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Headsup: Hellraiser: The Scarlet Box Limited Edition Trilogy Blu-ray Set

The Hellraiser Trilogy is comprised of three British horror films that tell the story of the Cenobites, a group of otherworldly sadomasochistic beings who go to and from earth via a mysterious puzzle box solved by unsuspecting victims.  The original Hellraiser (1987) was written and directed by Clive Barker, and was not only his directorial debut but also based on his own novel (The Hellbound Heart).  Hellbound: Hellraiser II and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth followed in 1988 and 1992, respectively.  The franchise would eventually expand to include nine films, a comic book series, and related merchandise media.  If horror is your thing and you’ve never seen the original films, now is a pretty good time to check them out via the Scarlet Box Limited Edition Trilogy Blu-ray Set recently released from Arrow Video.

Before you even get to the disc content, you see this set is aimed to impress.  Housed in beautiful limited-edition packaging (including a nice sturdy box and newly created artwork from Gilles Vranckx), it also includes a 20-page booklet with original artwork and storyboards, five Cenobite postcards, a fold-out (reversible) poster, and Damnation Games, a 200-page hardback book from Clive Barker’s personal archivists Sarah and Phil Stokes.

Then on to the discs themselves.  All three films have received new 2K restorations and Hellraiser and Hellbound also feature uncompressed PCM Stereo 2.0 and lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound mixes (Hell on Earth has lossless DTS-HD MA 2.0).  When it comes to special features, they’re not messing around–across the four discs viewers are treated to multiple audio commentaries from the creators and actors, featurettes, interviews, draft screenplays, documentaries, Clive Barker’s short films Salome and The Forbidden, behind-the-scenes footage, storyboards, trailers, image galleries, deleted scenes, and more.  The one thing to be aware of here is that many of the special features have appeared in previous releases of the films (most notably the Anchor Bay set from 2004), but there is some new bonus content here (and remember the newly created artwork and restorations that are exclusive to this set aren’t available in past versions).

There first two films are available on Netflix, so subscribers who haven’t experienced the films themselves have a chance to get a taste of them there before jumping in to a big set like this.  Otherwise, if you’re a mega fan of the franchise (or shopping for someone who is), check out the set on Amazon  where it’s currently priced at $78.99 (I’d suggest sooner rather than later, as they’re only making 10,000 sets and they’re likely to go pretty fast).