Hellraiser: Quartet of Torment – Limited Edition 4K boxset review

Hellraiser: Quartet of Torment - Limited Edition, Arrow Video, 4K Blu-ray, £80

Movie: The gates of Hell are thrown open by this 4K boxset dedicated to Clive Barker's Hellraiser mythos. Wisely concentrating on the period before the series sank into DTV damnation, it brings together Barker's audacious Hellraiser (1987), the far more epic – but not actually better – follow-up Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988), the spectacularly wrong-headed Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992), and the time-hopping Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), which acts as both origin and epilogue to the franchise.
Movie rating: 3.5/5


Picture:The presentations for all four are based on new 35mm/4K restorations, Arrow Video having previously restored the original three in 2K for BD. When it comes to Hellraiser, the thing that really stands out is the grain. Density levels vary shot-to-shot, but it's always heavy. Thankfully, this doesn't prevent an uptick in detailing, while the Dolby Vision-assisted contrast and colour palette seem better balanced. Much of the same is also true of Hellbound: Hellraiser II, only here there's the added complication of matte and optical FX shots, which naturally see detail levels drop significantly.

The big difference with this 4K iteration of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth over Arrow's earlier Blu-ray is the corrected framing, so there's no longer too much picture information (including lighting rigs and crew members). It's sharper, too, although this does draw attention to an apparent gate issue with one of the cameras that results in a slight double image effect on certain shots (one example can be found in Chapter 4 with the shots of Joey and Terri outside the gallery). Unsurprisingly, the 1.37:1-framed SD videotape material used to reconstruct the 'Unrated' cut looks terrible by comparison.

Despite its troubled production history, Hellraiser: Bloodline offers the most consistent of the 4K images, representing a sizeable jump forward in colour depth and detail compared to the film's earlier Full HD presentations on US Blu-ray releases.
Picture rating: 4.0/5


Audio: Take your pick from DTS-HD MA 2.0 and DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtracks. The mixes for the first three films are effective and will be familiar to any who own Arrow's 'Scarlet Box' Blu-ray set, although the addition of a 5.1 track on Hellraiser III… this time around brings some needed sonic bombast to the film's explosively silly final act. Hellraiser: Bloodlines' audio maintains a similar quality, with the 5.1 track again doing a more fulsome job of reflecting the film's larger, time-hopping setup.
Audio rating: 4.0/5


Extras: As well as the commentaries, featurettes, interviews and other bits carried over from earlier BDs, this set houses new chat tracks with critics Kim Newman and Stephen Jones; an earlier tape-sourced Workprint version of ...Bloodline; EPK materials; several lengthy new content-specific featurettes (including one focusing on Christopher Young's iconic scores); and a 200-page book.

But note that the feature-length Leviathan documentaries, Barker's early short films Salome and The Forbidden, and the Question of Faith fan film included on 'The Scarlet Box' set are missing. Maybe they're trapped in hell...
Extras rating: 5.0/5


We say: It may not summon demons from Hell, but this feature-packed 4K BD boxset still has such sights to show you…