Movies Like 'Hellraiser' to Watch Next

Get in the mood for 'Hellraiser's' 35th anniversary, the upcoming reboot, and Halloween with these 10 horror films.
by Annie Lyons — 


Entertainment Film Distributors

Thirty-five years ago, Hellraiser introduced horror fans to the iconic Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and his fellow leather-clad Cenobites. 

The 1987 film follows the gory terrors that arise from a supernatural puzzle box said to unlock unimaginable pleasure. After solving the box, Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman) discovers that it summons the sadomasochistic Cenobites, extra-dimensional beings who are described as angels by some, devils by others. He suffers a gruesome death and is imprisoned in their otherworldly realm, but a chance drop of blood partially resurrects his body. His ex-lover Julia (Clare Higgins) must kill to bring him back. But the Cenobites are in hot pursuit of their escaped victim, inadvertently causing his niece Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) to bargain with the beings. 

Hellraiser marks the directorial debut of prominent British horror author Clive Barker. After disapproving of two prior adaptations of his work, Barker wanted to ensure his own creative vision made it to the screen and decided to direct his own movie based on his 1986 novella, The Hellbound Heart. The film received mixed reviews and has a Metascore of 56, but is now often recognized as a 1980s horror classic. 

The supernatural horror film's success resulted in three theatrical sequels and six direct-to-video sequels, admittedly with diminishing returns: The most recent sequel, Hellraiser: Judgment,only has a Metascore of 20. Despite only appearing in the first film for about 10 minutes, the widely popular Pinhead became the face of the franchise, with Bradley reprising the role for the first seven sequels. The head Cenobite will soon return in an upcoming reboot with a new creative direction, scheduled to premiere Oct. 7 on Hulu. 

If you're eagerly awaiting the Hellraiser reboot or looking for more scares after revisiting the original film, Metacritic has compiled a list of 10 similar films. The below list will especially appeal to any Pinhead fan interested in more '80s horror, body horror, and horror with sexually provocative themes. 

Here, Metacritic highlights 10 movies like Hellraiser to watch next. 



RLJE Films


Metascore: 81
Best for: Fans of gory horror flicks and psychedelic visuals
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, , , Vudu
Runtime: 121 minutes

Director Panos Cosmatos pays homage to '80s horror in this brutally gory revenge tale that features surreal imagery and a memorable Nicolas Cage performance. Cage stars as Red Miller, a logger who lives a quiet life with his artist girlfriend Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) in the Shadow Mountains. However, their tranquility gets destroyed after perverse cult leader Jeremiah Sand (Linus Roache) catches eye of Mandy and summons the help of a Cenobite-esque demonic motorcycle gang to kidnap her. The fateful encounter has devastating consequences, leading Red to embark on a vicious, drug-fueled quest for vengeance. 

"[A] hypnotic midnight movie, which veers from astonishing, expressionistic exchanges to gory mayhem without an iota of compromise." — Eric Kohn, IndieWire





Metascore: 75
Best for: Fans of body horror and sexually provocative horror 
Where to watch:

Google Play, , , Vudu
Runtime: 108 minutes

Not for the faint of heart, Julie Ducournau's Titane embraces extremity in its examination of gender and self-acceptance. The French-language horror defies easy categorization, blending together elements of body horror, erotic thrillers, serial killer tales, and emotional family drama. Ever since a childhood car accident, Alexia (Agathe Rousselle) has lived with a titanium implant fitted to her skull. She now works as a showgirl at an underground motor show and harbors a fetish for cars. She's also a serial killer. Her crimes soon lead her to take unexpected refuge with Vincent (Vincent Lindon), a man tortured by the disappearance of his son 10 years ago. 

"An extreme movie, violent and pitiless and funny, but the space it provides for not just tenderness but contemplation makes it an 'extremely' thought-provoking film as well." — Sheila O'Malley, RogerEbert.com


'The Evil Dead'

New Line Cinema

The Evil Dead

Metascore: 71
Best for: Fans of cult classics and bloody practical effects
Where to watch:

Runtime: 85 minutes

In Sam Raimi's 1981 directorial debut, five college students vacation in a remote cabin, where they discover an audio tape that contains incantations from the Book of the Dead. The friends make the fatal mistake to play the tape, unleashing demonic entities that can only be destroyed by dismemberment. As his friends fall prey to demonic possession, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) must fight to survive the bloody night. Since its release, The Evil Dead has become one of horror's most well-known cult classics. Raimi directed two sequels, The Evil Dead IIand Army of Darkness, which added slapstick comedy to horror elements. 

"Then the carnage comes, and when it does, it delivers on all promises and more, with a parade of gushing wounds, demonic howls, and oceans of gore which approach the line of good taste, toe it, then gleefully dance across." — Zach Handlen, The A.V. Club


'The Night House'

Searchlight Pictures

The Night House

Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of haunted house stories with an interesting twist
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes,
Runtime: 107 minutes

Before taking on this year's Hellraiser reboot, director David Bruckner and writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski teamed up for this 2021 psychological horror film. Rebecca Hall stars as Beth, a grieving woman struggling to stay afloat after her husband's suicide. She lives alone in the lake house that he built for her, where she feels literally haunted by his presence. Searching for closure, the unraveling Beth investigates her husband's belongings and discovers the dark truth behind his death. Collins and Piotrowski also partially drew inspiration for The Night House's screenplay from a rejected Hellraiser pitch. 

"The film upends the clichés that practically define the ghost story in surprising and intriguing ways." — Derek Smith, Slant Magazine


'The Void'

D Films

The Void

Metascore: 62
Best for: Fans of '80s-inspired horror and practical effects
Where to watch:

, , Google Play, , , Vudu
Runtime: 90 minutes

In this 2017 horror film, both human and inhuman threats plague a small group of people. While on patrol one night, officer Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) discovers an incoherent young man drenched with blood. He drives him to the closest hospital, which recently suffered a fire and is only run by a skeleton crew, including Daniel's estranged wife. The strange night takes an even more horrific turn after a nurse transforms into a grotesque creature and mysterious robed cultists assemble outside. With nowhere else to go, Daniel and the survivors must plunge into the hospital's ominous depths. 

"Blending The Thing, Prince of Darkness, Hellraiser and Lovecraftian cosmic horror, this falls flat in suspense and characterisation, but ace '80s FX — all liquefying latex — will delight genre fans." — Jamie Graham, Total Film



TriStar Pictures

Candyman (1992)

Metascore: 61
Best for: Fans of urban legends and horror with socially relevant themes
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , , Vudu
Runtime: 99 minutes

Based on Barker's short story "The Forbidden," Candyman examines themes of race, class, and the intersections of reality and myth. While researching for her thesis, semiotics graduate student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) learns of the Candyman (Tony Todd), a vengeful ghost with a hook for a hand who kills anyone who recites his name five times to a mirror. She does so, but he doesn't appear. But as the skeptical Helen investigates the Candyman and his connection to a local housing project, she finds out the truth behind his power. The film has three sequels, the most recent being the 2021 direct sequel Candyman (Metascore: 72). 

"Madsen is a much better actress than is usually found in such a role. However, if you don't like splashes of blood or bees swarming out of bodies, you may want to think twice about this one." — Richard Harrington, Washington Post



Trimark Pictures


Metascore: 61
Best for: Fans of Hellbound: Hellraiser IIand horror films with unique settings
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , Pluto TV, , Vudu
Runtime: 90 minutes

Directed by Vincenzo Natali, this 1998 horror film takes place in a surreal and seemingly endless maze made up of numbered cube-shaped rooms. Six strangers wake up within the maze with no memory of how they got there and have to join forces to find their way out. After learning that some of the rooms hide deadly traps, the group begins theorizing on what the numbers could mean and the purpose of the Cube. However, the strangers clash as the situation grows more desperate, with one unraveling member creating another threat to their survival. The film's success spawned two sequels. 

"Even though there are tedious stretches with less-than-riveting characters, the film gradually pulls you into its claustrophobic spell and becomes acutely suspenseful in its final half-hour." — Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times


'From Beyond'

Empire Pictures

From Beyond

Metascore: 60
Best for: Fans of body horror and '80s horror movies
Where to watch:

, , , Vudu
Runtime: 85 minutes

Much like Hellraiser, this 1986 horror involves a dangerous pursuit of otherworldly pleasure and a device that invokes creatures from another dimension. From Beyond follows two scientists developing a device called the Resonator, which they hope will enable people to perceive a heightened reality. But when the Resonator finally succeeds, the pair see extradimensional monstrous beings floating in the air besides them. Lustful for power, the head scientist enters this other dimension and comes back as something inhuman. The film is directed by Stuart Gordon and loosely based on the story of the same name by H.P. Lovecraft

"Gordon's back at it in From Beyond, which puts the audience in the same pickle: do I laugh or do I scream? Both." — David Ansen, Newsweek



Universal Pictures


Metascore: 60
Best for: Fans of body horror and sexually provocative horror 
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , , Vudu
Runtime: 87 minutes

This list wouldn't be complete without a film from body horror legend David Cronenberg. In Videodrome, the Canadian director explores audience fascination with the extreme intersections of sex, technology, and violence. The film follows Max Renn (James Woods), the president of a small television station that specializes in X-rated content. In his search for boundary-pushing programming, he sees a pirate broadcast of an intensely violent show that depicts torture and murder. Max grows obsessed with uncovering the show's origins, but as he starts to unravel a global conspiracy surrounding its broadcast, he becomes plagued by unsettling hallucinations. 

"Though Videodrome finally grows grotesque and a little confused, it begins very well and sustains its cleverness for a long while." — Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times


'In the Mouth of Madness'

New Line Cinema

In the Mouth of Madness

Metascore: 53
Best for: Fans of cult classics and horror movies where reality blurs
Where to watch:

, , , Vudu
Runtime: 95 minutes

Directed by John Carpenter, this meta horror film draws inspiration from Lovecraft, particularly the writer's frequent exploration of insanity. After successful horror novelist Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow) goes missing, insurance investigator John Trent (Sam Neill) is tasked with tracking him down. His quest takes him to a picturesque small town that seems like a replica of a fictional setting from Cane's work. John dismisses this eerie coincidence as a publicity stunt, but reality and fiction start to blur as he suffers intense supernatural phenomena. Though In the Mouth of Madness initially received mixed reviews, the film has since developed a cult following. 

"Carpenter, an old hand at this horror stuff, delivers some convincingly creepy effects, but the narrative lacks any sustained dramatic pulse — its gallery of hallucinogenic scenes doesn't add up to much more than, well, a gallery of hallucinogenic scenes." — Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer