Hellbound: Hellraiser 2


Directed by Tony Randel

Yeah. This film makes the rest of the franchise make sense. Like it’s predecessor, it two shows glimpses of quality and I admire it for trying something different (well, for the last half) but this takes everything that was silly and stupid and makes it pretty much the entire film.

It’s kind of admirable in that regard. It simply throws atmosphere and “realism” to the wind and dives into a fantasy world that ranges from the chains and hooks I’ve become accustomed to something far more fantastical, over the top, and feels more at home along side the works of Jim Henson than anything I would’ve ever expected from this franchise. It’s almost like Randel realized nothing in this franchise is actually disturbing and went for broke. So we’re left with tentacle knife fingers, skin suits, puzzle shards, air hallways, and other general lunacy to be enjoyed and laughed at.

In many ways, the last half reminds me of another film, Insidious. That film too tried to be a wild theme park of horror and fell on its face because it compromised its first half of traditional horror. It destroyed its atmosphere and just became stupid. The difference with Hellbound is that it really doesn’t half another half to it’s film. Everything before the point that the protagonist crosses into another reality is simply retread over the first film. When it’s not remaking specific scenes it is padding its length with actual shots and scenes of the original. Half of this film is just re-edited footage. It’s ludicrous.

Also, what’s up with the title. What was going on in the 80’s and doing stupid sequel titles. It is impossible to look at that nightmare of a title and not think of the First Blood series and it’s clusterfuck of nomenclature.

So yeah, this movie is very, very bad. But it is mostly entertaining once it becomes it’s own story. It also explains why after this the franchise became a typical slasher film with Pinhead villain. This film went so far off the deep end the production company obviously wanted to play the safe route and for how long it’s been running, I don’t think I can fault them from a financial standpoint.

So, I don’t recommend these movies unless you’re craving some 80’s horror and don’t mind the poor production values (outside of art design) and unintentional camp, then there are worse movies to watch… Like the sequels.

Like those damned sequels…

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