Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Director - Tony Randel (Children of the Night)
Starring - Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser), Imogen Boorman (The Tripods), and Kenneth Cranham (Merlin)
Release Date - 1988
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "It will tear your soul apart...again"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II Double Feature)

Rating (out of 5):

     It is rare to see a sequel that is just as good, if not better, than the original film.  As I write this I can only think of Halloween II but I know there are plenty more titles out there (so please don't send me hatemail).  When I was young I liked Hellraiser but I found some scenes a bit boring.  However, I liked Hellbound: Hellraiser II a lot more.  This one offered more Cenobite action, or at least it seemed like it did at the time, so I would normally watch this one and third film over and over again.  That was a phase I definitely grew out of.
     The film opens after the events of the first film. Kirsty is now in a psychiatric hospital where she is questioned about the events that unfolded involving her father, Uncle Frank, and the cenobites.  Kirsty is under the care of Dr. Channard.  Channard is a brilliant doctor but is harboring a dark secret.  He collects puzzle boxes and wants to open them so he can gain their knowledge and power.  There is a young girl in the hospital that is mute.  The young girl has a knack for solving puzzles and Channard plans on using this talent to open one of his puzzle boxes but not before he lets one of the mentally disturbed patients cut himself with a straight razor on the same mattress Julia died on.  Julia is able to be resurrected through the blood just like Frank from the first film.  While in the hospital Kirsty becomes close with Channard's assistant Kyle.  Kyle helps Kirsty escape and the two try to stop Julia.  Along the way, Kirsty finds a picture of Pinhead, the cenobite leader, back when he was still human.  She takes the photo sensing it will come in handy in future situations.  Julia has been sucking the life out of the patients and kills Kyle before she is completely back to her human self.  Channard arrives with the young girl and she solves the puzzle bringing about the arrival of the cenobites.  The cenobites do not attack the young girl because they know she was forced to do so by Channard.  Channard, Kirsty, and Julia find their way in to the cenobite's realm with different motives.  Kirsty is looking for her father while Julia sacrifices Channard to the ruler of the Cenobite realm, Leviathan.  Leviathan turns Channard in to a cenobite and connects with him through a tentacle stuck in to his head.  Channard is now more powerful than the rest of the cenobites because of his connection.  Kirsty does not find her father but does cross paths with Pinhead.  Pinhead wants Kirsty and corners her with no chance of escaping forcing her to show him the picture of his former self.  This awakens something deep down inside him and brings back memories of his former life.  While the cenobites deal with their former memories, Channard arrives and kills all them with the exception of Pinhead.  Channard turns him in to his former self before slicing open his throat.  Kirsty is able to escape and make it to the hospital where patients are now provided with their own puzzle boxes.  The young girl that opened the box is now in the cenobite's realm and attempts to close the puzzle box she originally opened in hopes of stopping Channard.  She succeeds and Leviathan lets go of his hold on Channard killing him.  Kirsty and the young girl can now be discharged from the hospital and movers go in to move out Channard's belonging where a pillar is revealed with the face of Julia, the homeless man from the first film, and Pinhead.
     It is my humble opinion that this film is just as good as the first film. I know some of you are probably offended that I said that but that is what I honestly believe.  I'm weird when it comes to sequels but I actually really enjoy them more if they follow the events that took place in the first film.  Once again Halloween II comes to mind when I say this.  When watching a movie from a series I look forward to seeing the story unfold, however, when they ignore the events from the previous film I feel like I have been cheated.  That is one of the many reasons I really like this installment in the Hellraiser series.  The film picks up right where the first one left off.  The story line for this one is just as good as the first film and in some aspects it is actually a little better.  This film actually takes you in to the realm of the cenobites and shows the viewer this interruption of Hell.  The acting is on the same level as the previous film.  The characters are believable and the actors work very well together.  The special effects are just as amazing as the first film.  Both films exhibit some of the best practical effects I have ever seen in a film.  It is still hard not to marvel at them regardless of how many times I've watched them.  Overall, I personally think this is one of the best in the series and recommend this to any fan of the original.  Check it out.



  1. Nice review. Quite thorough. Personally, I kinda love and hate the whole Hellraiser series. All of them seem to be lacking in story/plot, but it is really hard to be that upset when they deliver such awesome gore. All of them, this film included, manage to make my skin crawl.

    I got the chance to review of couple others in the series on my blog. They are short reviews but cover most the series. Check it out if you get the chance.