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Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best III

Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best III Clive Barker's Hellraiser: Collected Best III

With the creation of Pinhead and his Cenobite demons, Clive Barker built a horror franchise that's second only to the likes of George Lucas's Star Wars universe. Eight movies, a good smattering of novels and more comics than we can be bothered to count, makes for quite a horror catalogue.

In this book, it's the imagery that's outstanding, with the masochistic bondage and leather theme running throughout the Cenobites putting a modern spin on the classic pitchfork and horns demons of old. There are a large number of full page paintings in the book, inspired by the series, that are as beautiful as they're disturbing to behold - think tortured souls, scary Cenobites and twisted, nightmarish concepts and you'll get the idea.

But they also serve to contrast the rest of the book, which is decidedly average. We found the stories to be incredibly samey, with the vast majority telling the tale of a greedy, self-obsessed person who gets their comeuppance: they open a gate to Hell using one of those snazzy Hellraiser puzzle cubes, and the demonic Cenobites arrive to pull them apart with hooks on chains. That's not to say there aren't a few sparks of originality in here, but with the vast majority failing to do much more than fit snugly into a clichéd Hellraiser holding-pattern, there's nothing here to appeal to anyone except an enormous Hellraiser fan (and we suspect even they might be a bit disappointed.)

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