, and Colin are being chased by the Cenobites at Voight’s mansion. When one of the Cenobites, Chatterer, is stabbed by the box and subsequently sacrificed, Riley realizes that killing the Cenobites technically counts as a sacrifice towards the box’s next configuration. Riley comes up with a plan to intentionally let the Cenobites into the mansion to offer her final sacrifice to the box.
But wait, there’s a twist! It turns out Riley’s terrible boyfriend Trevor was working for Voight all along. That traitor! Voight shows up at the mansion with a metal contraption in his chest, letting the audience know he is at the mercy of the box and the Cenobites. He needs to feed the box to be set free, and hired Trevor to do his dirty work.
Voight recalls how he solved the puzzle box with sacrifices six years ago, and chose “Liminal,” aka sensation. But it turned out that the Cenobite’s idea of “sensation” was weird body horror torture. Who could have guessed? Voight warns Riley that whatever the Cenobites have promised her, it will not be what she wants. Voight stabs Colin, marking him as the next victim, and summons the Cenobites. Voight demands Pinhead undo his “gift.” Pinhead says the gift can’t be returned but can be exchanged. Pinhead gives Voight “Leviathan,” aka power.
Meanwhile, the Cenobites come to collect Colin, but Riley steps in and asks them to take Trevor the traitor instead. She stabs Trevor, releasing Colin from his Cenobite prison. Pinhead shows Riley her gift for the final sacrifice—her brother, resurrected—but she rejects the gift. She accepts that her brother is gone, knowing that the Cenobite reward will not be what they say. Pinhead tells Riley this means she has chosen “the Lament Configuration,” aka life, and will always live a life of regret.
Riley and Colin leave the mansion, alive. Riley is unsure if she made the right choice not to bring her brother back.