Hellbound: Hellraiser II

I feel like Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 is a sequel that I’ve only seen a handful of times. I’ve seen the movies on each side of Hellbound way more than I have this movie. I hadn’t noticed how little I remembered about this movie. I hadn’t seen it in over a decade, so it was almost like seeing it for the first time, except there were moments that I remembered. It feels like the continuation of the story that its supposed to be while also feeling disconnected from it in ways that are almost indescribable, but you know them when you see them.

Clive Barker wrote the story for Hellbound, but Peter Atkins wrote the screenplay. Tony Randel took over the directing duties from Barker. The story is a continuation of the first movie’s story but also it provides more information towards both Hell and the Cenobites. There are moments where this movie shares a cinematic style with the previous movie but that stops about halfway through and then it drops the dreamlike feel that is rooted in the first half of the movie.

Ashley Laurence’s performance is not nearly as iconic in Hellbound as it was in the previous movie. She does have a lot more crying and just looking scared but when she does have to interact with other people, she does a fantastic job. Clare Higgins is amazing and is fully sinister Julia the entire movie. She feels like a proper villain up until Channard goes through his transformation. Kenneth Cranham does a great job with the dual role of Dr. Channard and the Channard Cenobite. My biggest gripe about the Channard Cenobite is the modulation used for his screams. Imogen Boorman does a good job as Tiffany as a mostly silent role, though she does eventually start talking. The normal Cenobites are back, though they have some redesigns and actual names except for Female Cenobite. Doug Bradley even got to play the human form of Pinhead called Captain Elliot Spencer.

The Cenobites look as great as the did in the previous movie, even with there being some redesigns and some recasting of characters. The Channard Cenobite looks amazing and has some top notch stop-motion animation. The matte paintings in this movie are amazing. It gives hell so much more of a grander scale than you expect. The puzzle box is used in a much more interesting way, which goes with the expanding of the mythos. Christopher Young made an even grander score for this movie.

Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 is a great sequel that left the series open to continue in interesting ways. This feels like it could be played back-to-back with the previous movie, and it would feel right at home. The next two movies are not as connected as these two were. I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch the next two sequels, because they’re not as easily accessible. I watched the movie on Prime Video but its available on other services too. I give Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 8 puzzle boxes out of 10.

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