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HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II
1988 / Horror
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Directed by Tony Randel
Written by Peter Atkins
Starring Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Kenneth Cranham and Doug Bradley

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.

The following tags are associated with this movie: demons, gore, sequel
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Review by Bradley Frohloff

8 / 10
This is a very good sequel that is just missing a special something that the original movie had... maybe it's Clive Barker's absence?

There's some interesting new characters but the movie at times feels like it's trying to add a little too much to the fray. It's probably the only Hellraiser sequel that can hold a candle to the first and perhaps maybe it's impossible to recapture that now. The 80's were a golden age for films like this and I don't think modern cinema is able to emulate the aura that these first couple of movies contained.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Review by Michael Mahoney

8 / 10
As much as I enjoy this sequel, there's no denying it lacks a bit of cohesiveness. Maybe a lot.

Immediately following the first movie, the first thirty minutes or so are decently fine (though I've never been a big Julia fan). But after a certain point, the movie takes a moderately odd turn and once Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) and Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) enter the labyrinth. It feels a lot more disjointed, and some of the things that occur, I just don't get (for instance, why does Channard immediately become the most powerful Cenobite there?).

Which isn't to say that Hellbound isn't an enjoyable movie - it is. The special effects are fantastic, as are the multiple set pieces (the labyrinth, overall, looks damn cool). Some great ideas (though not fully developed) and badass lines ("We have an eternity to know your flesh," not to mention, "Your suffering will be legendary, even in Hell"). It's a fun, occasionally mindless, 80's horror flick, so what's not to love?

Elements feel, as I mentioned, underdeveloped. The whole idea that Cenobites were once humans themselves doesn't really seem to mean much, and Channard's power level seems off the charts, which seems a bad design for a newly-created Cenobite. What exactly Leviathan is, from my understanding, is never made clear, nor is what happens near the end (all you had to do was mess around with the puzzle more, and you destroy hell?). And then at the end, the pole popping up from the bed showing the tormented faces of Pinhead, Channard, Julia, etc, means what, exactly?

Visually-speaking, this movie is fantastic. Story-wise, it's okay near the beginning (though not using Kirsty's boyfriend from the first film certainly seems a noticeable weakness). Kenneth Cranham can be a little campy as his portrayal of Channard, and William Hope's Kyle doesn't really seem to have a point, but overall, most of the actors and actresses did fine. It's just the lack of coherent plot that pulls it down a bit.

Common consensus, at least from my view, puts this movie around being just as good as the first one, and by-and-large, I don't think that's wrong. The first movie had a more streamlined plot, but I did like the almost epic feel this one had, or at least was aiming for. Despite my concerns, it's still a solid movie. Just not as solid as the first. 7.5/10 (rounded up to 8/10 to fit site's format).
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Review by Alex Martel

8 / 10
I don't know what kind of a budget the first Hellraiser had, but Hellraiser 2 had obviously much less to work with. The special effects and set pieces can't quite compete with its predecessor.

That being said, Hellraiser 2 still doesn't look half bad and it makes up for it by further exploring the themes of suffering and pleasure from the first movie, and by making extremely interesting creative decisions, particularly the depiction of Hell we are shown, and one of the new Cenobite's design.

This is a strong movie that mostly manages to match the original, and even expend its scope a bit, considering its relatively meager means.
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