I know what you're thinking: Pinhead is the villain of the first two "Hellraiser" films. Wrong. While Pinhead and the Cenobites certainly have an indelible mark on the franchise, the wonderful Clive Barker intended for Julia to be the real villain. And if Clive Barker meant it, it must be so - the man knows what horror is really all about and so, for his first film, set a woman at the heart of it all.
At first she seems unassuming, merely the wife of Larry, moving into the home of her husband's brother, Frank, who is assumed dead. But we learn early on that Julia's heart doesn't lie with her husband, but with Frank. And once blood has been spilled in the house and Frank begins to regenerate, brought back to life from a schism brought on by the Cenobites, she stops at nothing to earn his love, in true female villain fashion.
Julia (played by the immaculate Clare Higgins) murders almost without hesitation, luring her victims to the attic of her new home, using the bodies of said victims to regenerate his flesh. And like most femme fatales, she does it all for love. If Julia hadn’t been so fanatically and desperately in love with Frank – or if Frank hadn’t been so addicted to love (in the form of flesh) – none of the gruesome business would have even happened.
In the second film does not start well for our (thought-to-be-deceased villainess): Dr. Channard, a Cenobite enthusiast, brings the bloody mattress that Julia died on to his home, and goads a psychiatric patient into mutilating himself on it; the resultant blood summons up a zombie-like Julia from the Cenobite realm. She proceeds to consume the psychiatric patient to nourish herself in the way Frank drew nourishment from her kills. Later Dr. Channard is brought by Julia to the other side, showing him the sadomasochistic pleasures that await him. Julia has graduated from heartsick lover to the Queen of Hell.
It takes a strong woman to go from murderer to a ruler of the underworld, but Julia does it with grace and style. Like the truest of horror villains, she is often overlooked, but the "Hellraiser" world wouldn't exist without her.
Women in Horror Recognition Month (WiHM) assists underrepresented female genre artists in gaining opportunities, exposure, and education through altruistic events, printed material, articles, interviews, and online support. WiHM seeks to expose and break down social constructs and miscommunication between female professionals while simultaneously educating the public about discrimination and how they can assist the female gender in reaching equality.
More information can be found at: womeninhorrormonth.com