While the effects are undeniably impressive, I’m a little disappointed that the Cenobite designs entirely abandoned the club wear look. It feels like a reflection of the movie losing track of the S&M dynamic in its focus on gore; while there’s plenty of depictions of pain, none of them are tied to masochism and sensuality. There’s a lot to like in the performances, particularly when Jamie Clayton’s Pinhead and Odessa A’zion’s Riley are interacting.
Even though it’s not good at being a movie about extreme S&M, it is very good at being a modern slasher movie about addiction. The puzzle box is Riley’s latest addiction, and it literally destroys the lives of those around her, while promising that if she keeps using it the rewards will be worth it. While I think it fumbles the ending slightly, I would watch a sequel and there’s plenty of room for one, with the puzzle box, a bloody mattress, and a brand new Cenobite all floating around.
We started watching this before Halloween started, so we’re just about at the climax of the second season. The twists and turns are getting a little old; the first season already felt like it didn’t have quite enough plot for ten episodes, while the second one is trying to stretch a similar plot to twelve. Part of the problem is that by keeping the same cast it’s become harder for them to believably paint some of them as suspects, making it easy to pick the culprit out of the pool well before the actual reveal.