It's not a romantic, light-hearted, rom-com is it?
I mean, it is horror, right? I've seen it listed as a horror movie.
(The slasher bit I'll admit to maybe being wrong on.)
Well of course it is a horror. Had you called it a horror movie I would not have disagreed, but you didn't, did you.
I'd hesitate to call Pinhead even a principle character in the first film, it's a grim tale of love, lust, greed and betrayal. Pinhead has all of a few minutes of screen time and is not essential to the underlying plot. They didn't adopt any slasher film elements until the 3rd film and did so as a result of sheer money-grabbing laziness. The rest of the films are not even worth mentioning in the same sentence as the first two.
You shouldn't let your dislike of the slasher genre stop you watching the first Hellraiser movie, it's a great film and a classic of the Horror genre as a whole.
I completely agree with everything you say on this. Really the main characters of the 1st movie are Frank, Julia and Kirsty. And in the 2nd movie I'd say Julia and the Doctor are the main 'bad guys'. Pinhead is around in both of them, but is more a moving force than a main character. I really disliked that they got lazy and tried to turn Pinhead into a Jason/Freddie type and the focus of the series.
Of course Pinhead should be in the movies, but to me the idea of the Cenobites as a whole, the hell dimension and the box should be the main concepts.
The 1st two films are so unique, there really aren't any other horror movies like them whether you love them or hate them. The idea of a PG-13 Hellraiser is pretty silly. I'm usually in the less is more camp when it comes to gore, but really these movies need gore, and I'm not talking CGI blood either.