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#1,446. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Posted on the 01 August 2014 by Dvdinfatuation
#1,446. Hellbound: Hellraiser II  (1988)
Directed By: Tony Randel
Starring: Doug Bradley, Ashley Laurence, Clare Higgins
Tag line: "Time to play"
Trivia: An alternate script with Kirsty's father Larry exists, written before Andrew Robinson declined to reprise the role
Whereas the original Hellraiser was a horrifying look at hell on earth, its sequel, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, takes place primarily on the Cenobite’s home turf.
As a result of her encounter with those disciples of the Underworld, the Cenobites, Kristy (Ashley Laurence) has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital. While most refuse to believe her story, the facility’s head psychiatrist, Dr. Channard (Kenneth Cranham), is mysteriously receptive to it. In fact, he wants to meet the Cenobites for himself, and in an attempt to do so summons Kristy’s misguided step-mom, Julia (Clare Higgins), from the abyss to act as his personal guide through the bowels of hell. As for Kristy, she’s been receiving messages from an entity she believes to be her dead father, asking her to help him escape his hellish fate. Along with a fellow patient, a mute girl named Tiffany (Imogen Boorman), Kristy journeys deep into the underworld to look for dear old dad, encountering some familiar faces (i.e. the Cenobites) during her trek, as well as a brand new adversary who intends to keep her in hell… forever.
Like its predecessor, Hellbound: Hellraiser II has its share of frightening moments. One scene in particular has Dr. Channard bringing a psychiatric patient home with him, then goading him into mutilating his own arm over the very mattress Julia was killed on. As the patient’s blood drips down, Julia is “awakened” from her eternal slumber. Her arms reaching out from the mattress, she grabs the poor guy and feasts on him, which gives her the strength to rejoin the living. Yet what really impressed me about Hellbound were its underworld locales, and how the filmmakers let their imaginations run wild while creating them. One realm, which looks like a continuous labyrinth, is ruled over by a God-like creature named Leviathan, who appears as a bright light floating just above the surface (the sequence set in this corner of hell is both chilling and awe-inspiring). Along with its remarkable art direction (handled by Andy Harris) and Production Design (Michael Buchanan), Hellbound provides some insight into the history of the Cenobites, including the back story of Pinhead (Doug Bradley), who apparently was once a Captain in the British Army (told primarily in flashback, we see his abduction and transformation into the lead Cenobite). As an added bonus, we even witness the birth of a new Cenobite, one every bit as terrifying as the others.
Hellraiser is one of my favorite horror movies, a film that captured the terror of hell so convincingly it stayed with me for days afterwards. Hellbound: Hellraiser II takes the story to the next level, and in so doing creates a world that, if it doesn’t scare you outright, will surely have you squirming uncomfortably in your seat.


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