Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Release Year: 1988
Director: Tony Randel
Writers: Peter Atkins (screenplay), Clive Barker (story)
Starring: Ashley Laurence, Clare Higgins, Kenneth Granham, Imogen Boorman, Sean Chapman, William Hope, Doug Bradley
Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) is brought to a psychiatric institute after the death of her family. Here she is under the care of a psychiatrist (Kenneth Granham) with a secret intrest in the occult, who decides to resurrect Julia (Clare Higgins) and summon the cenobites again.
Clive Barker’s Hellraiser (1987) was a thoroughly enjoyable and quite original horror film in a decade otherwise dominated by more traditional fare. It was follow only a year later by this sequel, which delves deeper into the mythology of Hellraiser. We follow Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) again and the story is set shortly after the end of the first film. As a result of the gruesome things she witnessed, Kirsty is now a patient in a psyciatric hospital, but her doctor has an unhealthy interest in the occult and summons the Cenobites, and even worse, aunt Julia (Clare Higgins). This could have been merely a repeat of the first only set in a hospital this time, but it is something quite different. Some of the things that were effective the first time around are repeated, but as Kirsty enters the dimension of the Cenobites it becomes a weird spectacle indeed. Unfortunately, the Cenobites, and especially their iconic leader nicknamed Pinhead, play a minor role and are not frightening this time around. The real antagonists are Kenneth Granham’s Dr. Channard and the very tenacious aunt Julia. It is mostly gory for the sake of being gory, and weirder than the first, and does not quite capture the creeping horror of the first film. It is nonetheless an interesting expansion of the mythology and a decent sequel.
Author Clive Barker, who directed the original film and served as executive producer on the sequel, had written a elaborate backstory for the cenobites which was not used in the first film. He wantedto include some of it this time around to underline the fact that the cenobites were once human and became demonic through their own vices. Similarly, Uncle Frank and Julia are brought down by their lust. Julia was meant to become the ultimate villain of the series, but Pinhead proved too popular with audiences.
Picture Copyright: On Air Video