hellraiser [2022] Final Explained: These Hellish Sights Come at a High Price

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*There are spoilers ahead for David Bruckner’s Hellraiser (2022)*

Hellraiser (2022) ending, explained: In 1987, horror writer Clive Barker decided to take matters into his own hands by creating Hellraiser, a faithful film adaptation of his best-selling novel, The Hellbound Heart. Barker’s Hellraiser broke new ground for horror with its layered storytelling and sadomasochistic twist on the concepts of pain and pleasure. The introduction of the Cenobites, who were extra-dimensional beings who acted as “angels to some… demons to others,” ushered in a new genre of horror antagonists worth investing in. This, along with a cursed puzzle box called the Lament Configuration, helped conjure up the darkest caverns of the human mind while ushering in a literal realm synonymous with hell.

David Bruckner’s brand of horror can be described as visceral, psychological and intense. Both a terrifying metaphor for depression and the story of a woman plagued by grief, his Night House stands out for its mature fears and deft handling of dense themes. Story beats take a modern twist, addressing ancient human ills and presenting a hellish new puzzle whose solution comes at a price. Bruckner’s take on Hellraiser, while faithful to Barker’s vision, Bruckner’s arrangement of Hellraiser reinvigorates the franchise in the best way, especially after a string of mostly middling to underwhelming sequels following the 1987 original.

The ending of Hellraiser (2022) ties together the recurring themes of the Hulu reboot, including a cautionary tale about human desire and hubris and how interpretations of blessings and curses shift as we move away from strictly human experiences. Here’s a deep dive into Bruckner’s Hellraiser ending.


Hellraiser (2022) opens with a new cycle of otherworldly visions after an innocent man is lured into solving the Lament Configuration by shady millionaire Roland Voight (Goran Visnjic). Those familiar with the weight of the puzzle box story immediately understand that this is a calculated sacrifice, as the Lament Configuration claims victims in exchange for a wish granted to the owner of the puzzle box. The box’s current owner, Voight, watches as the sky pane in his mansion darkens after the man’s death, and it is interesting to note that his house itself has an operable cage that acts as a Lament configuration.

hellraiser [2022] Explanation of the ending

Cut to recovering addict Riley (Odessa A’zion), who finds it difficult to start a new life and stand on her own feet. There is considerable tension between her and her brother Matt (Brandon Flynn), with whom she lives, along with two other roommates of hers. Matt’s overbearing nature doesn’t help her, especially when he expresses her concern about her relationship with a fellow recovering addict, Trevor (Drew Starkey). However, Riley decides to continue her relationship with Trevor, and the two decide to steal a cargo crate from an abandoned warehouse, where they run into the Lament Configuration. This unleashes literal and metaphorical hell for the characters involved.

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The Lament Configuration is a mystical puzzle box that acts as a portal to another realm when the user solves it. This occurs in the original Hellraiser, in which Kirsty Cotton plays with the box and accidentally opens a portal to the Cenobite realm, setting off the events of the second half of the film. In Bruckner’s Hellraiser, Riley follows a similar path: she has no idea what the box does and accidentally solves the first part of the puzzle while she’s high on pills.

By the time it’s resolved, the box sticks out on a short elevated section which unfortunately cuts off Matt, who is on the scene to make sure Riley is okay. The box claims Matt, and later, Voight’s former right-hand woman Serena, leaving a guilt-stricken Riley to investigate the origins of the Lament Configuration on her own. While Riley sees glimpses of the cenobites, who appear to be wearing her own skin as clothing, she has no idea if they are real or pill-induced hallucinations.

After connecting Voight, the box’s last known user, to a series of disappearances, Riley visits his seemingly abandoned mansion and stumbles upon his diary. There, he learns that the puzzle box has six levels of settings, named: LIFE, KNOWLEDGE, LOVE, SENSATION, POWER, and RESURRECTION. Each configuration or level demands a sacrifice. After the user reaches the sixth and final level, he will be granted an audience with Leviathan, the god of flesh, hunger, and desire. This obviously means that if Riley wants to escape a bloody and painful death and an eternity in the Labyrinth, he must choose his next victims and claim the bounty from him at the end.


Presumed dead or missing, Voight suddenly appears inside his mansion and sacrifices Riley’s roommate, Nora (Aoife Hinds), by stabbing her with the puzzle box blade. This makes her the third victim, and the Cenobites immediately show up to collect their due. It turns out that Voight reached the final level of the Configuration, got his audience with Leviathan, and asked for SENSATION, since he only considered the sensation as a portal to pleasure.

Voight’s fate highlights the serious misunderstanding of concepts that mean different things to Cenobites, unlike humans: for them, pleasure and agony are synonymous, and their pain-pleasure threshold is quite different from that of humans. the humans. However, the Cenobites’ gifts are literally double-edged swords: Voight was gifted a machine that attached itself to his body and constantly strained his nerves, causing him unimaginable agony. Voight disregards this in his request and decides to get things moving again by making sure the box ends up in Riley’s hands.

The events of Hellraiser are orchestrated by Voight, who hires Riley’s boyfriend Trevor to approach her and make sure the box gets to her. Perhaps the millionaire deduced that someone in an emotionally volatile state like Riley would be an easy target and that this would help him achieve his goals with ease. However, Voight grossly underestimates her, as Riley, though torn between extremes, goes to great lengths to escape her fate and avoid the same fate for her friends. This is evidenced when she stabs the Chatterer with the puzzle sheet, making him the fourth victim.

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The Priest of Hell, aka Pinhead (Jamie Clayton), warns Riley that the box marks her. Therefore, she has to choose between sacrificing herself or others to make this end. Pinhead’s bounty is RESURRECTION, which would reunite Riley with her brother, Matt. Riley seriously considers this but she doesn’t want to sacrifice her friends to achieve this end. Riley, Trevor, and Matt’s boyfriend Colin (Adam Faison) hatch a plan to lure the Cenobites into the house and try to kill them to get to the final setting.

At this point, Voight reveals himself and Trevor’s betrayal is revealed, prompting Riley to negotiate with the Cenobites, who wish to reclaim Colin. Explaining that she has the right to choose the ultimate sacrifice as owner of the box, she stabs Trevor, saving Colin’s life in the process.

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Meanwhile, Voight, confronting the Priest of Hell, demands a second audience with Leviathan and orders him to remove the machinery, which he refuses as a gift. Pinhead points out that gifts cannot be retrieved but exchanged and asks Voight what he would want in return. Voight chooses POWER, which temporarily removes the machinery from him, but he is soon pushed up into the Leviathan ship. Choosing power, Vought inadvertently decides to become a Cenobite, a being who can only feel powerful by inflicting pain on himself and others. The process transforms him beyond recognition, killing any vestige of humanity left in him, and begins a new chain of agony and sadistic pleasure.

When it is Riley’s turn to claim her reward, the Priest of Hell reminds her to choose RESURRECTION, as it would reunite her with Matt. However, after witnessing Vought’s fate, Riley understands that these gifts are not meant for humanity and can only manifest more misery and endless suffering. She decides not to choose at all, which defaults to choosing LIFE, or the Regret Configuration, meaning that while this age of terror will end, Riley will always live with regret, guilt, and misgivings. Although the ending is bittersweet, Riley chooses to live her existence on her own terms and experience the joys and horrors of life as they come.

Hellraiser (2022) | official preview

Hellraiser (2022) External Links: IMDb
Where to watch Hellraiser (2022)

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