In 1987, Clive Barker opened up a new realm of horror with Hellraiser--based on his own novella called The Hellbound Heart--and launched a sadistic movie franchise.
The surreal film tells the story of a man--Frank Cotton, who has nearly exhausted all sensual pleasure he can find--who finds himself torn apart by chains and hooks after solving a small puzzle he acquired from a merchant in Morocco... The Toymaker; Lemarchands Box... The Lament Configuration.
Though the leather bound, otherworldly Cenobites are terrifying in their own right, it is Frank who proves to be the true monster when he is partially revived by a drop of blood from his brother Larry when he and his wife Julia, Frank's former lover, move into Frank's home after his disappearance. Julia finds Frank in the attic, in pieces, and agrees to help him by luring local men into her home and feeding their blood to him.
The Cenobite leader, the infamous Pinhead, explains their neutral status as carnal explorers--not allied with good or evil--to Larry's teenage daughter after she solves the puzzle that she retrieved when she discovered the horrible truth about her step-mother and uncle. Pinhead makes a deal for the girls life in exchange for the man who managed to survive their first encounter with him.
Doug Bradley's portrayal of the sadomasochistic, darkly dressed and ghastly pale Cenobite leader is hit the mark just by looming ominously in the room--achieving so much by doing so little to frighten and entertain.