The 5 best and 5 worst cenobits in the entire franchise

That Hellraiser series introduced a new type of monster to the horror film genre, but they were far from stereotypical. These creatures embodied the most twisted elements of joy and pain. Backstage Hellraiser facts reveal a nightmarish collage of sadomasochism, artistic expression and even a code of honor that reflects their reputation.

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The Cenobites are among the most interesting movie monsters ever created, with detailed mythology and complex motifs, as opposed to being thoughtless slasher villains. However, not all Cenobites are the same. Some are superbly designed, while others tried to take advantage of the franchise’s growing popularity in the worst ways.

10 Worst: Dreamer (Hellraiser III)

Terri was an extremely confused, sad and lonely girl who was manipulated by many people during her life, including the arrogant JP Monroe, owner of a nightclub called Boiler Room. She was unable to dream – a fact that made her mentally unstable and ultimately susceptible to Pinhead’s influence.

After killing JP and releasing Pinhead, Terri was transformed into Cenobite known as Dreamer. It was one of the worst Cenobite designs, especially because Dreamer had no real powers over its brothers. She was also far more human in appearance than the rest, which did not add much to her own evil.

9 Best: Phillip Channard (Hellbound: Hellraiser II)

Philip Channard was a human surgeon obsessed with unlocking damaged minds, but this ultimately turned out to be denial on his own part. Channard was secretly obsessed with the occult, especially the puzzle boxes that opened the door to Hell. From a very early age he showed signs of psychopathy, which would manifest itself in that he became a cruel and repentant villain.

When he entered hell, Channard was transformed into a powerful Cenobite with great ambitions for the unfortunate souls who would cross his path. He’s one of Hellraiser’s most effective and compelling Cenobitter, with an awe-inspiring presence and character design that is positively macabre in nature.

8 Worst: The Siamese Twins (Hellraiser: Bloodline)

This Cenobite is actually an amalgamation of two identical twin brothers named Mark and Michael Bradley, who were considered inseparable by friends and family. They were hired as guards at a museum that housed a lament configuration created by John Merchant, who interested both Pinhead and Angelique, the princess of hell.

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Pinhead realized their secret fear of being separated and decided to tie them together, quite literally. Unfortunately, a mix of poor CGI and a rather overwhelming final design made the Siamese twins look far more miserable than probably intended. It just did not work, especially compared to the most popular Cenobite designs in the series.

7 Best: Angelique (Hellraiser: Bloodline)

Angelique started as a separate entity from Pinhead and his Gash of Cenobites. She was a princess of Leviathan’s kingdom who entered the mortal world to put an end to the LeMarchand bloodline. In the end, her actions would be their regret, as LeMarchand’s descendants managed to destroy them all.

Angelique eventually joined Pinhead as Cenobite, and is the only known demon turned by Pinhead. Alone fearsome in her human form, she was just as intimidating after becoming a cenobite, making her one of the most underplayed in the criminally underrated Hellraiser franchise.

6 Worst: CD (Hellraiser III)

Hellraiser III introduced another Cenobite who was cobbled together by the mischievous mind of the pure evil Pinhead. Jim Hammerstein was a local club DJ who suffered the unfortunate fate of having played a concert that was overthrown by Pinhead. Cenobite presented the massacre of everyone in the club, including the DJ, in one of the Hellraiser franchise’s most unintentional funny scenes.

His death, however, was not the end. He became CD, so named due to the fact that he had CDs in his shell to act as a kind of twisted halo. He could also throw away CDs like deadly projectiles to kill his victims, which was an extremely silly and campy premise that didn’t quite pay off.

5 Best: Auditor (Hellraiser: Judgment)

Hellraiser: Dom is often criticized for being a low-budget sequel with too much focus on non-Cenobite-related stories. However, it added interesting new dimensions to Hellraiser lore, such as the Stygian Inquisition, a separate branch of the Cenobites who judge condemned souls.

Chief among them is The Auditor, an authority figure in Hell who looks like Pinhead. This cenobite behaves far more like a human than a demon, speaks like an ordinary person, and even makes jokes on a regular basis. It is this passive and modest personality type that hides a much more sinister agenda, making Auditor one of the most interesting additions to the series in any time.

4 Worst: Camerahead (Hellraiser III)

Later Hellraiser successors decided to get more and more creative with Cenobite designs, and the results were mixed to say the least. Hellraiser III introduced Camerahead, a friend of the protagonist Joey Summerskill, who was transformed into a Cenobite by the raw power of the evil Pinhead character.

Camerahead’s right eye was fused with a camera lens that could explode objects or stab his prey up close. This particular Cenobite triggered a new direction for the series – one more interested in leveraging the Hellraiser announcement, as opposed to doing something more artistic in design.

3 Best: Chatterer (Hellraiser)

Possibly the second most iconic Cenobite ever after Pinhead, Chatterer had a particularly tragic backstory. He was actually a young 16-year-old boy plagued by a life of constant abuse and a desire to be loved for who he was. Unfortunately, this would take him down a terrible life path that led directly to him resolving the lament configuration.

He came out of the experience as Chatterer, a voiceless Cenobite who was named because of the incessant rattling produced by his teeth. Nothing he knew about in the first film except his eerie design, but the second Hellraiser the film finally gave some emotional weight to the character.

2 Worst: Clown (Hellraiser – The Devil’s Brigade Comics)

The clown was a cenobite who was tasked with entertaining the children who are brought to hell but are too innocent to be convicted. In that regard, he put on a show in which he demonstrated a series of cruel acts to intimidate them. He was severely punished by Leviathan when he deviated from this formula, pulling a rabbit out of a hat to entertain the children.

After being completely transformed into a Cenobite, there was little to distinguish between the clown and his brothers. The character design was part Joker and part Pinhead, fused together into a body resembling the latter. He was neither the most interesting Cenobite in the herd nor the most effective.

1 Best: Pinhead (Hellraiser)

Pinhead is the leader of the Cenobites and the chief agent of Leviathan, known to many as the priest of hell. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, Pinhead is not a villain. In fact, it can be argued that he is not malicious at all, but rather a sadist who is responsible for enforcing Hell rules, and the puzzle that leads so many people astray.

Pinhead can be justified with, and has a strong sense of right and wrong. He has outwardly refused to take innocent lives and did so only when his darkest id was separated from his consciousness to form a purely evil being.

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