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Hellraiser II: Hellbound (1988)

The direct sequel to original horror classic, Hellraiser, Hellraiser II: Hellbound increases on the mythology, ramps up the gore, and continues the story.

Kirsty (again played by Ashley Laurence), after the events of the first movie is dropped into the Channard Institute to help her deal with her grief (and perhaps deal with the rantings of a loony yelling about monsters and demons and such). But unknown to her, Doctor Channard (Kenneth Cranham) has been investigating the puzzle box (the lament configuration) for, possibly, years. Channard gives the box to a young autistic girl with a penchant for puzzles, and she opens the doors to let the monsters in once again.


With the story following on directly, and with it only being a year later released, the story has similar elements as the first, but with a far greater budget. With less involvement, Clive Barker still had full reigns on the story, however, and the movies pitches perfectly.

Channard releases Julia (Clare Higgins reprisal) from hell in the same way that Frank was in the first movie, but this time through the mattress she died on. The special effects are far improved, and gory as all.

Frank (Sean Chapman) is still trapped in hell. 

The ensuing story is Channard's fascination with Julia, Kirsty trying to escape the cenobites, and Julia trying to capture as many souls as she can.

Ashley Laurence, Clare Higgins, and Sean Chapman do a wonderful job of character reprisal. The main new cast members, Kenneth Cranham and Imogen Boorman do a fine job keeping up with the established cast. 

Our Cenobites are played this time with reprisals from Simon Bamford, Nicholas Vince, and Doug Bradley (although, Bradley now credited as Pinhead) and Barbie Wilde joins as the fourth. They are terrifying again, and wonderful to watch.

Julia, skinless.

The climax of the movie concludes the two-movie story. Frank is left in hell, Julia returned. Channard becomes a Cenobite. The box is closed. Pinhead et al are trapped inside an...ornamental pillar.

The end.

The film gives way for a sequel, but the story of the Cotton family appears done.

While the first film is a classic, it was really nice to get the conclusion the second gives. The story telling flows nicely, and director Tony Randel (Ticks) does a solid job. This is the sort of franchise that benefits from having a larger effects budget, and for the most part the effects are spot on.

Randel proved himself a solid director, but went on to do more work in editing.

Hellraiser II: Hellbound is a solid sequel to a franchise. It's well worth watching the first two movies back to back.


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