Christopher Young

Hellraiser: The Chronicles

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This triple-disc set, said to be limited to 3,000 copies, combines the soundtrack albums from the first three Hellraiser movies: Hellraiser (1987), Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988), and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992). The horror fantasy series created by Clive Barker and based on his novella The Hellbound Heart concerns a Rubik's Cube-like puzzle box that, when opened, unleashes a group of violent, depraved demons called Cenobites, chief among them one who came to be known, as the series went on, as "Pinhead" and who came to dominate the franchise. The first two films were scored by Christopher Young, who followed the story's gothic elements and British setting with symphonic music mixed with odd percussion effects and synthesizer parts, along with a macabre sense of humor that allowed for waltz and carnival music. Like most such series, the Hellraiser films went downhill quickly in terms of quality, even as the budgets rose, but Young, perhaps having more time and money to work with on Hellbound: Hellraiser II, gave an even more impressive account of himself than he had the first time around. Typically, the third film mostly reimagined the series to dire effect, moving it to downtown New York City (though actually shot in Greensboro, NC) and bringing in composer Randy Miller to update Young and chime in with the set of hard rock songs that served as source music in an extensive nightclub set. (The rock material is not included here, although there was a soundtrack album of it.) Hellraiser declined even further later on, going the way of straight-to-video exploitation, but especially on the first two discs here its sometimes imaginative music early on is recalled.

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