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The story that Stephen King called "the future of horror"

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Horror cinema, and the creative genre itself, owes a lot to the great Stephen King. Responsible for countless classics, including The Shining, directed by Stanley KubrickCarrieItPet SematarySalem’s LotThe Mist and many more, King has helped to shape the landscape of modern horror with his timeless, terrifying tales. 

A famous critic of Kubrick’s adaptation of his 1977 novel, King told Deadline: “I think The Shining is a beautiful film and it looks terrific and as I’ve said before, it’s like a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it. In that sense, when it opened, a lot of the reviews weren’t very favourable and I was one of those reviewers. I kept my mouth shut at the time, but I didn’t care for it much”.

Telling visceral, atmospheric tales of terror, by the list of his favourite horror movies, including the likes of The Changeling and Les Diaboliques, it seems as though Stephen King’s tastes are more attuned to stories that feature more narrative substance. Such wasn’t the case, however, for Clive Barker’s novel Books of Blood, later adapted into the film Hellraiser, which Stephen King would call “the future of horror”. 

Grimey, disgusting and wonderfully creative, Clive Barker’s cult classic horror film Hellraiser follows the story of a woman who begins to kill for her recently resurrected brother-in-law so that he can escape the horrors of the underworld. A punk joyride across the depths of hell and a bizarre film that well combines genuine terror and entertaining pulpy visuals, such praise from King helped the film reach a higher stature of cultural importance. 

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Whilst presenting Stephen King with their Lifetime Achievement Award, The Canadian Booksellers Association asked Clive Barker to speak about the writer’s impact on the writing world. Barker stated, “The voice of Stephen King, who had made people all around the world fall in love with having the shit scared out of them. He said, God bless him, that I was the future of horror. Me! An unknown author of some books of short stories that nobody was buying”. 

Continuing, Barker noted, “Stephen had no reason to say what he said, except pure generosity of spirit. The same generosity he has shown over the years to many authors. A few words from Stephen, and lives are changed forever”. 

Concluding his emotional appreciation for the creative, Barker finished by saying, “As a writer, Stephen has taught me countless lessons in storytelling. But it is the lesson of how to give that echoes most powerfully through my life”. 

Featuring one of the most iconic villains of all time in the hideous Pinhead and his eclectic Cenobites that inhabit the horrifying extra-dimensional realm of hell, Hellraiser remains a classic cult horror that holds a considerable number of loyal supporters. Take a look at the trailer for the horrifying film below. 

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