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Hellraiser 2022 Film Ending Explained

The 2022 reboot of Hellraiser, directed by David Bruckner, offers a fresh yet faithful take on Clive Barker’s original 1987 horror classic. The film’s ending is complicated and layered, leaving audiences with a mix of closure and lingering questions.

Hellraiser (2022) follows Riley McKendry, a recovering addict, who discovers a mysterious puzzle box with her boyfriend Trevor. This box, known as the Lament Configuration, opens a gateway to a hellish dimension populated by the Cenobites. Each configuration of the box requires a human sacrifice, and those who solve it are promised a gift beyond their wildest dreams.

Plot Summary Leading to the Ending

The film begins with a young man named Joey being lured into solving the puzzle box by the sadistic millionaire Roland Voight. Joey’s death sets off a chain of events that lead Riley and her friends into Voight’s mansion, where they are hunted by the Cenobites. As the story progresses, Riley learns that Trevor has been working for Voight all along, luring new victims to the box.

The climax of the film takes place in Voight’s mansion, which is designed as a giant cage that can trap the Cenobites. Riley, Trevor, and Colin are pursued by the Cenobites, and Riley devises a plan to use one of them as the final sacrifice needed to complete the puzzle box. However, Trevor’s betrayal complicates matters, and Voight’s true intentions are revealed.

Voight, who had previously chosen the Liminal (Sensation) configuration, is fitted with a golden mechanism that constantly pulls his nerves, causing him perpetual agony. Desperate to be free from this torment, Voight strikes a deal with the Cenobites to replace his current configuration with another one. He believes that by completing the final sacrifice, he will be granted a new gift.

Key Events in the Ending

In the final moments, Riley manages to stab Trevor with the puzzle box, marking him as the last sacrifice. This act summons the Cenobite leader, Pinhead, who offers Riley a choice of six final configuration gifts: Lament (life), Lore (knowledge), Lauderant (love), Liminal (sensation), Lazarus (resurrection), and Leviathan (power). Pinhead suggests that Riley choose Resurrection to bring her brother Matt back to life.

However, Riley, having witnessed the twisted nature of the Cenobites’ gifts, decides not to choose any of them. This decision defaults to the Lament Configuration, symbolizing life but also a life filled with regret and guilt. Riley’s choice reflects her understanding that the Cenobites’ gifts are not meant for humans and only lead to more suffering.

Voight’s Transformation

Voight’s fate is sealed when he is granted the Leviathan Configuration, which represents power. A massive chain pierces his torso and carries him off to the heavens, or more likely, the hells. In a gruesome transformation, Voight is flayed and has pins inserted into his body, indicating that he is being turned into a new Cenobite. This transformation is likely orchestrated by Leviathan, a god responsible for creating Pinhead and the other Cenobites.

Thematic Analysis

The themes of sacrifice and greed are central to the film’s narrative. Voight’s insatiable desire for new sensations and power leads him to manipulate others into solving the puzzle box, resulting in their deaths. His greed ultimately becomes his downfall, as the Cenobites’ gifts are revealed to be curses in disguise.

Riley’s journey, on the other hand, is marked by her struggle with addiction and her desire to save her brother. Her decision to reject the Cenobites’ gifts signifies her growth and understanding that true redemption cannot be achieved through shortcuts or supernatural means.

Pain and Pleasure

The film continues the franchise’s exploration of the blurred lines between pain and pleasure. The Cenobites, with their grotesque appearances and sadomasochistic tendencies, embody this theme. Voight’s Liminal Configuration, which causes him constant pain, is a twisted interpretation of the pursuit of pleasure. The Cenobites’ gifts, while promising pleasure or power, ultimately result in unimaginable suffering.

Human Resilience

Riley’s choice to embrace life, despite the pain and regret that come with it, highlights the theme of human resilience. Her decision to face the consequences of her actions and live on her terms reflects a deeper understanding of the human condition. This bittersweet ending underscores the idea that true strength lies in accepting and overcoming life’s challenges.

Conclusion

The ending of Hellraiser (2022) is a fitting conclusion to a film that examines deep into the darkest aspects of human desire and suffering. Riley’s journey from a recovering addict to a resilient survivor is both harrowing and inspiring. Voight’s transformation into a Cenobite serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked ambition and greed.

David Bruckner’s reboot successfully reinvigorates the Hellraiser franchise, staying true to Clive Barker’s original vision while introducing new elements that resonate with contemporary audiences. The film’s ending leaves room for potential sequels, with Voight’s transformation hinting at future conflicts involving Riley and the Cenobites.

In summary, Hellraiser (2022) offers a complicated and challenging conclusion that challenges viewers to reflect on the nature of pain, pleasure, and the human condition. The film’s exploration of these themes, combined with its visceral horror elements, makes it a worthy addition to the Hellraiser legacy.

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