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Critique Picture
   Short Film Critique: 

   Hellraiser: Deader
   Winter's Lament

   Director: Jonathan S. Kui
   Expected Rating: R for violence and gore
   Distribution: YouTube, filesharing
   Budget: $4,000
   Genre: Horror/Fan film

   Running Time: 29 mins 20 seconds

   Release Dates: 2009
   Website: Click Here
   Trailer: Click Here
   Review Date: December 1, 2009
   Reviewed By: Monika DeLeeuw-Taylor
Final Score:
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Best of Show FeatureHellraiser: Deader (Winter's Lament) is a fan film base on a series of movies. It is a little confusing to those who are not familiar with the cult classic Hellraiser and its multiple iterations.

In the 1996 film Hellraiser: Bloodline, the character of John Merchant is killed by Pinhead, but his wife Bobbi uses the lament configuration (or puzzle box) to send Pinhead back to hell. The fan film Hellraiser: Prophecy - made by the same director who created the movie currently under critique - combines the Hellraiser universe with the film Prophecy, which speaks of a second angelic war. (For further information on this fan film, see the previous critique by Microfilmmaker) This present film, Winter's Lament, is based on the 2005 film Hellraiser: Deader, in which Amy, a news reporter, goes to Romania in search of a cult leader, Winter, who is reported to bring people back from the dead. Amy solves the lament configuration, which summons Pinhead and his entourage, and brings about Winter's demise. This fan film takes a closer look at Winter; his beginnings as a University professor and evolution into that cult leader.

After the death
of his brother...
...Phillip seeks the
truth about his killer.

This movie began with a summary of all the films that inspired it, which will certainly help an unfamiliar audience gain a better understanding of the backstory. And since I haven't seen any of these movie, apart from the previous fan film which was a bit confusing, this opening made things a lot clearer. But including these clips presented a whole new set of challenges, especially that of finding actors who looked close enough to the characters in the film - which was done very successfully.

Because this is a fan film, there is the added complication of copyright issues, especially when showing film clips or familiar characters such as Pinhead. If the filmmakers ever wanted to turn a profit with these films, or even submit them to festivals – even fan festivals - they would have to secure permission to use these images, which could be difficult.  (Which is why most folks who set their hands to making fan films know they will never profit off them.  While fan films are technically illegal, most studios will turn a blind eye so long as the filmmakers don't try to profit off their intellectual property.)
Finally, there is a nice touch of including a hanging ending during the closing credits. The film itself ends in a manner that matches with Hellraiser: Deader and the credits begin, but during the credits there is an added inclusion involving a previous character finding the lament configuration, while another character attempts to bring Winter back. It's a nice addition, because it leaves open the possibility for a future movie. The only problem might be, because it is at the end of the credits, some viewers might not see it.  (Of course, the audience who will seek out fan films of a beloved cult series will likely stay to the end.

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