It's a dark, frequently disturbing and occasionally terrifying film that suggests Barker's vision hasn't quite made the conversion from paper to celluloid.
Richard Harrington - Washington Post
This is a movie without wit, style or reason, and the true horror is that actors were made to portray, and technicians to realize, its bankruptcy of imagination.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Minor grisly fun, but don't expect the movie to linger when it's over.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Dean Essner - Variety
For all that it is an incredible, and incredibly disturbing, film to look at, Hellraiser doesn't entirely click as a narrative.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Gore-torture-horror-ghoul fantasy from the '80s.
Charles Cassady - Common Sense Media
Sharp grim direction and tight writing from Clive Barker who turns his story of a puzzle box invoking the forces of hell in to an experience rather than doing the work for us...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Clive Barker's virtuosic De Sadean satire
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Barker's vision cribs equally from the mythos of vampires and zombies, but Hellraiser's overriding ridiculousness (and nagging budgetary shortcomings) can't disguise the fact that the movie is at least unwittingly a product of the AIDS crisis.
Eric Henderson - Slant Magazine
...an entertaining and downright creepy piece of work...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
One of the unsung titans of the horror industry
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
[Writer/Director Clive] Barker's dazzling debut as a director creates such an atmosphere of dread that the astonishing visual set pieces simply detonate in a chain reaction of cumulative intensity.
Derek Adams - Time Out
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
A maquiagem e interessante, mas o roteiro e ridiculo; as atuacoes, risiveis; a direcao, mediocre; e os efeitos visuais, datados.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Impressive debut film from Barker, though not quite the breakthrough film it was touted as being.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Twisted and grotesque, but merely baby-steps compared with Hellbound: Hellraiser II.
Greg Muskewitz - eFilmCritic.com
Cinematic Barker at its most clever and disturbed.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
I love gore, but I never liked these. Drudgery even for a grue-monger.
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
[A] skillfully creepy film.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
An imaginative, frightening debut from Clive Barker. A landmark horror film.
Blake Davis - KFOR Channel 4 News
Nicolas Lacroix - Showbizz.net
Barker onscreen has never been better, and this movie probably did more to bring sadomasochism into the mainstream than anything before or since.
Luke Y. Thompson - New Times
Any resemblence to Clive Barker's real work is purely coincidental.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
Against the odds, Barker produced a unique, imaginative, if not somewhat stomach-churning, work that has since earned aplace in the annals of horror cinema.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Clive Barker's deliciously warped imagination is on full display in this modern classic of horror.
Scott Weinberg - Apollo Guide
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
...some memorable screen monsters and a vision of hell that's hard to forget.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
We're on the edge of our seats with a feeling of uninhibited terror the whole time.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Lots of sex and violence, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews