Hellraiser pre-dates the Great Blog Collab, but I feel it’s one of the films that brought Christa and I together. We are both in love with the film, yet we haven’t seen any of the sequels, so it was kind of inevitable we’d review Hellraiser 2 during Horror Month. The sequel should be fun even if it’s exceedingly unlikely to be as good as the first. Let’s find out, shall we? You know the drill: Christa’s thoughts here all day, every day.
Hellbound: Hellraiser 2
Where to Watch:
It’s the sequel to Hellraiser, guys. There are Cenobites and demon Rubik’s cubes.
The Uncondensed Version:
This film gives you a convenient recap of Hellraiser in case you haven’t seen it or have forgotten what it’s about. So in Hellraiser there’s a demon Rubik’s cube that Kirsty uses to send Pinhead and the other Cenobites back to hell. Before that can happen, she loses her father because her stepmother is trying to resurrect Kirsty’s uncle through blood sacrifice, and Kirsty’s father just happens to be one of the victims.
It’s probably surprising to no one that this whole experience was pretty traumatizing for Kirsty. As our film opens, she has been institutionalized. (Some of the asylum scenes inevitably reminded me of The Pink Panther Strikes Again, so it was difficult to take them seriously.) This seems to be bad news as (a) Kirsty’s stepmother is kind of living in the mattress she died on and can still be resurrected, (b) one of the doctors at the asylum seems to perform some really unethical surgeries and likes to talk about the final solution, and (c) Kirsty has repetitive nightmares that her father is in hell and she must save him.
However, Kirsty’s probably not getting out any time soon, esp. as she keeps shouting things like “You have got to destroy that mattress!”
Two people who are going to be important: Kyle, a sympathetic doctor, and Tiffany, aka Puzzle Girl. Kyle decides to help Kirsty after witnessing Julia, the stepmother, resurrect in a rather disturbing manner and sort of eating some dude’s brain. Julia has basically everything she needs except skin, so in a rather Silence of the Lambs-y move, she makes herself a suit from the skin of other women. This is where the timeline gets a bit screwy to me b/c presumably Kyle doesn’t wait days to weeks to help Kirsty after realizing she was telling the truth about her stepmother being demonic. But it would be hard to kill and skin half a dozen people really quickly even if you’re undead, right? Like it would probably take you at least 3 or 4 days I would think, not including sewing time? Whatever, it’s not super important to the plot I suppose.
Anyway, since Tiffany can’t resist solving puzzles, the doctor and Julia give her the Rubik’s cube of doom to solve. She inevitably does, which of course summons the Cenobites, including Pinhead (who I can’t stop mentally calling “Pinterest”). Two points here: (1) I don’t remember Pinhead speaking at all in the first one, so it was surprising when he started talking in this really deep, booming voice, and (2) the word “Cenobite” is just brilliant, isn’t it?
So since solving the cube opened the portal to hell, everyone is pretty much just wandering around hell at this point. OF COURSE there’s a carnival part with the creepiest baby ever with its lips sewn shut. Shudder.
This might be spoiler-y, but I think it’s pretty obvious that Julia is just using the doctor. I don’t think it should surprise anyone when Julia betrays him and sacrifices him to the Leviathan, which is…a box. With sort of vine/tentacle hands. This leads to the doctor becoming a Cenobite with pretty cool snake hands and truly terrible lines about the doctor being in.
Ultimately, everyone is pitted against everyone else: Kirsty/Tiffany vs. Julia, Cenobite Dr. vs. Other Cenobites, Julia vs. Cenobite Dr., Kirsty/Tiffany vs. Cenobite Dr., etc.
I’m going to be honest, most of the fight scenes are pretty lame. I feel like most of the budget went into animating the snake hands. Surely you’d rather find out for yourself what happens? You can probably guess—I believe in you.
Largely for consistency. I gave Hellraiser 4/5, and I don’t think this is quite on the same level. The plot made way less sense, and the doctor was kind of disappointing as an antagonist. Julia and Pinhead deserved way more screen time. Realistically, Hellraiser deserves a higher rating, but we are moving forward, not backwards.
You know Christa has a lot to say about this one here!