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All time fav. Beautiful, visceral, multi-layered and vaguely erotic.
Naturezrevenge10 October 2004
Clive Barker is still the king. He brings us to a world where monsters have politics, the 5 senses rule, and we sometimes question whether our pre-notions of pain are as accurate as we think. The Hellraiser series is a lush, nightmarish, subliminal journey into human desire, masochism, mythos and madness. Pinhead is not so much the generic, evil antagtonist as he is a source of comfort and logic sometimes. Clive Barker has often toyed with our preconceptions that all "monsters" must be blindly destructive brutes, as opposed to the endearingly rational and decidedly intelligent Cenobites. Perhaps the fact that I have Cenobites tattooed makes me biased;) But it's still a unique piece with gorgeous imagery (to some.) Angels to some, demons to others... If you haven't seen Hellraiser 1 and 2 (the rest are not so great IMHO)...you must!
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One of the most kickass horror films of the '80's
firefrost7925 June 2001
Thus far and no further is how I view this film - while 'Hellraiser' was a smooth and well-handled interpretation of 'The Hellbound Heart', this serves as an interesting extension to that story. OK, the acting is largly dire - but is this not a horror movie tradition? The film excels in its MENTAL imagery, not physical: Tiffany's disturbing visions of babies with their mouth's sewn shut as Leviathan plays with her fears; Channards violent, acid flashback-style memories... they are all insightful and well-thought out as they deal with that which cannot be tamed easily - the human psyche. Director Tony Randall has a lot to live up to following Clive Barker's '87 epic, but he takes the reigns of the story with good grace and presents a slick and progressive tale - although I do agree with the general consensus that the Cenobites should NOT have been humanised.

All in all though a great film, fantastic visuals - the fall of Leviathan at the climax has to be one of the most gripping and explosive deaths of a movie monster in horror film history - and one which should have ended the tale.
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A roller coaster ride of violence and sheer terror!
roger-dalazen6 July 2001
After the strange events of the first movie,Kirsty is sent to a Institution for the Mentally Sick, commanded by the mysterious Dr. Channard,a crazed psychologist who is willing to open the doors of hell by manipulating the Puzzle Box.In doing so,Channard brings Kirsty's perverse stepmother Julia back to life,and consequently he provokes the rage of the dreadful cenobites,the cruel and evil creatures that give pleasure and pain in the same measure.Hellbound Hellraiser 2 is an extremely well-done film,thanks to the generous budget given to newcomer filmmaker Tony Randel and a first-rate production.The special effects are simply terrific (specially considering the time in which the movie was done,1988) and they create a bombastic,scary visual.I never saw a movie with such an incredible scenery and imagery,except maybe for Dark City.Clive Barker's vision of hell is brought to life with mastery through the work of Randel and Director of Photography Robin Vidgeon. The plot sustains the tension and keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish,though the first half hour of Hellbound: Hellraiser II is a little bit slow and descriptive (but never boring); a great portion of the action and the terror is concentrated in the last minutes. The last thirty ones are a realistic and gutsy "tour de force" through fear,violence and suffering.This is definitively a masterpiece, but not for the squeamish.Hellbound: Hellraiser II is rated R for extreme violence and sex scenes,it runs 99 minutes(uncut version released by Anchor Bay).It stars Clare Higgins as Julia, Ashley Laurence as Kirsty, Imogen Boorman as Tiffany,William Hope as Kyle McRae and Kenneth Cranham as Dr. Channard.If you like this movie, you might also enjoy Phenomena and Suspiria.
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The loneliest place anyone has been to
waynerainy22 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
One of the best horror films i have seen. Watching this movie gave me the chills. It felt that it was the end of the world and hell is the only place left. The depiction of hell is really good in this movie. It is shown as a bleak, lonely place from which there is no escape. And the messengers from hell (Cenobites), headed by Pinhead are as good as ever plus you have The Doctor from (in) hell. One of the few sequels that has outdone the original movie. The last movie in the Hellraiser series worth watching. Pinhead (along with Freddy Kruger of Nightmare on Elm Street and Jason Voorhees of Friday, the 13th) is one of the best horror characters ever created. Definitely worth watching.
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Goes to hell when they, uh, go to hell
udar558 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Released just over a year after the original, HELLRAISER II picks up right where the last one ended. But with Clive Barker releasing a majority of creative control (he still receives a "story by" credit) to screenwriter friend Pete Atkins and first time director Tony Randel, the end result is a film that faithfully echoes Barker's earlier work yet also undermines it.

The film's biggest problem is the script which relies too much on coincidence. For example, new character Dr. Channard has a deep and previously existing interest in the Lament Configuration. And Kirsty's neighbor in the mental ward just happens to be a mute girl who is really good at solving puzzles. Things like this exist solely to move the plot from point A to B and so on, something the original HELLRAISER lacked in its confined dysfunctional family storyline. To Atkin's credit, the script does effectively introduce the back story of Pinhead and features some appropriately bleak dialogue (including perhaps the series best line: "Your suffering will be legendary, even in hell.").

In their attempt to deliver something bigger and better than the original, the filmmakers further damage themselves when it comes to Kirsty's adversaries. The sequel has two great foes for Kirsty to battle – Julia and Pinhead – but the script makes them secondary and shifts the focus to the ridiculous Dr. Channard. While in human form he is a fearsome villain but once he becomes a Cenobite, all that goes out the window in favor of a guy who delivers one liners ("The Doctor…is…in!"). At this point in the series, even Pinhead hadn't sunk that low. On top of all that, Atkins actually has the Cenobite Channard dispatch the lead Cenobites in a battle that is so trivializing that it makes you wonder why anyone feared these guys in the first place.

Tony Randel handles the film well visually with his two best sequences taking place in hell. One is when mute Tiffany experiences her own surreal vision of hell that includes everything from deranged clowns to a clever giallo tribute. The other is when Kirsty confronts her Uncle Frank in a fiery tomb housing floating slabs that carry moaning, bloody bodies. These visions of hell are certainly unique to the film world but ultimately the film doesn't have the budget to properly convey this. Instead of a sweeping landscape, we get characters traveling what seems to be the same tunnel over and over and a few MC Escher style matte paintings. Most disappointing is the unveiling of Leviathan as an amorphous black blur emitting from a large version of the box.

Outside of those uneven effects, the rest of the film's effects work is really well done. Bob Keen and his crew return from the original film and deliver an abundant amount of blood, making sure that the standard of delivering cinematic images beyond belief continues. The bloody resurrection of Julia and the transformation of Dr. Channard are the film's FX highlights. Obviously the unrated version is the way to go. In addition to these striking images, HELLBOUND contains the world's first male/skinless female kiss.

And for a film with such taboo images, it features some consistently great acting. Lead Ashley Laurence (was she really in her teens when this was filmed) is actually better than she was in the first film. New faces Kenneth Cranham and William Hope are both good as the bad doctor and good doctor respectively. Doug Bradley, graduating from "Lead Cenobite" to a full fledged Pinhead, maintains his wicked demeanor as a hell's no. 1 agent while projecting the right amount of emotion when reminded of his human form. However, if HELLRAISER II truly belongs to anyone, it is Claire Higgins as the evil stepmother Julia Cotton. With a cold manner dipped in extra bitchy-ness, Higgins is almost too good for the proceedings.

New World's efforts for the low budget follow up paid off with the film earning just under ($12 million) what the original grossed ($14.5 million). Sadly, the next time Pinhead and his brethren appeared on screen, they were firmly in the claws of Miramx's Dimension line. This move resulted in a succession of sequels that, while passable, moved the series further away from Clive Barker's groundbreaking original.
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The Cenobites Return in a Gruesome and Great Sequel Warning: Spoilers
"Hellbound: Hellraiser II" of 1988 is an almost perfect sequel to one of the most effective and terrifying achievements ever in Horror cinema, Clive Barker's 1987 masterpiece "Hellraiser". Director Tony Randel's sequel keeps up the terrifying atmosphere and genuinely infernal creepiness of its predecessor and is even considerably gorier than the (also very gruesome) original. This second entry to the "Hellraiser" franchise epitomizes pure Horror as its predecessor and takes the viewer on a terrifying journey into the pits of a Hell from the mind of Clive Barker.

The film starts off pretty much where the first part ended. After the horrifying events that took place in part one, survivor Kristy Cotton (Ashley Laurence) awakes in a mental hospital. One might think that psychiatrists are not eager to believe stories about Cenobites, demons from a bizarre, sadomasochistic Hell. The head of the institution, Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham), however, is obsessed with occultism and has his own plans with his new cognitions about cenobites and resurrection from Hell...

***Warning! BIG SPOILERS Ahead!*** Kristy's evil stepmother Julia (Clare Higgins) returns from Hell, and she is not the only one. So do the Cenobites. The cenobites, especially the iconic Lead Cenobite (commonly referred to as 'Pinhead', played by Doug Bradley) are some of the most terrifying creatures the World of Horror has ever brought forth. My only slight complaint about "Hellbound" is the manner of how the cenobites are humanized towards the end. It seems to be a common assumption among makers of Horror-sequels, that they somehow need to explain how monsters became monsters - which is not always a good idea, in my opinion. Ever since I first saw the first two Hellraiser parts many years ago, I have held the view that the Cenobites were most terrifying in the first part, when they were still utterly mysterious and their origin was not yet explained. This minor fault is not yet extreme in this second part, however, and it does not waste its status as a fascinating sequel. The visions of Hell are extremely creepy and terrifying and character actor Kenneth Channard brings in a new type of purely evil villain. The sequel is, once again, filmed excellently, the settings are sublime and the gore-effects are as gruesome as it gets. Overall, "Hellbound" is an extraordinary sequel that must not be missed by Horror fans. After this, the series spiraled downwards. My rating: 8.5/10
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"Your suffering will be legendary...Even in Hell!"
alanmora21 January 2008
"Hellbound: Hellraiser 2" is one of few sequels that actually matches, and in some instances surpasses, the original in terms of blood, guts and sheer terror. Bringing back nearly all of the actors from the original except for Andrew Robinson who played Larry in the original (his absence caused a great deal of chaos during filming which is obvious when you watch some of the final sequences that were originally supposed to include him) and Grace Kirby who played the female cenobite in the original (she is replaced here by the equally talented Barbie Wilde). The film picks right up where the original left of as it seems that no one believes the wild tale that Kirsty has to tell about her experiences so she is locked up in an asylum that is run by the diabolical Dr. Channard. The doctor's obsession with the occult and Hell leads him to conspire to bring Julia back to life. With the aid of a delusional patient from the hospital who tries to cut off bugs and maggots that aren't actually on his skin thus bleeding on the mattress where Julia died and bringing her back to life. In an interesting twist from the original plotine, Julia comes back in exactly the same condition as Frank was during the original and convinces the doctor to procure victims for her in order to help make her complete again. In exchange, Julia agrees to be the doctor's tour guide in Hell. The doctor's young apprentice befriends Kirsty and soon discovers the sinister plot between the doctor and Julia. Meanwhile, it seems that the doctor is also holding a mute young girl with a penchant for puzzles hostage and when she solves the puzzle box that opens the gates to Hell the cenobites are once again unleashed. With Hell now wide open Julia and the doctor enter as do Kirsty, the young mute and the doctor's apprentice. Kirsty is searching for her father and the others are just trying to escape. Meanwhile, Julia betrays the doctor and delivers him to her god Leviathan (in the form of an entity rather than a demon) and the doctor becomes an extremely powerful cenobite in his own right. In a strange plot twist Kirsty soon discovers that it's actually her Uncle Frank, and not her father, who has tricked her into coming to Hell in another attempt to entrap her. Meanwhile, the doctor goes on a bizarre rampage killing all of the cenobites after Kirsty reveals to them their true human nature. The end result is a strange and bizarre ending that has to be seen to be believed. Even though Clive Barker did not actually direct this film he was the Executive Producer and his influence is obvious. He had apparently intended, however, for the character of Julia to emerge as the lead villain of the series but the character of Pinhead became so unbelievably popular that it would be Pinhead, and the actor who played him Doug Bradley, who would emerge as the only actor ever to appear in all 8 films in the Hellraiser series. my advice to fans, however, is that if you only watch one of the sequels in the series, make it this one!
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Outstanding adventure in horror
kirkwuk2 February 2009
Hellraiser 2 is a startling film. Clive Barkers imagery of hell is profane, violent, and an oddly erotic movie from the off. The sequel continues the fantastic story, and builds on the characters we saw, whilst adding some new ones to the mix. As well as re-introducing the dead ones! As foul and degrading as newer gore porn flicks are today, Hellbound walks all over them with style and substance which has been unmatched ever since. For 1988, Hellraiser 2 is nothing short of breathtaking, and has not dated one bit. The storyline is intelligent and despite the incredible sights of hell and its inhabitants, Hellbound justifies the fantasy with thoughtful dialogue and logic and a powerful story. It also benefits that the cast in this film are mostly great actors who do a great job of suspending the viewers disbelief.

Barker gives credibility to the monster in the movie. Every beast in this film has a human side and you may even feel warmed to them when they are faced with dilemmas and dramas which question even their beliefs. There is a powerful scene in which Pinhead and his minions learn of their own past from Kirsty, the heroin of the story who is pursued by the cenobites for opening the puzzle box. Pinhead even begins to look human at this point showing the "bad guys" in a different light. Before long the demons actually become the "good guys", and temporarily co-exist with Kirsty to counter the evil Doctor's hand over hell.

The violence and gore offered by Hellbound is excessive and delivered to the viewer in such horrific, profane ways it has definitely had an impact on its viewing demographic. Barker made a great job of communicating to the director his view of the film from a novel and it's a gruesome one. So gruesome it will immediately turn away many within the opening minutes.

I recommend this movie for anyone who's into horror or those who think the genre is just Hostel and Saw. Hellbound, as indeed the original, breathes new life into the horror movie and for every pint of spilled blood, brings intelligence and style in buckets.

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Worthy horror sequel
DunnDeeDaGreat22 October 2002
Warning: Spoilers
After the sucess of the oringial Hellraiser , Clive Barker who has a name for himself passed on the diretcing duties to Tony Randel who made an impressive sequel in Hellbound: Hellraiser II . The film has more gore and a new heroine to help out Kristy Cotton. Once again Juila is back but this time she's totally hell bent and the film's primary villian. Pinhead is still scary but gets some compettion from Doc who is scary in his own right. I give the film *** out of ****.
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Worthy sequel to the great original.
HumanoidOfFlesh27 August 2001
Kirsty Collins(Ashley Laurance)lies in a psychiatric hospital,haunted by the night of unspeakable horror that destroyed her life.Now,only hours later,the nightmare is beginning again.From the blood-stained matress hidden in his home,obsessive psychiatrist Dr Channard(Kenneth Cranham)raises the remains of Kirsty's murderous stepmother,Julia(Clare Higgins).Together,Channard and Julia unlock the secret of the Lament Configuration puzzle box to release the unlimited horrors and ultimate pleasures of Hell.For the second time,Kirsty must return beyond the limits to the Outer Darkness to confront the darkest desires of Hell and free her father's soul."Hellbound:Hellraiser 2" was obviously influenced by Lucio Fulci's masterpiece of gore and atmosphere "The Beyond"(1981).The film is very well-made,the acting is alright and there are some good gross-out gore effects that will certainly please every splatter freak.Absolutely recommended.Note:Death metal group from Ohio Necrophagia recorded a song called "Children of the Vortex" on their brilliant album "Holocausto de la Morte",which is loosely based on this picture.
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"Your suffering will be legendary, even in hell!"
JosephLee4115 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The Joe Cool Review - Hellbound: Hellraiser II(1988)

Starring: Claire Higgins as Julia Cotton, Ashley Laurence as Kirsty Cotton, Kenneth Cranham as Dr Channard, Imogen Boorman as Tiffany and Doug Bradley as Pinhead

Plot: Only hours after the events of the first film, and Kirsty is taken to a mental hospital because no one believes her story. Once there she receives a message from who she believes to be her father that says, "I am in hell. Help me." Meanwhile Dr. Channard is extremely fascinated with hell and the box and he resurrects Julia, and forces a girl who loves to solve puzzles to open the box and provide them the doorway to Hell.

Openers: And what a doorway to Hell this is. I'm not going to lie, this is my favorite of the series and the entire thing is just wonderfully done. But more on that later. Hellraiser 2 is what happens when you take the creative material away from Clive Barker's not-so-adequate directing and screenplay writing skills. Peter Atkins(screenplay) and Tony Randel(director) take over here, with Clive Barker in an executive producer role and the result is a much better viewing experience than the original Hellraiser(which was, in it's own right, a well-done but very flawed movie).

The Good: For one, I think Claire Higgins is still melodramatic. But she does a much better job of controlling herself here. Ashley Laurence turns in another good performance here. Kenneth Cranham was fantastic as the "Good" doctor and soon-to-be Cenobite Channard. And Doug Bradley shines as always, and he always gets the best lines("We have an eternity to know your flesh"). The best part about this were the effects. Here we get to see glimpses of hell and it's not pretty. The budget was higher here and you can tell. It HAD to be. There was an addition cenobite, and just the fact they had to design hell to be fantastical meant they had to throw some more money in the pot. Pinhead's origin, while gory is fantastic.

The Bad: The entire "Evil Queen" rant from Julia made me cringe. Also, there were some logic gaps. How can someone die in Hell if they're technically already dead? I don't care so much about turning the cenobites good as that actually sets up Hellraiser III quite well. How does Julia get her own skin back when she is resurrected when Frank had to steal his brother's in the original? And how the hell does she have makeup and nail polish on her "new skin"? Plot inconsistencies are the worst part here, at least the original Hellraiser had that going for it in the fact it ran smoothly. And while the dialog in general is better, there are some cringe-worthy lines("You got a ticket to Hell?")

The Ugly: Gore is not cut out just for the fantasy elements of it all. Skinless people once again run amok, a guy cuts himself over and over with a razor, there are some nasty maggot/infected wound shots, brain surgery, slit throats, impaling, skin ripping and the rather graphic origin of Pinhead himself. Another favorite for gore hounds.

Final Verdict: Hellbound is a great film in it's own right. It's a fantasy horror film that plays like a travel guide for hell, which I guess puts that ticket line in context. I recommend it, and it's especially better to watch it directly after Hellraiser.

Rating: **** of *****
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Gore drenched sequel, well worth watching.
poolandrews27 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
The first and only decent sequel to Clive Barkers impressive original Hellraiser. Hellbound:Hellraiser 2 starts almost immediately after the event of the original. After a brief recap of Hellraiser up to this point featuring footage form the original, we see another unsuspecting victim, Captain Elliot Spencer (Doug Bradley without his Pinhead special make up effects applied) solve the mystery of the Chinese puzzle box and is impaled with hooks that tear his skin, razors cut lines in his head and an unseen thing inserts long pins into his scalp and thus creating Pinhead (Doug Bradley with the make up), the lead Cenobite from the Hellraiser films. Kirsty (Ashley Laurence again) is seen in a hospital room, the police have discovered rotting maggot infested corpses in Kirstys dads house, like the original in its uncut version this film is very gory and explicit. A detective named Ronson (Angus MacInnes) questions Kirsty, she doesn't make much sense to him, speaking of demons and that her dad is trapped in hell and still suffering. The detective doesn't believe it and hands her over to Dr Channard (Kenneth Cranham). Channard uses the information he gets from Kirsty to re-animate Julia (the returning Clare Higgins). He also uses a patient under his care named Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) to solve the puzzle of the box and reopen the door to hell, Pinhead and his Cenobite friends from the original, the Butterball Cenobite (Simon Bamford), the Chatterer Cenobite (Nicholas Vince) and the female Cenobite (Barbie Wilde, who I've met in real life by the way!) also make an appearance and join the fun. Kirsty discovers what Channard is doing and follows him into hell to try and save her dad. Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman another returning cast member from the original) also turns up and soon after loses his heart and skin at the hands of a vengeful Julia. Channard gets turned into a Cenobite and all hell starts to break lose. This time directed by Tony Randel, Hellbound is another impressive film, it recaptures the dark feel and hellish atmosphere of the original. Once again the special make up effects are explicit and well done, people slicing themselves up with straight razors in a very nasty scene, more skinless people and corpses, slit throats, hand amputations, brain surgery and all sorts of other bodily mutilation are presented for our viewing pleasure in the uncut version, which is the one I'm reviewing here. The script co-written by Barker keeps thing moving nicely, even though someone should tell them police officers don't carry guns in the UK, towards the start of the movie a police man while searching the house from the original gets scared by a corpse that falls out of a wardrobe and proceeds to shoot it several times, as I said the police in the UK don't carry guns, I know I've lived here all my life! A very minor complaint. This time the film is mostly set in Hell and we get lots of perverse imagery to convince us. I especially like the juggler who's using his own eyeballs to juggle with. After this the Hellraiser franchise went down hill, becoming too Americanized, part 3 for instance was set in an American city and featured Pinhead and his Cenobites killing lots of teenagers, just like countless other soulless unoriginal slasher films. Hellbound:Hellraiser 2 in my opinion is the only worthy sequel to the original, its dark and has the same perverse atmosphere, it features even more blood gore and mutilation and doesn't feature stupid teenagers been hacked up. A very entertaining horror film for those with the stomach. I liked this just as much as the original, high praise. The version I watched was the recent British special edition DVD from Anchor Bay UK, which is the uncut version, the only way to watch it as far as I'm concerned. Recommended.
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Everyone's favorite step-mom is back--and this time she's skinless!
morgan197619 August 2004
Even if the story's weak, bringing back the surviving (or not surviving) cast members of the original, can make a sequel better. Everyone thinks crazy old Kirsty Cotton is making up stories of demons from hell (which happened to be her attic), but we all know better, don't we? She's now in a mental institution with a girl with a penchant for solving puzzles, under the guidance of a sadistic doctor with a penchant for a skinless Julia. Part of the story is just a re-hash of the first with different characters in similar situations. This time around we go to hell and find that it's like an Escher painting with a giant "Lament" diamond spinning in the sky. Not as good as the first film, but pretty close--a bit gorier and disturbing (but after "Hellraiser", I was expecting this) The acting is similar to the first film, but the special effects are a bit more elaborate this time around as the budget was bigger due to the success of it's predecessor.
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If you like the original....
StormSworder23 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Hours after her family was torn apart by the Cenobites, Kirsty is in an institution, receives what appears to be a message for help from her dead father, who is apparently in hell. Before long, the head of the institution, with the help of the revived Julia and a puzzle-solving mute patient, is able to open the doorway to hell once again.

This is a first-rate sequel to a great film. Once again, the story and the characters are great. Channard, whether in the form of the scheming, icy doctor or the snarling, bloodthirsty Leviathan, is a genuinely terrifying creation. The institution - a true place of the damned - and the labyrinth give the film a real dark fantasy feel.
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Horrifically beautiful, superior sequel to "Hellraiser" (1987)
dee.reid19 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"Hellbound: Hellraiser II," Tony Randel's superior blood-soaked follow-up to writer-director Clive Barker's 1987 "Hellraiser," is by far one of the few cases in the horror genre of a sequel surpassing the original. I must admit that I wasn't looking forward to watching this movie initially, but I'm glad I did; I wasn't disappointed by this superior second installment.

This second film in the "Hellraiser" series ups the ante in its blood-drenched delights and special effects, in addition to actually being quite scary. Most will make remarks about the extreme level of violence and gore in this film, but Randel is good in making sure it fits in with the relentlessly grim tone of the film and doesn't make it mindless schlock.

The film takes place right after the events of "Hellraiser": young Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) was the sole survivor of that film (pre-credit flashbacks re-tell "Hellraiser's" story), and as "Hellbound" opens, Kirsty has been locked up inside a mental hospital and no one believes her claims about Juila (Clare Higgins), Frank (Sean Chapman), the Cenobites, and the puzzle box that opens up a gateway to a dimension of pain, suffering, and pleasure.

An occult-obsessed doctor, Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham), believes her story and in his eternal desire for pleasure, he resurrects Julia and the two soon become lovers. However, Channard's naive young assistant Kyle (William Hope, of "Aliens") helps break Julia and a mute young girl named Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) out of the mental hospital. And in order to stop Channard, the newly resurrected Julia and the Cenobites, it's going to literally require a trip to the depths of Hell and back.

"Hellbound: Hellraiser II" doesn't play around in the gore department. Not even five minutes go by and we're treated to flesh being ripped apart by chains, hooks, and spikes. In these opening moments, we also learn of the horrific origins of Cenobite leader Pinhead (Doug Bradley). Like "Hellraiser," the Cenobites are not your typical movie monsters. They are not your typical movie monsters because they are NOT the movie's main villains, and are only an element of the story (even though they figure much more prominently into this film's plot, and have greater depth, significance, and meaning in the story this time around). Like "Hellraiser," Julia and Frank were the main villains in the film; here in "Hellbound," Julia also returns as one primary antagonist, soon usurped by Dr. Channard.

Even more amazingly, and unexpectedly, noteworthy of interest is the fact that here, the Cenobites become slight objects of sympathy, instead of horror - no longer the horrific creatures we've been led to believe that they actually are. Like Jeff Goldblum's character in "The Fly" (1986), the Cenobites are tragic beings because we come to see the men (and woman) they once were, although the effect works opposite because the emotional investments of pity and sympathy come AFTER they've torn someone's soul apart limb from limb.

Author Clive Barker wrote the novel "The Hellbound Heart" from which these films are based. The man has a deeply rooted passion for blood, more blood, grisly horror, torture, razor-sharp objects, and just plain gruesome detail and excess. While I'm not sure exactly about his skills in writing dialogue, Randel does a good job of directing Peter Atkins's script while at the same time continuing Barker's first film, not repeating it, and he doesn't disappoint in terms of direction and horrific special effects (some of which was actually cut from the film so that it could be released with an "R" rating; an unrated version with all the violence and gore restored was recently released on DVD by Anchor Bay). The Atkins screenplay is confusing sometimes and tends to drag but once it gets going along, there's no turning back because your eyes are glued to the screen in absolute horror.

Ashley Laurence remains the strong, courageous, and determined young heroine she created in "Hellraiser" as Kirsty Cotton. Certainly not your typical teenager ready to be torn apart limb from limb by some goon in a mask, she remains a steadfast and determined young woman who remains brave in the face of unspeakable evil. More remarkably, there's never a moment in this film when she just drops everything and strips for the males in the audience, even though she is involved in a nude-less shower sequence fairly early in the picture. Why hasn't she gotten more work as a result of her performance in this film, I ask?

"Hellbound: Hellraiser II" is a mostly superior second installment in a grisly franchise that quickly wore itself out with every subsequent sequel after this one.

I'm glad I got the unrated DVD, with more skinless bodies, more ripped-apart flesh, and more "suffering, sweet suffering."

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The Best Hellraiser
Dr. Gore4 January 2003
Warning: Spoilers

Kirsty is in the nuthouse. No one believes her tale of puzzle boxes and Cenobites. She finds a sympathetic ear from her doctor. He believes her and can't wait to take the fast train to Hell. He gets the puzzle box open, Cenobites arrive and Kirsty spends the second half of the movie wandering through Hell with mad doctors, evil demon stepmothers and other malicious creatures.

You don't have to believe in Hell to enjoy this movie, but it would help. This is the nastiest, goriest, meanest entry in the "Hellraiser" series. Depravity abounds. This one was my favorite. I love seeing movies try to imagine what Hell is really like. Having a belief in the afterlife would definitely make the flick scarier. If you don't believe in Hell at all, I can see how most of the movie would look a little silly. The Hell effects are not that great. They worked well on me though.

One enduring mystery of the "Hellraiser" series is why these morons keep solving the puzzle box. They keep saying they want to know, they have to know... Hasn't all their research of the box told them of the tremendous suffering they're going to have to go through? I guess I just don't understand the whole S&M thing. Being a demon from Hell can't be that great. Besides, if there is a Hell, why go there early? All good/bad things to those who wait. Cenobites were just impatient, Hell-hungry freaks.
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Some Powerful Scenes, But Overall Rather Weak
gavin694228 December 2008
Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) survived the first attack from Hell in "Hellraiser", but her troubles are far from over. She is now locked up in a mental ward run by an occult-obsessed doctor (how appropriate) and her evil stepmother, Julia (Clare Higgins) refuses to stay dead.

This film is incredibly polarizing, I fear, because it has such strong qualities of both good and bad. The bad include special effects that really date the movie (though are still superior to much of today's work) and the introduction of a certain level of silliness that pervades the later films. The doctor as a cenobite is a bit strange in form, and opens the door for the even more bizarre creatures in part three.

There are some plot and continuity issues, such as wondering where Kirsty's boyfriend from part one went. And while the film seems to try to explain loose ends from the first film, it creates a whole lot more... the maze (presumably hell) is not adequately explained, nor is the role of the giant puzzle box. While some of this is addressed in later films, it seems that what we learn later tends to contradict what we see here.

But let us say some good things about this one. First and foremost, the Julia without skin looks incredible. It is hard to say they topped Frank without skin (from the original) but I think they did. The way she comes crawling up out of the bed... her blood-soaked flesh. Beautiful. "Right to Die" owes a huge debt to the work in this film, the same way that this film owes a debt to "Bride of Frankenstein" with its use of thunder and bandages...

We also have to give the gore creators some credit, because the insane man with the knife was pretty intense... actually, all the asylum inmates are well-played. For all the flaws this film may have, they more than made up for it with a couple of memorable scenes. While my favorite in the series is "Bloodline" (I believe I am in the minority on this), I think part two may have been the last great addition. Sequels were not necessary, and obviously everything after part four just gives the franchise a bad name.

Anchor Bay has released a twentieth anniversary edition, and I would strongly recommend it. Older features, such as an audio commentary from 2001, are available, as well as a few new featurettes. "The Soul Patrol" features new interviews with Barbie Wilde, Simon Bamford and Nicholas Vince. "Outside the Box" features a new interview with director Tony Randel and "The Doctor is In" features a new interview with Kenneth Cranham.

As someone who has met Ashley Laurence, Doug Bradley, Clive Barker and each of the cenobites, I have a strong personal interest in this film. I can say that the Anchor Bay edition is easily the best to date and any "Hellraiser" fan would be making a mistake in getting an older, inferior edition.
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Doesn't Match the Original, but Still Awesome Warning: Spoilers
Clive Barker wrote the story but he didn't direct this one as he did the first — Tony Randel stepped in after editing the original, and Barker took the role of executive producer. From what I've read they got a little sloppy as far as using some stills from scenes that wound up being cut in their promos, and changing up the Chatterer cenobite (giving him eyes) to the chagrin of die-hard Hellraiser fans. I was also interested to read that Randel and the rest of the crew fully expected Julia to step in and sort of take over Pinhead's role as the pillar of the remaining movies, but when she declined to take part in any further sequels (and when they saw how massive of a hit Pinhead was in the first film), they kept him as the main villain.

The sequel begins mere hours after the ending of the first — Kirsty is in a psychiatric hospital, still having visions of all the horrors she experienced. She meets Dr. Channard (the appropriately evil Kenneth Cranham) and his assistant Kyle (William Hope), and urges them to destroy the mattress that Julia had died on. It is soon revealed that Dr. Channard — a wicked man who is comfortable using others for his own sick experiments — is well aware of the power of that mattress and the Lament Configuration itself and he's eager to do his own research. He brings one of his psychiatric patients to his home and offers the manic, restlessly itching man a razorblade so his blood can resurrect Julia. Kyle has witnessed the whole thing after he became suspicious of Channard, but he is quickly sacrificed to complete Julia's physical form after him and Kirsty return together. It's then up to Kirsty and her new- found friend, Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) — a mute patient of Dr. Channard's who is particularly adept at puzzles — to defeat both Channard and Julia and escape the cenobites.

I am a bit torn on how I feel about them showing the sort of "background" of Pinhead — also known as Captain Elliot Spencer — becoming what he is now. Part of his mystique, his larger than life personality, was not really knowing where he came from or how he found himself as the leader of these hellish demons. So to see him in the opening of the movie as just this nerdy looking guy was… off putting. I think it adds to the sadness of the whole concept, which they explore more later on — the fact that all of these cenobites were once human — but it does put a dent in his horrifying armor.

The scene where Dr. Channard has the psychiatric patient flaying himself open with a razor is… more intense than I even remembered. It's just one of those scenes where you just stare open-mouthed in disbelief. And Channard's mix of disgust and morbid fascination is perfect.

The bloody, muscley suit they have Julia in is BRILLIANT. The special effects team did an incredible job, truly. It's so glistening and REAL looking (I mean, I don't actually know what a person without skin would look like, but if I had to guess, that would be it.)

The scene when the cenobites show up is, true to form, FANTASTIC. I just love the whole process — the wind starts gusting in, thunder starts booming, lightning flashes, glass shatters, and right when you think the chaos has settled… the room literally just OPENS UP, stretching out old cobwebs and revealing this otherworldly glow. And then out they come, each more horrifying than the last, until we get to Pinhead himself who is just THE MOST EPIC VILLAIN EVER I AM NEVER OVER IT.

They clearly set up Julia to be the new #1, even having her repeat some of Pinhead's classic lines like "Come, I have such sights to show you" as she escorts Dr. Channard around. She would have been a worthy rival, really.

The maze that they are existing in is pretty awesome, partially for its sheer expansiveness… they show it from above in one scene and it's just overwhelmingly massive. The star of the show is Leviathan, the ruling deity over the cenobites' home world — a monstrous, hovering octahedron that emits a horn-like noise that will haunt your dreams (composer Christopher Young even included the morse code for "God" in the sound) and an intense black beam that will force you to re-live past memories. Impressive, to say the least. I loved Channard being overwhelmed by its sheer enormity and uttering "Oh, God" and Julia responding with "no, this is mine".

Dr. Channard being transformed into a cenobite himself is… amazing, and his re- emergence — "And to think… I hesitated" — is PERFECT. Chills. He has the creepiest laugh ever and he's sort of this maniacal, almost mischievous creature. He's straight up amused by the power he wields and completely uninhibited thanks to his utter lack of caring (not that he was ever held back by such a thing). What the other cenobites lack in enthusiasm he makes up for, without a doubt.

And then comes one of the most disappointing scenes in all of my movie watching: Channard killing all of the cenobites, finishing with slashing Pinhead's throat. Again… Pinhead is this omnipotent being, and he's not only reduced back to his human form but then killed off by this newbie cenobite's (admittedly awesome but stupid in this context) snake knives? COME ON NOW. Heartbreaking, honestly. But it's okay because Channard's head gets ripped in half not long after that and it's sweet, sweet revenge.

Ultimately, I felt like it wasn't nearly as cohesive as the first film, but offered enough of the familiar awesomeness to be a worthwhile watch.
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Hellbound is an immersive experience for fans of the series that want to go deeper into the mythology of the Cenobites.
soldier-8136730 May 2017
This sequel ranks up there with the likes of The Dark Knight (2008), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and, while we're at it, The Godfather Part II (1974).

Clive Barker didn't direct the sequel leaving that duty to Tony Randel (Ticks). But he did contribute to the script and as a producer. The second film works well since it also lets us discover the origins of Pinhead.

'Hellraiser,' for better or worse, is a franchise that has endured for 30 years now. The series may have gone downhill with each subsequent direct- to-video sequel, but the original theatrically released films stand as favorites of the genre. I personally have a deep love for these movies and they have long been staples of my collection on various home video formats. 

The first four Hellraiser films are the best in the series that's so far reached 10 installments
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A really good sequel to the original.
RyanEardley0120 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Hellbound Hellraiser 2 is a really good sequel to one of the best achievements in horror, written by Peter Atkins who would stay on to write Hellraiser 3 and Hellraiser 4 and is know today for the Wishmaster series, it was also directed by Tony Randal who is known for Amityville: It's About Time. The basic plot is the same as the original with a character returning from the dead this time it is done with the villainous Julia played by Clare Higgins who shines in this film as a terrifying villain. The practical effects still blow me away with this film and still stand out as the best in any horror film making your skin crawl at the sight of Juila skinless. The cenobites return lead by Pinhead played by the legend Doug Bradley who doesn't do that much again in the film but is still fun to watch. One of the things that are different to the original is we get to see what hell looks like which helps build a dark tone and atmosphere and with the unique look into hell with some incredible terrifying yet confusing visuals which blew me away for a horror sequel which you normally don't expect that much from but Hellbound is a worthy sequel and should be watched if you are a fan of the franchise as it stands out as one of the best horror sequels ever in my opinion.
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A classic horror decent very solid Hellraiser worthy sequel!
ivo-cobra820 March 2016
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) is very solid and decent horror flick and it is my third favorite horror film. I love this movie, it is far was betters sequel than any other movies are doing sequels today. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985) should have been a sequel like is this one film Hellbound: Hellraiser II which is very awesome and decent solid horror flick to Clive Barker's Original film Hellraiser (1987) that I absolutely love to death. I love this one a lot, it is my third favorite film in the franchise. Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman and Doug Bradley did all return from the first film to star in the sequel that I absolutely love. I love the story ark, the characters and that it is completely different film from the first one and doesn't copy Clive Barker's Hellraiser.

"Kirsty... you have surprisingly good taste in men. They didn't tell you, did they? They've changed the rules of the fairy tale. I'm no longer just the wicked stepmother. Now I'm the evil queen. So come on!"

Plot: Kirsty is brought to an institution after the death of her family, where the occult-obsessive head resurrects Julia and unleashes the Cenobites once again.

This time we see the character Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) once again which is completely different now, than she was in the first one. She is now looked in Channard hospital institution and when she founds out, that the cops find out the bloody mattress and they bring it Dr. Philip Channard's (Kenneth Cranham) home, when he resurrects Julia (Clare Higgins) with her help he want's to open the door to a gates of hell. When Kirsty find's out about this, she has to fight once for survival important she has to go back to hell and find her father, because he is suffering in a hell. With the help of her new friend Kyle MacRae (William Hope) which later Julia kill's him and Tiffany (Imogen Boorman), Kirtsy must fight and find out the door out of the hell, she must close the portal when she is trapped with Tifanny in the labyrinth of hell. That is the main plot about this film and is definitely a worth of watch for any horror fan. This movie really brings you into the hell that pinhead and frank talk about in the first one its so good and we learn who the Cenobites were, and it was cool seeing Kirsty explaining to the Cenobites that they were human once. The acting in this movie is decent and everyone does an awesome job.

What I love about this movie: Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) face off with Julia and Uncle Frank (Sean Chapman), I love how Kirsty set's up Frank on fire when he tried to attack her, she responded back by burning down the house, as well as Frank's flesh. I am happy that she helped Tiffany Kirsty later tricks Doctor Channard by donning the deceased Julia's skin, giving Tiffany the opportunity to finish the Lament Configuration puzzle, killing Doctor Channard and allowing them to return home and close the gate between the two worlds. That was really awesome, I am happy that Tiffany killed Julia while tearing her skin down. The characters and the horrors are decent, the movie is very creepy more than the first one. I still love the first one much more than this one, but I still love this one, It is fantasy between heaven and earth. I love that Kirsty explains to the Cenobites that they were once human a long time ago. Clive Barker's first movie never explained the origins of the Cenobites in this movie he does. I love that Kirsty and Tiffany does have a happy ending in the film and that they are free. Clare Higgins is more hotter than she was in the first movie and I absolutely love beautiful Imogen Boorman. I am wondering what happened to Imogen Boorman where did she went is beyond me.

Overral: Hellbound: Hellraiser II is my third favorite film in the franchise and get's a solid 10 by me, that I absolutely love this film to death. It is great and imaginative fantasy horror film, I recommended to any horror fan. The acting in this film is fantastic, it is fast paced and very entertaining. This film comes to me like Aliens (1986) another flick that I love that film to dead. I love Ashley Laurence and Imogen Boorman in here, I love that they do have a happy ending.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II is a 1988 British-American horror film directed by Tony Randel. It draws heavily upon, and was made by much of the same cast and crew as its precursor, Hellraiser.

10/10 Grade: A+ Studio: New World Pictures Starring: Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Kenneth Cranham, Imogen Boorman, Sean Chapman, William Hope, Doug Bradley, Oliver Smith Director: Tony Randel Producers: Christopher Figg, David Barron, Clive Barker, Christopher Webster Screenplay: Peter Atkins Story by Clive Barker Rated: R Running Time: 1 Hr. 39 Mins. Budget: $11.090.735 Box Office: $12,090,735
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Really good if you can stomach it! (SPOILERS)
AndrewWalker74718 November 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Ok, now this is not a bad movie at all, if you can stomach it and your not a soft person. There was a lot of disturbing stuff that kinda backfired on the overall rating of the movie (ie. the mental patient cutting himself up-was that really necessary, couldnt Channard have just sat him on the mattress and Julia kill him? Did he have to butcher himself like that?).

However, some of the gore made the movie great, like watching what happened to Channard (Ive watched the movie many times, and I still cringe watching him getting turned into a cenobite!). And the scene when Channard visits his patient is pretty scary and pretty graphic.

Now as far as giving the cenobites a human side, I personally liked the idea. It worked nicely with the fight scene with Channard and watching the cenobites die and going back to their human side. Its the best scene in the movie if you ask me.

Overall, I liked the movie. True it was excessively gore, but if you dont get upset by that then this is a good movie. The music is absoloutely great, their are a lot of scenes that make you cringe (the whole point of a horror flick), and the plot is simple yet enjoyable. A must see if you like true horror and this great series. 8/10
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The most shocking scene I've ever seen:the kiss
ary2 November 1998
I watched Hellbound when I was a little boy.I took the film from the video store,but I never thought that what I would see at the first hour would be something that I've never seen before,something grotesque,intense and shocking.No other scene can be compared as the kiss,when Clare Higgins sucks the blood of William Hope.The sound effects still gives me willies,and when I remember the camera movement,showing William Hope's wounds,I realize that I never saw a humiliation like that.If you want to see a real terror movie,rent it.Because if you can watch it all,you will be able to see all the other horror movies,and,compared to Hellbound,the other horror movies are Disney's films.
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So bad, it's almost a parody of the first
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews16 November 2004
I saw this again, earlier tonight, after having seen the first Hellraiser and really liked it. I have seen it once before, and that time I couldn't take it seriously. It's just so far-fetched and bizarre and poorly made that I couldn't help but laugh. Due to that being so long ago, and the fact that I had seen the first and understood the idea much better, I decided to give it another chance. A few minutes into the film, I think: "OK, repetition of the story of the first for new viewers. Good." Few minutes more, I think "OK, the story is starting, and looking a little bit interesting." Then, I started to notice more and more flaws, glaringly obvious ones, even. I start to laugh, and I keep laughing. Not because it's funny, per se, but because it's so poorly done and the plot is ridiculous. About 45 minutes into the film, I realize one of the main reasons the film doesn't inspire even a little fear; the scariest thing about it, as I noted to my friend who was watching it with me, is the very fact that the best actor in the film is the teenage girl(Tiffany). The plot barely makes sense, and seems like it was mainly thought up to bring back all of the popular characters from the first film; the Cenobites, Julia, Frank and Kirsty. Half of the film has a cheap repeating of the plot of the first; a resurrected person who needs to kill people for their skin. Then it becomes pushed aside while the characters all run around a huge maze being chased by poor effects and laughable gore. The acting is atrocious. I don't think any of the main characters had more than one facial expression each. The characters are poorly written and the ones that return from the first are pale shadows of their characters in the far better first film. The dialog is ludicrous. The new Cenobite that is introduced has one-liners that would Arnold himself cringe. The effects are really bad, though a few have improved since the first. The thing that really ruins this film, though, is the direction. Hellraiser was based on Clive Barker's book, and having him directing it... he put his vision onto the big screen, and it was good. Here, his vision doesn't really shine through(well, it might through some of the imagery, but certainly not the direction and 'terror factor') and he apparently didn't even get to write this movie(apart from the story... which I suspect was much better before it was turned into a script). A laughable attempt at a horror film and a worthy sequel to Hellraiser. I recommend it only to the biggest fans of horror and Hellraiser... and possibly to people just looking for a good laugh. 5/10
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Incoherent Mess...
chameleoncrow15 September 2004
" A worthy sequel", " Better than the original", "A great horror movie"....

To those people who share these sentiments, i'd like to ask you... WHAT MOVIE WERE YOU WATCHING AND WHAT DRUGS WERE YOU ON?

This movie is an utter incoherent mess of a nightmare. I consider myself to be a person who is very generous with compliments especially when it comes to movies, and i especially like my horror movies with extra gore,and i loved the original Hellraiser. But this sequel is just terrible in every aspect.

First of all, The direction of the film is horrible, with scenes and sequences that were just messily and illogically slabbed together, and illogical actions by the characters(even for a horror movie)is commonplace. The plot is as plain and simple as a blank piece of paper, which is only prolonged by the seemingly never ending wanderings of two poorly built characters with irrational motivation in the corridors of hell. It seems like the story is simply made up along the way as the movie progresses, With "rules" suddenly changing...a reflection of weak foundation.

The special Effects were a significant step down from the original, even though they were more attempts at it in this sequel. The Effect with Dr. channard looked especially cheap even for the 80's.

This movie totally destroys what i feel made the first Hellraiser successful, Which is the mystique and the Darkness of the Cenobites and the Box, by over-exposure of "hell" and by over-revealing the secrets of the cenobites(such as how one becomes a cenobite). This takes away the mysterious, menacing factor to them, and makes them almost vulnerable. What were once strong, menacing characters are now just confused children with amnesia.

And then some scenes are just corny and lame, such as Kirsty wearing Julia's Skin, which is a weak attempt at a twist; and the lame attempt at a cool ending with the pointless rotating post scene.

Whether you're a fan of The HellRaiser series or not, I can't seriously believe that a person could say that he/she think this movie is even close to being decent. Quite possibly the worst sequel of all time. This movie alone could decimate the entire Hellraiser franchise.
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