Welcome to Right on Cue, the podcast where we interview film, TV, and video game composers about the origins and nuances of their latest works and select commentaries from some of the score’s most important tracks.
Imagine a world where pain and pleasure are one and the same, where hellish delights await those who crave the extremities of sensation. That’s the philosophical underpinning behind Clive Barker’s Hellraiser series, one of horror’s most long-running and iconic franchises, centering around the poor unfortunate souls who come across the Lamarchand Box, a mysterious puzzle box which — when opened — unleashes the Cenobites, a cabal of deformed hedonists riding the razor’s edge of sadomasochistic experience.
It’s a series that’s run across eleven films over thirty-plus years, the latest being a radical reimagining courtesy of The Night House and Relative director David Bruckner. This time, series icon Pinhead is reimagined as a “dark priest” played by Sense8‘s Jamie Clayton, who soon haunts a recovering addict named Riley (Odessa A’zion), who crosses paths with the Lament Configuration after her brother goes missing. It’s a film filled with grim delights and no small amount of squicky body horror, as our characters learn firsthand what happens when otherworldly forces conspire to tear your soul apart.
Just as the Cenobites explore the curious intersections between blood and beauty, so does Bruckner’s regular composer Ben Lovett experiment with different configurations of his musical puzzle box. In addition to his own distinctive use of electronic elements and discordant, warped instrumentation, he finds ways to weave in Christopher Young’s classic theme from the 1991 original, tying it to Hellraisers of the past while cementing Bruckner’s version as its own unique beast.
In this episode, Ben and I talk about his score to Hellraiser, his collaboration with David Bruckner, and much more (alongside commentary tracks from the score).
You can find Ben Lovett at his official website here.
Hellraiser is currently streaming on Hulu. You can also listen to the score on your preferred music streaming service courtesy of Lakeshore Records.