When it comes to the work of Clive Barker the first thing people think of is Pinhead and “Hellraiser.” However many seem to forget Barker made a couple of other films and for this entry I’m going to take a look at 1995’s “Lord of Illusions,” which is his last feature length film to date. This is a great horror film that has a really unique vibe to it. It’s a shame the film is not more well known and that it gets overlooked by horror fans.
Scott Bakula plays Harry D’Amour, a private investigator who specializes in cases involving the occult. The wife of a famous magician named Phillip Swan contacts Harry and asks him to investigate a dead cult leader from Swan’s past. Harry takes the job and is caught up in a storm of supernatural powers, the occult and magic. He soon realizes that magic is real and the cult leader is alive again.
This film perfectly demonstrates why Clive Barker’s style of horror is so unique. Barker can create a really weird movie or story and his creation can be so unique and outside of the box that it does not feel like a standard horror film or story. He really pushes the boundaries of what is horror and what is not. This film for example deals with magic and horror and you don’t see those two together very often. It’s a well done, very unique film. In addition it’s dark, intelligent and has a great cast. It’s a great representation of Barker’s work and serves as a good starting point for those who may want to check out his work.
If you have seen Barker’s films but are not familiar with his written work then I highly recommend checking out his short story collections “The Books of Blood.” These books contain the original source material for all his film adaptations.” In fact this film is an adaptation of Barker’s story “The Last Illusion.”
“Lord of Illusion,” or really anything created by Clive Barker, is not for everyone. I know a lot of horror freaks that don’t like his work because it is too weird or too outside the box. However this is a great film and one that I highly recommend. It is a shame he hasn’t done a feature film since 1995. Apparently he is working on a remake of “Hellraiser” though.