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The Hulu horror film, “Hellraiser,” directed by David Bruckner, is the second adaptation of Clive Barker’s 1986 novella “The Hellbound Heart.”

For decades, the Hellraiser franchise has floundered in direct-to-video purgatory, hardly living up to the nightmarish vision of the original film

For queer horror fans in particular, the diminishing returns of the series felt like a case of missed potential: original creator Clive Barker was one of the first publicly out filmmakers in the genre

But more than any other recent horror remake, this year’s new Hellraiser offers a chance at bloody redemption, with the compelling choice to cast trans actress Jamie Clayton as horror icon Pinhead

Clive Barker’s original novella, The Hellbound Heart, on which the first Hellraiser film was based, serves as a more direct inspiration for the 2022 remake than any of the previous films

The movie opens with Menaker (Hiam Abbas) delivering a box from Serbia to Massachusetts to a wealthy man named Voight (Goran Visnjic), who is holding an adult party of sorts

As portrayed by Jamie Clayton, Pinhead is somewhere between a cherub and a demon, almost like the androgynous Lucifer of Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ

Hellraiser is not particularly interested in exploring what it means to have a trans woman in such an iconic role, as it avoids any possibility of tokenization