Book for the Highgate Vampire Symposium
Films

REVIEW: Hellbound – Hellraiser 2 (1988)

REVIEW: Hellbound – Hellraiser 2 (1988)
Andrew Garvey

Happy Birthday Pinhead!


Spooky Isles continues its special day celebrating 25 years since the release of Hellraiser, with its most notable sequel – Hellbound: Hellraiser 2. Review by ANDREW GARVEY


Released just a year after the ground-breaking original, Hellbound is widely regarded as the best of far too many sequels.  Produced by Clive Barker and directed by American Tony Randel – who worked, largely uncredited – on the first film, Hellbound quickly recaps a little of the story so far before giving us a frenzied glimpse of an army officer’s painful, gory transformation from puzzle box meddler to the iconic lead Cenobite unofficially known as Pinhead.

Set immediately after the original film, Hellbound sees surviving heroine Kirsty, having perhaps unwisely told the authorities everything she’d seen and experienced, being held at the Channard Institute, a suitably creepy psychiatric hospital.  A skinless man soon appears in Kirsty’s room, daubing ‘I am in Hell, help me’ on the tiled wall in his own blood.

Certain this is her dead father Larry and determined to help him, Kirsty explains to the sinister Dr. Channard all about the gruesome fates of Frank, Julia and Larry with the help of yet more clips from the first film, including, quite carelessly, some details her character didn’t and couldn’t actually know.  Oops.

Channard, of course already has a very unhealthy fascination with the puzzle box and what it can do.  Using a blood-soaked mattress from the house and taking advantage of one of his patient’s terrifying hallucinations, the villainous Channard revives a skinless Julia, suggesting he’s not entirely au fait with the Hippocratic Oath.

Obviously, as Julia, like Frank in the first film, needs more blood to fully regenerate, things are about to become very unpleasant for Channard’s hapless patients, but what is in store Kirsty, helpful young doctor Kyle, Tiffany, a silent young patient obsessed with solving puzzles and Channard himself?

Rehashing and outright repeating many of the same ideas from the first film, Hellbound at least adds to our understanding of the Hellraiser mythos with most of the last half set in an imaginatively realised, quite disturbing Hell.

Unfortunately, Hellbound relies far too much on wacky, ‘cutting edge’ camera trickery, inevitably giving it a more dated look when viewed years later.  Indeed, much of it looks like a cheesy heavy metal music video.

It also has a far less coherent plot and a sometimes ill-judged script (we really don’t need the kind of one liners that turned Freddy Krueger into a pantomime bad guy) that leaves many, many questions unanswered.

More fantastical, and certainly imaginative, it’s nothing like as scary as the original.  Just weirder.  It’s not a bad film, just a slightly disappointing one considering what it followed.


ANDREW GARVEY lives in Staffordshire.  He writes (infrequently) about mixed martial arts, professional wrestling, history, horror and folklore.  Follow him on Twitter: @AMGarvey Check out more Andrew Garvey articles for the Spooky Isles here.


View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. Horror Movie Medication

    12th March 2013 at 2:07 am

    Nice review. Quite thorough. Personally, I kinda love and hate the whole Hellraiser series. All of them seem to be lacking in story/plot, but it is really hard to be that upset when they deliver such awesome gore. All of them, this film included, manage to make my skin crawl.

    I got the chance to review of couple others in the series on my blog. They are short reviews but cover most the series. Check it out if you get the chance.

    http://horrormoviemedication.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-sequel-spectacular-horror-leftovers.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Films
Andrew Garvey
@AMGarvey

ANDREW GARVEY is Spooky Isles' Associate Editor. He lives in Staffordshire. He writes (infrequently) about mixed martial arts, professional wrestling, history, horror and folklore.

More in Films

Vincent-Price-The-Last-Man-on-Earth

15 things you didn’t know about The Last Man on Earth (1964)

Peter Fuller19th June 2015
Christopher Lee in Sleepy Hollow

Sir Chris Lee’s death means the loss of a childhood friend, says Tressa Yeomans

Guest Writer14th June 2015
Christopher Lee

Sleep well Sir Christopher Lee, says Katie Doherty

Katie Doherty14th June 2015
Terence Fisher directs Christopher Lee as Dracula

Andrew Garvey on Christopher Lee: I’ll miss him

Andrew Garvey14th June 2015
Christopher-Lee-as-Saruman

11 amazing but true facts about Christopher Lee

MJ Steel Collins11th June 2015
Christopher-Lee

Goodnight, Dark Prince: Sir Christopher Lee (1922-2015) OBITUARY

Richard Phillips-Jones11th June 2015
The-Cutting-Room

The Cutting Room (2015) REVIEW

Staff Writer7th June 2015
Roddy McDowall in Legend of Hell House

The Legend Of Hell House (1973) REVIEW

Richard Phillips-Jones1st June 2015
The-Evil-Beneath-Loch-Ness

The Evil Beneath Loch Ness (2001) REVIEW

Simon Ball28th May 2015
Vincent Price in Witchfinder General

Vincent Price festival announced for London

Staff Writer27th May 2015
The-Sleeping-Room-image

The Sleeping Room where horror fills your dreams

Kayleigh Marie Edwards15th May 2015
Olivia Williams in The Haunting of Radcliffe House

Director reveals creepy goings-on shooting The Haunting of Radcliffe House

Matt Wingett6th May 2015