Explore the terrifying world of Clive Barker in a new light with David Bruckner’s Hellraiser. The film revolves around a recovering addict who comes across the infamous Lament Configuration and inadvertently opens the door for the terrifying Cenobites to unleash their terror on her and her friends.
Odessa A’zion leads the cast of the new Hellraiser alongside Jamie Clayton, Brandon Flynn, Goran Višnjić, Drew Starkey, Adam Faison, Aoife Hinds, Selina Lo, and Hiam Abbass. The Hellraiser remake has changed hands for over 15 years, with David Bruckner, well-known for his work in the horror genre with the likes of The Night House and The Ritual, eventually signing on to direct. The screenplay comes from The Night House‘s Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski and a story they developed with David S. Goyer, setting the stage for a faithful and worthy successor to Barker’s 1987 adaptation of his own novella.
In anticipation of the film’s release, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with star Adam Faison to discuss Hellraiser, his love of the long-running horror franchise, the return to Barker’s source material, his first reaction to seeing the Cenobites on set, and more.
Adam Faison Spills Hellraiser Secrets
Screen Rant: How are you doing today, Adam?
Adam Faison: Good, man, you know, sun is shining. Maybe not in Hellraiser land, but they’re getting through. [Laughs]
If the sun’s shining, I feel like something’s going wrong in Hellraiser land! That’s when things get scary. Hellraiser is one of the most storied franchises in the horror genre, and it’s awesome to see it come back. I really enjoyed the new one. What about it really caught your interest?
Adam Faison: It’s just fun how image-related it is, I think they really did a good job of making it sexy and memorable. But yeah, like the imagery, I just remember, even the stop-motion of the original, just like the reverse stop-motion, I think it was just really amazing to see what they did, I think was like a relatively lower budget. And just kind of like the stillness of the Cenobites, and yet they’re in these vestments that are so outlandish, but that they just sort of stay and kind of make a meal out of you is something that I think really excited me about this one, especially seeing all the new designs. You see them in the trailer, and there’s just so many cool ones and so many new cool ones, which I think is awesome.
The Cenobites are one of the most visually arresting things in the horror genre, to this day. What was your first reaction when you saw them on set?
Adam Faison: Man, I have to say, there was a point when one of them, The Weeper, you’ll kind of see her in the trailer, but she has no jaw, and she has these bug eyes. Drew and I, we have this scene where we’re kind of running from Cenobites, and she was just so tall and quiet, and you couldn’t really hear anything she was saying, because the mask was covering and just so muting, and she only really spoke when she had to in the scenes, or made these guttural noises, and it freaked me out so much, man.
You don’t even really have to get into it, because you just like look at her, and then she’d make that sort of bass noise, and it was just so freaky, man, and having to run from it was just so fun. I love getting scared, so those ones, I felt like I was like, “Wow, this is my horror movie-watching training coming in to f——ng play here.” Because I was just like, “Dude, we get to do this every day. It’s so cool. They’re right in front of us.” I just geek out on that stuff, I just think it’s so cool when you get to see them right in front of you.
That’s awesome. I don’t know what I would do if I saw them. I don’t know if I would fanboy, or if I would go, “Okay, time to go.”
Adam Faison: [Chuckles] It’s just like clomping towards you slowly.
Exactly, you’re like, “Do we hug, run, both?”
Adam Faison: Yeah, all of the above! [Laughs]
One of the things that I love about this film, especially in comparison to all of the previous Hellraisers, is the characters. They are all so well-written and all so well-performed, Colin is one of the most touching of them all. What was it like getting to the heart of him?
Adam Faison: Thank you, man, I appreciate you saying that. I feel like I had a lot of fun with Colin, because I find I’m kind of sometimes a natural skeptic and a logical thinker in my real life, so to get to bring that to life in this, while also having to balance loving Riley and having the only connection left like with her and trying to savor that and protect that was like a very fun challenge to sort of tow. Because it’s like here on one end, he’s very logical, and he’s like, “How could this be real?” But he’s seeing the very real reaction of Riley while she’s going through it and so it was just such a fun time to be able to play that, and Odessa is such a great actor, so to play opposite of her and really try to like walk on eggshells throughout those scenes was just, she made it so easy.
Since you mention, Odessa I was actually going to ask, what was it like developing that rapport, with her because the dynamic that you do have is so much fun.
Adam Faison: Thank you, man. Dude, I love that girl. She’s got such a big heart and just comes every day with just a f——ng open heart. You know? She’s a Hellbound Heart, baby, and I appreciated that she just really went for it every time. Before scenes, when we had to get into it, we just jumped around, we live in it. There’s a song I like to listen to from Kill Bill, it’s by Zamfir, it’s called “The Lonely Shepherd”. I just liked that song, because it made me think of her kind of being like Uma Thurman or something, going and facing these demons. It was stupid, because one day, my headphone fell out, and she heard I was listening to it and I was kind of embarrassed, but she was like, “Bo, no, let’s listen to it together.”
So, it became our thing before these intense scenes, or when we have to get emotional. It was like I was letting her going and facing these demons, because she’s so cool, and she’s such a badass and her character is just — it’s cool to see her take agency in her own hands. Because I think final girls in some movies, they don’t really get that agency, and so it’s really kind of awesome to get to see her be a badass and be the one figuring out this puzzle box as we go along.
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I think she’s one of the best recent examples of a final girl that we’ve had yet. Before I let you go, the social media embargo has dropped, reactions have been coming out, how has it been seeing all the reactions so far?
Adam Faison: Dude, so cool. I even met this girl the other day, and I didn’t tell her, but she was wearing a Pinhead, The Priest shirt, and I went up and I was like, “What do you think about it?” I didn’t tell her I was in it at all, I didn’t want to say anything. But I just wanted to hear what she had to naturally say. She was like, “I was skeptical at first, I’ll be honest, then I saw Clive signed on, then I saw the trailer and I was like, ‘Holy shit, I’m on board.’” It made me so happy to feel like, objectively, she was like, “I’m giving it a shot.” It’s hard, because the fans love the original so much, and it is, I know, a lot to live up to.
But I think what’s great about what Bruckner did, he’s like, “This is a reimagination, this is not a remake. We’re not trying to remake or recreate what your favorite memories were, we’re kind of just trying to stay within the world and give you a new perspective in this universe.” So, I think he was really great for doing that, and also just going back to the novella as well. I’m just really excited that fans are in it with us, and that they’re loving it and they’re eating it up. I can’t wait for them to see the actual full movie in its entirety, as well.
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.
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