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Clive Barker’s Dark Worlds Authors On The Enduring Appeal Of Hellraiser

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Pondering why the original Hellraiser continues to captivate audiences to this day, Phil and Sarah Stokes said it boils down to Barker’s power over the written word. “A good story is unbeatable. The best movies, the movies we remember [and] The movies that stick in our minds always have a great story,” Sarah Stokes told Looper [them] quiet there.”

Phil Stokes agreed with Sarah on the importance of subtlety in Hellraiser and also noted how the film cleverly left the narrative open to interpretation. “The first film left more questions than answers and didn’t need to be bound in a proper volume,” he said. “So it gave other people a starting point to say, ‘That’s a great story, but there’s clearly something behind the story’ … It was a story that had multiple layers for other people to interpret, and sure, a lot of people interpreted it over the years.”

Ultimately, Phil Stokes added, Hellraiser was a film that “struck a global nerve because it said, ‘There are some things that might upset you and scare you, but they’re also kind of glamorous.’ You want to know a little more, even if it’s a little dangerous. That is why it is endured.”

Written and compiled by Phil and Sarah Stokes, Clive Barker’s Dark Worlds is new in stores and online from Abrams Books October 18th.



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