Definitely not one for the weak of stomach, Hellbound takes up where the first Hellraiser left off, piling on the gore to near camp levels. Luckily, the 1988 sequel retains enough of British horror-meister Clive Barker's m... more »acabre wit--like the original, it's based on a Barker story--to save it from the schlock-heap. Hospitalized following her last misadventure, Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) implores authorities to destroy a bloody bed at the carnage scene, but the enigmatic Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham) brings an addled patient there and unleashes a dread Cenobite instead. As if that's not bad enough, Kirsty's getting distress calls from her father, who begs her to rescue him from hell. When she journey through hell's dark labyrinths with a mute puzzle solver, however, Kirsty only finds the evil Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and other bizarro creatures, plus her nasty former stepmother and lascivious Uncle Frank. Much maniacal laughter and skin shedding later, the newfound compadres unlock the puzzle box again to safety. Hellbound isn't genius, but it does have flair, which goes a long way toward offsetting Laurence's leaden acting and occasionally over the top gore. --Diane Garrett« less
James B. (wandersoul73) from LINDALE, TX Reviewed on 6/8/2009...
This one's almost as great as the first movie. But still it stands on its own.
Society is a labyrinth of the brain
Jacques COULARDEAU | OLLIERGUES France | 06/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is even more complex than the first one. It is a voyage inside the brain, not the individual brain of one person but inside the collective brain of humanity. The brain is a labyrinth and it is entirely dominated and controlled by desires. But this film transforms death into a fourth dimension of life because death is just a permanent imprisonment in this labyrinth facing a permanent non-satisfaction of one's desires that are thus perverted into suffering or the inflicting of suffering to new visitors or arrivers. But this film gives an explanation of whom the cenobites are. They are men, and eventually women, who made other humans suffer when they were humans themselves. Thus Pinhead was a colonial soldier who enjoyed torturing people. Julia becomes a guide in this labyrinth after her rebirth because she was a killer, a criminal, an assassin in real life. But a new cenobites is born in front of our eyes. The psychiatrist is transformed into a torturer because he was such a man in real life, using scalpels and saws to manipulate and mutilate brains. The twist of this film is that the cube produces a new shape, a double trihedra that is the very symbol of desires, of the flesh. And it is another victim of the psychiatrist, a young girl who was locked by her mother in the hospital of that man, who is able to solve the puzzle of this double trihedra in order to close the cube again, and it closes the labryinth of desires and the brain. This film is a metaphor, an enormous metaphor, of society, if we consider the brain as a representation or a mirror image of society, and it is. Hence Clive Barker reaches here a social level that is not always present, in such a complexity, in his work. Very often, the flesh, the desires, the feelings, the blood of life are more in the limelight. We must think that the reason is simple : this film is not based on a book. In other words it is purely and firstly visual ; not semantic or linguistic. Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Paris Universities II and IX."
Time to Play
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 08/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Take all of the delightfully sickening gore of the original Hellraiser, multiply it ten times or so, throw in a deliciously wicked new source of evil, and then provide some background on the origin of Pinhead and his fellow Cenobites, and you have Hellraiser 2: Hellbound. I love the original movie, but this sequel is even better in so many ways. It essentially picks up the story from the end of the first movie (providing almost too many flashbacks to make sure you are up to speed), where Kirstie (Ashley Laurence) has seen her uncle return to life sans skin to team up with her wicked stepmother to kill her father, and she has somehow survived two encounters herself with the Cenobites. Little did she know that her troubles were really only beginning. We find her in a mental hospital run by the cold and calculating Dr. Cannard (played to the hilt by Kenneth Cranham), who, as luck would have it, has been secretly delving into the secrets of the puzzle box himself. He manages to get the bloody mattress upon which Julia died and brings her back to life with the help of some of his most insane patients. He and Julia use a young girl unable to speak but gifted at solving puzzles to call forth the Cenobites and enter their world to satiate the mad doctor's deep need to "know." Kirstie and the mute girl follow them into the infernal labyrinth where they encounter Kirstie's old friend Pinhead, who allows Kirstie time to explore because, after all, "we have eternity to know your flesh." When Julia takes Dr. Cannard to Leviathan, lord of the labyrinth, god of flesh, hunger, and desire, he becomes a new force for evil in that realm. Before the movie ends, there are some very dramatic events that add much depth to the entire Hellraiser series.This is a gory movie; make no mistake about that. If you don't want to see the human body mutilated in a number of fascinating ways, this is not the movie for you. As a horror fan, I love the blood and guts, especially since it seems necessary rather than gratuitous to satisfy the requirements of this story. Some of the special effects are a little cheesy toward the end, but one must remember this movie came out in 1988. The original movie seemed pretty limited in scope, providing just a peek into the Cenobites world. This sequel broadens that scope immensely and leads us on a visual journey of wonder and horror through the labyrinth which the Cenobites call home. While the first movie naturally made one wonder where the Cenobites came from, this sequel provides many answers. We learn much about Pinhead in particular, getting visual evidence of the manner in which he earned his nickname. There are aspects about the movie's conclusion I did not particularly care for, but these issues are less important for those who are not hard core horror connoisseurs. This is not a slasher film; those who squirm their way through a Jason or Freddy movie may find themselves unprepared for the extent of the horror in this movie. Those of us who like our horror bloody and disturbing, though, will use this as the benchmark by which we compare all future gory movies."
R. Abdul-Ghani | Detroit,MI | 11/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What is definitely interesting about the Hellraiser movies is that the cenobites never go after just people. As Pinhead states: "You called, we came"! There are some life lessons to be gained from Clive Barker. The most salient is: If people are not corrupt they do not need to fear evil. All of the people who are impacted by the hellish creatures are afflicted with greed and avarice. The cenobites are the just reward for these."
NOW, IT'S TIME TO PLAY !
Michael D. | Miami, FL | 08/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THIS IS A TRUE HORROR FILM, WAY AHEAD OF ITS TIME, THE LOOK OF THE FILM, THE EFFECTS, ITS GORE, EVERYTHING ABOUT IT FRIGHTENS."
Just as good, if not better than the first.
J.J. Willard | USA | 08/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was expecting the sequel to Hellraiser to be a retarded knock-off of the original, but I was definately shown not to judge a movie by it's cover. This movie continues where the first one left off and reveals more of the origin of Pinhead and his comrads. Just watch it, but only if you've seen the first Hellraiser."