Hellbound: Hellraiser II

1988

Horror / Thriller

37
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 50%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 60%
IMDb Rating 6.5

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Doug Bradley as Pinhead/Captain Elliot Spencer
Ashley Laurence as Kirsty Cotton
Clare Higgins as Julia Cotton
Kenneth Cranham as Dr. Philip Channard/Channard Cenobite
720p
700.16 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 5 / 17

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Lex Fulgore (Naturezrevenge) 10 / 10

All time fav. Beautiful, visceral, multi-layered and vaguely erotic.


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!

Reviewed by slayrrr666 (slayrrr666@yahoo.com) 5 / 10

Great follow-up to a classic

"Hellbound: Hellraiser II" is just as good as the first one.

**SPOILERS**

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

Reviewed by udar55 6 / 10

Goes to hell when they, uh, go to hell

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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