I just abandoned The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker. Minor spoilers.

I enjoyed the Hellraiser movies in my late teens. The first one was okay, but it was Hellraiser 2: Hellbound, and Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth that I got the most enjoyment out of. There is something about Pinhead and the Cenobites that is fascinating. I’m pretty sure I saw some of the later films in the franchise, but have entirely forgotten them.

So when I saw The Scarlet Gospels pop up for the bargain price of 99p, I thought I’d dip in to read further into the world of Pinhead and the Cenobites directly from the legend that created him.

Having not read The Hellbound Heart, I was a bit phased at first with the talk of magicians and talking to ghosts. It didn’t seem to follow the world of the films I knew, and dipped more into dark fantasy territory. However, I carried on an followed the exploits of Harry D’Amour with reasonable interest.

When the characters entered hell, I started to lose interest, and by the time it got to a big showdown, I was well and truly bored. Maybe I was expecting something a bit more mythical and horrific, but the whole final act just played out like some big CGI scene. The dialogue was terrible. I skimmed to the epilogue, but I couldn’t even be bothered to read that.

Clive Barker has written some great books and his Books of Blood are among my favourite horrors. This was not one of them, and unfortunately Pinhead and the Hellraiser universe is now dead to me.


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