Friday, November 1, 2013

Movie Review: Hellraiser 2: Hellbound (1988)

Hellraiser 2: Hellbound
HELLRAISER 2: HELLBOUND - Poster Image

Written by Peter Atkins
Directed by Tony Randel

Kirsty...Ashley Laurence
Julia...Clare Higgins
Kyle...William Hope
Dr. Channard...Kenneth Cranham
Pinhead...Doug Bradley

In the aftermath of the first film, Kirsty is being held in a mental hospital and being questioned as a witness in the homicides that took her family. Can't blame them for thinking she's crazy...her story does sound a little bonkers, doesn't it?

One doctor knows she's telling the truth, though, and that's precisely why he's so interested. He's been obsessed with the puzzle boxes for a good long while, and has a special block of cells beneath the hospital where he keeps the poor survivors of the Cenobite's terror. It is this doctor's meddling that brings Julia back to life (much like Frank in the original), and kicks the horror off once again as he strives to open the box and unleash the hellions within.

HELLRAISER 2: HELLBOUND - Poor Kirsty

This entry has its high points and its low points. For the low points, too much of the plot is derivative of the original--and there are too many flashbacks early on to scenes from the original, as well. Also, we actually venture into the Cenobite's realm this time--which sounds tantalizing, but the visual result is never as good as the anticipation (see also Insidious).

HELLRAISER 2: HELLBOUND - Doc and Julia

On the plus side, the practical special effects have taken a step up in this entry, and the wriggling, fleshless bodies look pretty badass, but the computer and stop-motion still appear a bit cheesy. The perverse (and rather gross) romance between Dr. Channard and Julia was kind of a shocker, too, and there were a few pretty sweet looking sets--especially the doctor's office, which was full of macabre artifacts and arcane knowledge. We were even privy to a glimpse into Pinhead's origins, which is just the start of this deep mythology.

HELLRAISER 2: HELLBOUND - Pre-Pinhead

Overall, a bit uneven but an ultimately satisfying entry.

"Hell is what he wanted, and Hell was what he got."
--J/Metro

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