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Why Does The Lament Configuration Puzzle Cube In Hulu's Hellraiser Trailer Look So Strange?

If there is one thing the "Hellraiser" franchise has taught us, is that one should never mess with strange and ornate puzzle boxes. Sure, a Rubik's Cube from time to time won't lead to a demonic invasion, but then again, who in your life has ever solved one and lived to tell the tale? 

Joking aside, the Lament Configuration in the staple element of all "Hellraiser" movies. It is one of the most iconic and enduring props from the film, acting as a bridge between our world and that of the Cenobites. With Hulu's latest venture coming in the form of a "Hellraiser" reboot starring Jamie Clayton and Odessa A'Zion (and if there's any horror franchise in need of a reboot, it's "Hellraiser") the Lament Configuration is put front and center once again — but this time, it is introduced with a wildly different appearance. 

This newest film actually marks the tenth in the series (though several of the "Hellraiser" movies chose the direct-to-video route in an act of glorious pain and suffering, at least if we are to embrace the words of the Cenobites). Fans of the series have been freaking out — in a positive way — over the newest trailer, but many are wondering why the Lament Configuration's strange shape at the opening of the trailer, particularly since it then progresses to become the cube we recognize from past films.

The Lament Configuration allows the Cenobites to cross into our world

Considering that there are many movies that constitute the "Hellraiser" franchise, the lore and history surrounding the Lament Configuration is fairly robust. The most important feature of this demonic puzzle box is that once an individual solves it, it creates a pathway between this world and a dimension of untold pain and madness. The inhabitants of this evil realm are usually referred to as Cenobites, and although there is definitely a motif involving their general look — that is, they're each frozen in various states of ecstatic physical torture — each Cenobite is unique, all of them generally twisted into a form of cruel mockery that represents their mortal failings in some way.

As mentioned earlier, the Lament Configuration often takes the form of an inconspicuous, yet mysterious, puzzle box that often becomes an obsession for the humans that gaze upon it. However, this shape — being a mystical object — is not fixed. Often, once a Lament Configuration is solved, the box has a tendency to unfurl, quickly changing size and appearance in a display of mechanical perfection. 

The Lament Configuration that we've usually seen in the movies thus far, per the Hellraiser Wiki, was originally created by a French toymaker on the behest of a noble obsessed with magic in the 1700s. The noble thought this puzzle box would grant him untold powers with the ability to summon Cenobites for his own purposes, but it never works that way — indeed, summoning these entities tends to get you tortured and killed.

However, it is also important to note that this is not the first nor only Lament Configuration. In fact, in one of the prior "Hellraiser" movies, there are several on display.

The original Pinhead actor confirms there are multiple Lament Configurations

Not only is there more than one Lament Configuration, but the design itself can be reversed to trap the Cenobites, as highlighted in "Hellraiser: Bloodline," where an entire space station acts as an inverted Lament Configuration that can trap and bind the demons. Original Pinhead actor Doug Bradley once said (via Scary Studies), "You have to become aware of the Lament Configurations. And then you have to find one, and then solve the puzzle. It's not just the physical act of opening the box. It's the motivation behind it." In essence, there is indeed more than one box, and these boxes aren't necessarily beholden to one specific shape and size.

So why does the Lament Configuration have such a different shape in the first moments of the "Hellraiser" trailer? Perhaps this isn't the same Lament Configuration previously featured through the franchise, or it could be a different configuration of the puzzle box entirely. The rectangular form could also represent an "unopened" state of the Configuration. The trailer does mention that there are six different configurations to that one specific puzzle box.

Also note that director David Bruckner, per Gizmodo, has cautioned fans not to try to place this too directly into existing "Hellraiser" continuity. "I wouldn't say it's strict canon. Again, we let our imaginations run with this. [...] My suggestion to fans is to go into it not thinking exactly where it's fitting in the history of the series and to just experience the film."

Regardless, Lament Configurations always result in the same thing: suffering, pain, and body horror. Truthfully, when you have a puzzle box that acts as a portal to a demonic realm, it probably isn't heavily restricted by design or shape — only its outcome.