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Hellraiser Director David Bruckner Had A Very Good Reason For Casting Jamie Clayton As Pinhead

Horror director David Bruckner has been creating his own unique style and voice in fright cinema since the late 2000s (via IMDb). After crafting several segments in different horror anthologies, the filmmaker had his feature film breakthrough with 2017's "The Ritual," which established him as a new auteur in the genre along with Jordan Peele, Mike Flanagan, and others. The film's beguiling mystery and remote isolation steadily built to a terrifying conclusion and won praise for its "solid atmospherics," as noted by Variety. He would continue this trend of finding terror in the unseen and unknowable with 2020's "The Night House," and it was no surprise when it was revealed the director would be helming the "Hellraiser" reboot in 2022.

"The Night House" helped prepare David Bruckner for Hulu's "Hellraiser" by allowing him to confront deep-rooted questions about what it means to be alive, the concept of death and an afterlife, and how "nothingness" is the scariest concept of all. All of these themes are present in Clive Barker's original film as well as his own novel it was adapted from. Pinhead's entire backstory personifies both pleasure and pain, voidness and damnation — with a touch of the sensuality of the forbidden. Jamie Clayton will play the character in the reboot, and Bruckner has revealed some very good reasons for casting her.

Bruckner cast Clayton because she was scary and sensual

Actress Jamie Clayton will take over the role of Pinhead from Doug Bradley, who played the character eight times within the "Hellraiser" franchise. In a joint interview with the actress conducted by Entertainment Weekly, David Bruckner was asked why he cast Clayton as the film's lead cenobite, and he replied, "She was scary as hell! Honestly, it was the most frightening read that I had seen by a mile. Also, Doug's performance is so iconic and so incredible and nuanced in all its own ways, we knew that we couldn't rip it off. Like, you can't do an impression of Doug; it's not going to work." He then went on to describe the need for a change in casting and how the actress possessed a sensuality that opened up that aspect of the source material differently from Bradley's approach.

In describing Clayton's approach to Pinhead, the director continued, "You know, she was revealing yourself more, and there was intrigue and curiosity, and she didn't outwardly try to intimidate so much as be this kind of silky evil presence. Like, she's sexy, I'm drawn to her, she's beautiful, yet at any given moment, she might throw chains at my head." The "Hellraiser" first reactions are terrifyingly good, and there is no doubt this has a lot to do with Clayton's performance. Her personification of Pinhead opens a new chapter to the exemplary horror legacy of Bradley.