"Hellbound: Hellraiser II" is just as good as the first one.
After having survived the Cenobites from the first film, Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) finds herself in a psychiatric hospital, as no one believes her story. Dr. Channard, (Kenneth Cranham) the head of the institute, arrives to treat her, but like the others, doesn't believe her story. As certain elements become more believable, he decides to investigate more fully, eventually finding the mystical Lamont Configuration. In so doing, Julia Cotton, (Claire Higgins) is brought back into the world. When Kirsty discovers this, she finds the Cenobites, lead by Pinhead, (Doug Bradley) are behind the whole affair. Dr. Channard and Julia are also along, trapped in Hell with Pinhead and the others in an intense fight for survival.
The Good News: With this one, it ups the ante on violence over th first one so much more. Granted the first one was, this one ups it with ever more. We bypass the traditional hook pulling apart a body, but we do get a particular scene where Pinhead is shown how he gets his name-sake. It's pretty gruesome, and it fits in the rest of the film. The film features an on-screen transformation for a Cenobite, the appearance of skinless people, several mutilated dead bodies scattered throughout the film, and several particularly graphic kills that splatter all over the place. There is tons more blood scattered throughout, including a retread of the skinless person idea from part one. Also, the increased time overall with the Cenobites was greatly appreciated. With them being almost relegated to cameos in that one, here they become so relevant to the plot that it's a great joy to watch them all get plenty of screen time. The convoluted storyline, however, does have a ton of brilliant ideas. The descent into Hell is handled well, the Cenobites are integrated into the story pretty believably, and the whole scheme of events plays out excitingly to watch. It never becomes boring, and the visuals are a big reason for that. It's a great-looking film, with all the special effects and scenery which makes it a great film to get lost in.
The Bad News: The film does have some moments where the plot doesn't know where its going. It jumps around between several different themes and motives quite often different one moment to the next. It's kinda confusing, so it's required to spend a couple times with it to figure it out.
The Final Verdict: Every bit as good as the original, and then a little more in certain areas. Absolutely, fans of the original will love this one, and while it might not be the most comprehensive movie ever made, horror fans should really take a look at this one. It's got something for everyone.
Rated UR/R: Extreme Graphic Violence, some Language, Brief Nudity, and a shadowy, blurry sex scene