The fifth part of the Hellraiser series is a sharp departure from previous movies. Instead of emphasizing overt violence and gore, Inferno tries a more subtle approach, showing a bad cop’s descent into madness. This sadly translates into a very slow and often tedious movie that ends with an expected, well, not an “It was all a dream” but something very similar, that amounts to the bad cop ending up in hell and reliving his last days over and over.
The Cenobites and Pinhead only play minor roles and function more as a moral arbiter than as truly threatening horror monsters. Not that they were really scary to begin with, from the first movie the gore was more important than psychological horror. This is the reason Inferno doesn’t work so well. All you’re waiting for is Pinhead to appear and do his gruesome chainhook dance, but when it actually happens you probably have already fallen asleep. The most positive thing that can be said about the movie is that it still looks like a big budget production and not the direct-to-video production it was, which can’t be said about the sequels.