Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Christopher Figg, Clive Barker (executive), Christopher Webster (executive) for Film Futures, Cinemarque Entertainment, New World
directed by Tony Randel
starring Ashley Laurence, Clare Higgins, Kenneth Cranham, Imogen Boorman, Sean Chapman, William Hope, Doug Bradley, Barbie Wilde, Simon Bamford, Nicholas Vince, Oliver Smith, Angus MacInnes, Deborah Joel, James Tillitt, Bradley Lavelle, Edwin Craig, Ron Travis, Oliver Parker, Catherine Chevalier
screenplay by Peter Watkins, based on a story by Clive Barker, music by Christopher Young, special makeup effects by Image Animation, special effects by Effects Associates
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After experiencing the horrors of Hellraiser,
Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) is placed in Doctor Channard's (Kenneth Cranham)
sanitarium ... which is not good since the good Doctor is obsessed with
the idea to go to hell and to this end owns a wide variety of puzzle boxes
(pretty much the key to hell), trains autistic Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) to
solve them, and has seen to it that he gets his hands on the mattress
Kirsty's stepmom Julia (Clare Higgins) has died on just to bring her back
to life - and before you know it, the door to hell is open, Kirsty and
Tiffany are sucked into hell and are left to run from the Cenobites led by
Pinhead (Doug Bradley), while Channard has himself turned into a Cenobite
and wants to overthrow Pinhead.
Eventually, the Cenobites manage to corner Kirsty and Tiffany but
refrain from killing them when Kirsty proves to them that they once too
were human - which weakens them long enough for Cenobite Channard to
defeat them. But with Pinhead and associates gone, Kirsty and Tiffany are
left to the mercy of Channard - who was a psychopath even when he was
On the plus side, this film is suitably gory and atmospheric to live
up to and at times even exceed the first Hellraiser:
Its predilection for the macabre matches its predecessor, it features
some impressive sets that the earlier film could
only dream of, and the many morbidly grotesque details are just wonderful
to look at. But that said, Hellbound isn't quite the masterpiece Hellraiser
was, it's too clearly a sequel trying to one-up its predecessor rahter
than going a way of its own, the script is very convoluted (especially for
viewers who haven't seen the first movie) and lacks the multiple layers of
the first film,
several of its best ideas (like everyone has his own hell) are not
really explored, and subplots (like Kirsty wanting to bring her father back
from hell) are dropped at short notice, the screenplay is at times way too
confused and confusing.
It's still a worthy sequel that ought to be watched for its many
grotesqueries and unpleasantries alone, it's just not really perfection.