Hellbound: Hellraiser II

Year: 1988

Synopsis: The origins of the Cenobites are explored, while Kirsty finds herself in the middle of a power struggle in their side of Hell.

Pros:
• Perhaps the most fun and epic entry of the series.
• The mythology was strongly expanded, while still as enigmatic as ever.
• All the actors embraced the madness of it all without becoming corny or cliche.
• The story was almost Lovecraftian in its bizarre visuals and not fully understood machinations.
• That sense of tragedy-filled dread was perhaps more surreal than before.

Cons:
• Perhaps a bit too bizarre at times for its own good.
• Spent too much time at the start rehashing the first film.
• Channard’s demise might seem a little underwhelming, given his seemingly invincible status after becoming a Cenobite.

Discussion:
“It is not hands that guide her. It is … desire.

Perhaps the most fascinating element of Hellbound was how Hell was depicted not unlike the Underworld in Greco-Roman mythology. Most will likely go there, while the Cenobite-filled labyrinth run by Leviathan was but one of many Hell realms. This was perhaps suggested in the first film, but was fully elaborated here. We also see further how different people may open the box differently. Frank was literally hooked into Hell right away in the first film, while characters like Kirsty and Tiffany were allowed to “explore.” Perhaps even more conspicuous was that Tiffany came very close to be coming a Cenobite herself, as she and Kirsty seem to hold their own quite strongly in that Hell realm. That seemed to suggest that Channard was a means to an end to create a new generation of Cenobites that would actively pull in souls. That was not to be. Yet, Leviathan’s machinations certainly shifted the status-quo of its domain, leading to character shifts in Pinhead seen in the next films.


Clive Barker’s Official Website

Rotten Tomatoes — 56%

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