How Alfred Hitchcock Inspired 'Hellraiser: Judgment'

The Hellraiser series of films often depict incredibly grotesque visuals intertwined with sexuality, making it one of the more unique and unsettling franchises in the world of horror. Alfred Hitchcock's films, on the other hand, often focus on telling more than showing, leading the filmmaker to be a master of the psychological thriller. Writer/director of Hellraiser: Judgment Gary J. Tunnicliffe recently shared that, when making this latest chapter, he fully embraced Hitchcock's rumored filmmaking techniques.

"I was really trying to use the classic kind of Hitchcock mentality," Tunnicliffe told of his process. "And it's not a Hitchcock film, and I don't mean to suggest that I'm Alfred Hitchcock, but I heard a story, and maybe I'm completely wrong, that Hitchcock would say, 'Look, most of the film is just talking heads, and that's how we'll shoot it, but then we're gonna pick three scenes, and those are the scenes we're gonna go kinda crazy on, and make them kind of hopefully memorable.' Then you think of Hitchcock's movies, and you always go, 'Oh, yeah. There's that scene and that scene that are really, really good, and the rest of it is pretty standard coverage.'"

Tunnicliffe was working with a limited budget for Judgment and only had 15 days to shoot the film, a difficult task for a film of any size. This new film featured an "audit" from the demonic Cenobites, depicting all the blood, gore and nudity audiences come to expect from the series.

"So when I did the audit, it was like, 'Look, we're gonna shoot all of this in a day, all of that in a day, and then when we do the audit, we're gonna spend two days doing that,'" Tunnicliffe pointed out. "'And when we do the finale, we'll spend two days doing the finale to try and get our coverage, and make it a little more meat on the bones.' So, if there is a negative, then I'm sure people will be like, 'Oh, the police have just a bit kind of like run of the mill, and they just kind of blast through it, and it's not particularly endearing.' But, I mean, I chose to spend my time, which is like my single most valuable attribute, where I thought it was most useful."

The filmmaker has already noticed that this approach has appeased many fans when it comes to satisfying the most integral components of the franchise.


"These reviewers online [appreciate these scenes], even the people who f-cking hate it, like, 'Man, this film sucks, it blows,'" Tunnicliffe recalled. "'I mean, yeah, there's some great makeup effects, but it really sucks, and it really ... And, you know, the acting's pretty good, but it sucks, man, and it blows. Yeah, the auditor, he's kinda cool. You know? But, man, it sucks, and it's ... but I think Pinhead is pretty good, actually, you know? It's kinda cool, but it sucks.'"

You can witness the Hitchcockian influences when Hellraiser: Judgment hits Blu-ray, DVD and VOD on February 13.