Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

hellbound hellraiser ii poster
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Direct sequel to Hellraiser

Confusing if you don't know/remember the first Hellraiser

Movie Info

Movie Name: Hellbound:  Hellraiser II

Studio: New World Pictures

Genre(s): Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s): December 23, 1988

MPAA Rating: R

hellbound hellraiser ii pinhead doug bradley

Hey, Kirsty!!! We’re back!!!!

Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) has survived the horrors of her father’s house but finds herself institutionalized as a result.  Dr. Philip Channard (Kenneth Cranham) is very interested in Kirsty’s story and his obsession with the tales of the puzzle boxes leads him to use a young adept puzzle solving girl named Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) to help him reopen the gate.  As Kirsty seeks to rescue her father’s soul, the Cenobites are back and their leader (Doug Bradley) isn’t happy that Kirsty escaped him…but with Julia (Clare Higgins) teamed with Dr. Channard, Kirsty could be the least of the Cenobites’ problems.

Directed by Tony Randel, Hellbound:  Hellraiser II is a horror gore thriller.  Following Hellraiser in 1987, the movie had series creator Clive Barker as executive producer for the series.  The movie was released to mixed to negative reviews.

I blundered as a kid.  When you could see a horror movie, you saw a horror movie.  My friend and I rented Hellbound:  Hellraiser II before we ever saw Hellraiser.  Though the movie does provide a little “what happened before”, the sequel really dives into the story headfirst…and once you see Hellraiser, Hellbound:  Hellraiser II is kind of fun.

hellbound hellraiser ii julia

It’s so hard to keep my white white and my blood red…

Most sequels at the time (especially horror movies) really set the scene and were almost overly concerned with the audience knowing what the story was.  Hellbound set out to be a true sequel with the events occurring right after the first film and not taking a breath (the best advice is to watch Hellraiser and Hellbound back-to-back).  The movie is even gorier and bigger scope, but it also feels like it rounds out the first film.

Much of the cast of the first Hellraiser film returned.  Doug Bradley continues to be the “star” of Hellraiser as Pinhead (though he’s never called that) and Ashley Laurence seems a bit more at ease in this film than the previous entry.  Imogen Boorman is added to the cast as the puzzle solving Tiffany.  Clare Higgins continues to be strong as the evil Julia who now plays the heavy, and Kenneth Cranham plays both her victim and the “super” Cenobite.  Nicholas Vince and Simon Bamford return as the Chatterer and Butterball but Barbie Wilde replaces Grace Kirby as the female Cenobite.  Originally Andrew Robinson was slated to return, but he declined a role.

hellbound hellraiser ii kenneth cranham cenobite

The Doctor is in!

The movie is bigger than the previous entry but at the same time pretty cheap looking.  I like how Leviathan looks in the film and the movie has some great sequences, but many of the sets (like the hospital) look like second rate soap opera.  The previous film did a bit better with the atmosphere of the movie, but this movie relies a bit too much on the bigger sets.

Hellbound:  Hellraiser II is a worthy sequel to Hellraiser, but if you didn’t like Hellraiser, you won’t like the sequel.  The movie does what a sequel should do in that it moves the story forward and doesn’t just feel like more of the same.  Hellraiser isn’t for everyone, and it could be argued that it definitely is a niche market of horror (it is definitely an aberration from ’80s horror slasher films).  Hellbound:  Hellraiser II was followed by the less than stellar sequel Hellraiser III:  Hell on Earth in 1992.

Related Links:

Hellraiser (1987)

Hellraiser III:  Hell on Earth (1992)

Hellraiser:  Bloodline (1996)

Hellraiser:  Inferno (2000)

Hellraiser:  Hellseeker (2002)

Hellraiser:  Deader (2005)

Hellraiser:  Hellworld (2005)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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