Note: I wrote this review April 14, 2013. I intend to eventually re-review this film and the rest of the Hellraiser series. As I’ve grown older, my tastes have changed, as has my writing / review style. This review’s a little “snarkier” than what I’d normally do now.
For today’s edition, we’ll be continuing our Halloween Masochism as we take a look at Hellbound: Hellraiser 2, a 1988 horror film directed by Tony Randel. The movie served as a direct sequel to the original movie, also directed by Tony Randel and also produced by Clive Barker. The movie drew heavily upon the first movie and was made up of the same cast and crew as its precursor. As a point of thumb, I think that numerous recognize a reoccurring pattern throughout movies in-general, and that is that sequels generally don’t come with positive results.
Men in Black may have been one of the most perfectly made comedies out-there, but after a series of unfortunate events, they lemony snicketed their way into making Men in Black 2 which was the exact opposite. The second Halloween wasn’t as good as the first, and this is for both the remake and the John Carpenter’s film, the second A Nightmare on Elm Street was horrible, and, well, I think that you get my point. Alas, you come to a stifling contradiction the minute that you realize that no matter what they do, they can’t possibly make anything worse than the first Hellraiser. The movie may have been one of the worst horror-movies that I’ve ever seen in my life, and considering that horror’s the worst genre that I’ve ever seen in my life, that’s saying something.
Actually, wait, second-thought, I think that found-footage movies may be the worse, but that’s not important. Hellraiser 2 for everything that it was, it actually wasn’t all of that bad. I think it’s probably because we didn’t have to sleep through all of the grotesquely boring dialogue that they tried to pass off as character development in the previous film, however, that does mean that we didn’t get much character development in this movie. Which we didn’t, they introduced a couple of new characters, but they didn’t introduce anything too earth shattering or mind-bending.
The story begins with Kristy from the first movie waking up in a psychiatric hospital, shades of a lot of other horror movies, and what happens is, of course, nobody seems to believe her. This all changes whenever Kyle MacRae, the assistant to the doctor that is supposedly taking care of Kristy, goes to Dr. Channard’s house and sees that not only does Dr. Channard believe her, but he is desperately looking to prove her correct by bringing back Julia, who had died in the first movie. Meanwhile, Kristy becomes friends with a near-catatonic girl named Tiffany, with an uncanny gift at solving puzzles.
Kristy begins reading messages written in blood on the mirror telling her that someone is Hell and asking for help, she presumes it’s her father, and this basically sets the stage for the rest of the movie. The second installment in the Hellraiser series brings about the same laughable acting, however, innovates the series with a better sense of style and flash, a certain individuality that separates it from the previous movie. I’d hate to say it, but at times I feel like the difference is that this movie actually had a little bit of effort in it. Don’t take my praising too seriously because whenever I give this movie praising, I am giving it praising in a down in the mill, this is Hellraiser kind-of way.
I’ve said it in my previous review for the first movie, I like Hellraiser at the crux of it all in the sense that I enjoy Clive Barker. I think that he’s a gifted writer and his idea was good, but how the idea projected itself onto the screen was horrible. This movie had a detectable amount of wit, and deep down at it, Jesus, did this movie actually go ahead and add a little suspense. Towards the end of it whenever what happened to Pin-head happened, I had myself convinced that that was the case. The wit that I was talking about earlier was in small doses, however, because the last movie was so depleted of anything even remotely good or decent, I found myself astonished with even the smallest molecule of it.
In conclusion, I wouldn’t really go as far as to call this movie a good movie, because the flaws are still there when it comes to the acting and the lack of pzazz. I mean like, for example, with the first A Nightmare on Elm Street movie, the themes weren’t necessarily riveting, but you had Heather’s commendable performance as Nancy and Robert Englund’s borderline perfect performance as Freddy Krueger. In this movie, you have Ashley Laurence, who can say her lines alright, I guess, if you can overlook some of her over-dramatic and yet monotone, “Oh my God’s,” can somewhat say her lines well, and Doug Bradley as Pin-Head, who, don’t get me wrong really has a presence to him, is as generically dark and methodical as they come, but I would call this a decent movie.
The movie proudly manages to sneak away with a six out of ten, a low-grade but higher than anything that I actually thought I’d give.