If you want an image of the future as we desire it, imagine a boot stamping on Jonathan Jones’ face… forever

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. bbqplatypus318
    September 3, 2014 @ 5:31 pm

    I've got nothing to add here, except that I also think Hellraiser III was fun.


  2. Froborr
    October 12, 2014 @ 11:37 am

    I can't remember what author he was drawing from, but I saw a panel with Charles Dunbar recently where he was arguing that there are actually several distinct motivations behind watching horror movies, found in varying levels in different people. These include the "safe fear" concept you refer to in this post, where the idea is that being frightened in a safe setting is pleasurable and a bonding experience, but he also noted that there are other motivations, like a desire to see some form of "justice" done in the sense of violence visited on people who violate social norms, and at the opposite pole (yet often coexisting in the same viewer) the "carnivalesque" and "grotesque," which are about seeing the structures of everyday life upended, inverted, and violated.


  3. Daru
    October 20, 2014 @ 8:56 pm

    Yes there is something very iconic about Pinhead and also the box. Interesting in my mind, the resonances with the Pandorica (albeit a different size) in Doctor Who. Though the Tardis (also a magic box) did pop itself into 'siege mode' in recent episode and looked very much like the Hellraiser box in my mind.

    Clive barker is interesting in the way his writing often takes very interesting idea – like you suggest above with the Cenobites being both Angels and Demons, as well as explorers – and uses them as settings for schlock horror. One novel where he went beyond this was in 'Imajica', which is a pretty mind-blowing book, where Earth is part of many parallel worlds that can be travelled between, and it also has some amazing Goddess stuff in it. Worth a look.


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