Hellraiser is bringing a new level of fright to modern audiences, as it serves as a reimagining of the original 1987 film of the same name. Similar to the original, the 2022 movie revolves around a puzzle box that summons a group of extra-dimensional beings called the Cenobites. The catch? These cruel forces can’t differentiate pain and pleasure.
The new film, which has several LGBTQ+ cast members, stars out actor Brandon Flynn.
Starring in an ensemble cast including Odessa A’zion, Jamie Clayton, Goran Višnjić, Drew Starkey, and Adam Faison, Flynn is now checking off the horror genre on his acting bucket list.
Just in time for Hellraiser’s release, The Advocate sat down with Flynn to chat about his obsession with the horror genre, commercial success following 13 Reasons Why, his potential Halloween costume, and so much more.
The Advocate: Happy Release Day! How excited are you that Hellraiser is finally out?
Brandon Flynn: I’m super excited. I woke up this morning to a flurry of text messages of people watching it in the morning. You gotta wait until it’s night at least!
The Advocate: I know you’re a horror fan like so many of us. How thrilled were you to join this iconic franchise?
BF: Everyone was getting the audition. Everybody was buzzed to go out for it. I knew the movie for so long when I got the audition. It was just really cool to read these refreshing, modern sides. Of course, meeting David Bruckner and having him discuss his vision for it was so cool. At that point, I hadn’t worked with a horror film director. I had just been an observer of horror for so long. He was really keyed into how you make horror and how you make it scary. That was just, beyond nerdy exciting for me!
The Advocate: I have to imagine your love of horror inspired you to audition for this!
BF: There was no question about it. When I got sent the script, I was like… of course we’re doing this!
The Advocate: This is a reimagining of the original. How humbling is it for you to bring a younger generation into the world of Hellraiser?
BF: Whether people have seen [the original] or not, everyone is familiar with this image of Pinhead. It’s really neat to be a part of this movie that has such a cultural hold on people. It’s really exciting to know that old fans are going to be met with something modern and refreshing and like you said, a reimagining. Plus, new fans are potentially going to watch this and be so spooked and thrilled. They have 10 more to watch! I think it’s such a fun, scary world.
The Advocate: You took the words right out of my mouth. Not only does this movie serve as a reimagining, but it’s also the 11th film in the Hellraiser franchise. You’re now part of a horror legacy!
BF: Yeah! I did do something I don’t normally do. Yesterday, I saw it was certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. I was looking at the comments, which I don’t normally do, and that was the first time I like stepped back and realized I was part of this movie that people really care about. That’s an honor to be a part of.
The Advocate: Give us a little info on your character Matt, who’s the brother of Hellraiser’s lead Riley.
BF: The movie centers around our heroine Riley. In the scheme of things, Matt is the angel on her shoulder when she has a really loud devil on her shoulder, and that’s even before the Cenobites and hell is raised. Throughout the movie, he is her compass in terms of trying to resolve this issue that’s come up. What is this box? What is this hell? What the heck are these Cenobites talking about? What’s pleasure? What’s pain? Whether he’s physically there or not, Matt is guiding Riley in this mess. It’s a lovely sibling story even though it doesn’t maybe go the way we want.
The Advocate: We have to talk about the scare factor. Where would you rate this on a scare level?
BF: If we’re rating one to ten, I would say it’s a nine or ten! I watched it and I knew everything that was happening and I was still screaming. It really seeps into your head. How far would you go? I’m hoping people will sit with that question and let it freak themselves out. That’s the point of horror. We all somewhat like to be freaked out, whether it’s by ourselves or by some external force.
The Advocate: I totally agree. The psychological movies scare people the most!
BF: Yeah! We get to really extend ourselves. The more we start imagining it, the more we freak ourselves out! It’s so psychological and great.
The Advocate: Hellraiser is strategically coming out just before Halloween. Do you have any plans this spooky season?
BF: I’m currently going to try and watch all the ’80s horror movies. I will always watch Silence of the Lambs. That’s just a family cassic for the Flynn household for some reason! Most likely, I will last minute choose something to wear night of and hit the town. TBD though… I don’t put a lot of thought into it. It always comes together last minute. Somehow I think, that’s the magic.
The Advocate: Exactly. Well and let’s be honest. If you’re hitting the WeHo bars, you’ll forget what you’re wearing in five minutes.
BF: I’ve only been once and it was four or five years ago. I went as Beetlejuice! I had full face paint, green hair, and all. It was just running everywhere. I was so out of place. Nobody looked as horrifying as I did, but I still got hit on! That was important to me.
The Advocate: Of course, many people know and love you since your portrayal of Justin on 13 Reasons Why. How do you feel seeing your career take off since that show?
BF: I was 21 or 22 and fresh out of acting school when I jumped into that show. I think most people during the pandemic were able to do a lot of reflection. I’m now getting to a place where I’m really actually starting to look at the last eight years of working professionally. It still feels like, in many ways, it’s just the beginning. I still have so many ideas and wants of what I really want to sink my teeth into. I’m just beyond grateful for all of these really cool experiences, big and small.
The Advocate: Circling back to horror, you’re going to be sticking around in that genre by starring in Craig Johnson’s upcoming film The Parenting. What can you tell us about that?
BF: Yes! It’s an amazing cast. It stars Nik Dodani and myself along with Parker Posey, Edie Falco, Lisa Kudrow, Brian Cox, and Dean Norris! It’s a combination of horror and comedy. It really taps into this old-school comedy that I think is making a reemergence. It feels like stuff we don’t normally see. I think it really does this brilliant job of breaking the balance of what the audience will get scared by and how we’ll make them immediately fall out of their seats laughing. It’s about two guys who are having their parents meet each other at an Airbnb and all of the things that could go wrong.
The Advocate: Last question for you. What are you manifesting? Is there anything on the bucket list that Brandon is trying to cross off?
BF: I’ll go ahead and plug… I’m currently riding horses in 1865 on Apple TV+’s Manhunt. We’re just about to wrap that. I’m excited for people to see me in that world. Brandon would really love to write, direct, and push the bar on how we’re telling stories about people of all walks of life.
Hellraiser premieres today on Hulu.
Related: Chucky’s Lachlan Watson on Their Dual Spooky Role
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