Hellraiser stars Hiam Abbass & Goran Visnjic hint at their characters' roles in the horror remake and reveal the importance of practical effects.
Hulu revives another storied franchise on October 7, when the Hellraiser remake hits the streaming platform. After the accolades Prey received for reinventing the Predator wheel, audiences are looking forward to seeing what new life the upcoming horror film breathes into Clive Barker's iconic novella, The Hellbound Heart. After writing and directing the first film in 1987, Barker stepped away from the later installments, which is why director David Bruckner is going back to the basics in his reboot.
The fascinating world of the Cenobites is explored through the eyes of the impetuous Riley as she and her friends search for her brother, who has gone missing in a supernatural way. But aside from re-introducing Pinhead and her interdimensional gang of pleasure seekers, Hellraiser also expands the mythology through supporting characters such as the mysterious Voight (played by Goran Visnjic) and Menaker (Hiam Abbass). Each of them sheds light on vital aspects of the Cenobites and their motivations throughout the film.
Screen Rant spoke to Abbass and Visnjic about how they relate to the Hellraiser franchise, what their characters contribute to the mythology, and how scared they were of the Cenobites in full costume on set.
Hiam, what has been your experience with the Hellraiser franchise, if you've had any at all?
Hiam Abbass: None, really. No, I couldn't cope. It was too dark for me. I tried, but there's no way It gets me [scared], and I'm very weak in front of them.
Goran, your character is very mysterious, but he has a very important piece of mythology within him. What can you say about him and his role in the film?
Goran Visnjic: The most important thing about him, I'm not allowed to talk about, because it's happening at the end of the movie. And it's a big kind of thing; big reveal. That little part of the script was my favorite part. When I read that, I was like, "Okay, I have to do this."
But he's the guy who starts the action with the box. He is the one who thinks he's going to be able to get something good out of this connection with the Cenobites. And he doesn't know, of course, that's impossible. He gets a really bad end of the deal, but then he's trying to do it again. He thinks that this time he's going to succeed, and then the whole story starts happening.
What I loved about it was, when you do a remake—or when you do a new movie after [it hasn't] come out in a long time—normally you see people [being] like, "Let's do this one, and we're going to CGI the hell out of it." This is not the case. This is a proper installment and proper sequel in a way. We did it in a very old-fashioned way, which doesn't mean anything negative. Quite the contrary, everything is done practically. CGI is used sporadically where it's needed, but whatever we were able to do with our hands on the set and proper costumes and makeup and aesthetics, we did it. And I think you can actually feel it, and it makes the level of horror much higher. I think it's much scarier because of that.
You got to be scared on set, which I'm sure was great. What was the Cenobite design that most terrified you or that you found most fascinating?
Hiam Abbass: I mean, all of them. I worked with three of them in a scene. Without spoiling it, the three of them were there. But even the first one coming in, that breathing machine where you see the whole inner body in that costume she's wearing. It just made me go, "Wow, okay. This is really incredible."
But as Goran said, one of the most important things for me that happened on set is that nothing felt fake. Some special effects will come later, but everything was there to play with. Everything was truthful; everything was really offering for you to give the best of you, because you're not faking anything. Everything is there.
I love to say this, but for me, the end was spiritual. It was really a goodbye somehow to life in a very spiritual way, which I really loved. All these characters around me are not real, but the fact that there were human beings inside them and there was interaction with real people? It felt very great. Very fun.
A reinvention of Clive Barker’s 1987 horror classic from director David Bruckner in which a young woman struggling with addiction 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.
Goran Višnjić Archive is a fansite for Croatian-American actor Goran Višnjić. He is best known for his role as Dr. Luka Kovač on ER, and he has also appeared in films such
as Practical Magic, The Girl With The Dragon
Tattoo, and Fátima. Most
recently he has starred as Garcia Flynn on NBC's Timeless, and as famed inventor
Nikola Tesla in the BBC’s Doctor Who.
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