Netflix movie of the day: for Hellboy (2019) the most hellish things are the reviews

Hellboy (2019)
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

This Hellboy is not the Hellboy you want to see. That one is the 2004 Guillermo Del Toro version, which is currently streaming on Hulu. The version on Netflix is Neil Marshall's 2019 reboot, and its current Rotten Tomatoes score of 17% from the critics suggests that it's more hellish than any of the monsters it contains.

Hellboy (2019): the monster movie that feels like a rice cake

Even the film magazines, which often try to say something nice about movies they don't particularly like, struggled with this one. Empire gave it two out of five stars, saying that while "the new Hellboy promises to be a gritty, witty, give-no-shits take on Mike Mignola’s demon detective", it's "a promise that’s not quite delivered". While David Harbour (Stranger Things) does a good job of stepping into Ron Perlman's giant shoes, "Harbour is brilliant. Everyone around him: less so."

It's "a mess of a movie", Bloody Disgusting says. "This doesn't quite feel like the Hellboy we wanted, but it does feel like a throwback to anything goes '90s horror, complete with not so great CG and over the top monsters." And Salon.com says that "watching the Hellboy reboot is like eating a rice cake - you don't feel bad afterward, but at the same time you're not entirely sure you really experienced anything at all".

While the critics are pretty much unanimous that the reboot isn't a patch on the Del Toro movies, that doesn't mean none of them enjoyed it. It's "absolutely deranged nonsense," says CNET, "and if you like that sort of thing, wildly fun". But according to Jennifer Heaton of Alternative Lens: "Hellboy wants to be Deadpool, but in execution it's much closer to Suicide Squad. It's cynical and unfocused, and clearly thrown together from a production amidst chaos."

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Carrie Marshall
Contributor

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.