Are you someone that is good at solving puzzles? Does the mere presence of a Rubik’s Cube get your hands all fidgety and sweaty? You play puzzle app games on your phone and enjoy unhooking pieces of metal. You’re just like my coworker Dale and you’re both absolutely crazy in the head! He’s a good guy but I have to admit he freaks me out. He has all these puzzle boxes on his desk and whenever he needs time to think and get away from the screen, I see him working on one of his little contraptions of mind numbing torture and cringe. There’s been a couple of times when I’ve tried a few of them but I can never do it. I suck and it pisses me off! Dale just laughs at me. Most of the puzzles are just impossible. I could spend hours trying to fit the pieces together and not even come close to getting it right. But Dale can do it every time.
This is the box I was working on today. I ended up giving up and getting real mad. Dale is a good guy so he doesn’t mind that I turn on him and make fun of his beard and love for sail boats. But man, the frustration builds up within me. Why can’t I get to this level of existence where something as simple as making a stupid box be easy? I have a college degree and I can tie my own shoes! I read tons of books and can usually answer the call to help my kids with their homework. I use a stove and can light a candle without burning my fucking house down! Yet I can’t solve some damn wooden puzzle? It eats at me even now and I can’t work. I think I need to go home.
But you know what? I’m glad I can’t do puzzles. The only thing I have ever learned from horror movies is that puzzle solving only leads to bad things and if I’ve learned anything it would be that horror movies are all true! I’ve seen Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 and I know what would happen to me if I was a puzzle wizard.
Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 is a 1988 horror sequel to 1987’s Hellraiser. The film was directed by Tony Randel who would go on to direct the third movie Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth. The movie stars returning actors Ashley Laurence as Kirsty, Claire Higgins as Julia, Sean Chapman as Frank and Doug Bradley as the widely known “pinhead” but I just call him the hell priest. It also included Imogen Boorman as Tiffany and Kenneth Cranham as Dr. Channard. The movie was quickly green lit after the success of the first movie but received less than positive reviews. Who gives a shit, this movie rules.
Hellbound: Hellraiser 2
Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (which I will just refer as Hellraiser 2 from now on) takes place right after the first movie. Kirsty Cotton is now in a mental hospital after witnessing her fathers dead body by the hands of her uncle Frank and step mother bitch Julia. In the hospital Kirsty pleads to Dr. Channard for him to destroy the mattress on which Julia died on. Claiming it is a portal to hell. But Dr. Channard has much grandeur plans. Plans that will only bring Kirsty deeper into her hellish experiences.
You have to admit that most movie sequels are downright garbage. It’s real hard to take a movie that is so awesome and make another that is either equivalent in splendor or even better. Sequels always have such high demand when it comes to horror. They have to be larger and bloodier. Whatever happened in the first movie has to be child’s play to the second. Since its release, Hellraiser 2 has gained notoriety at being the best horror sequel ever made and I for one agree.
Hellraiser 2 is one of my most favorite movies and remains one of the scariest movies I have yet to watch. Just as a warning, you have to see the first movie to get this one and I don’t mean when it comes to story. In the end it’s exactly the same story… just at a larger scale. BUT SCALE IS EVERYTHING! I’ve been pushing the idea of inescapability these past couple days and with good reason. Inescapability works at evaporating any idea of hope or survival. Hellraiser 2 is the best at creating this inescapability. Hellraiser 2 does the job at giving us the notion that “hell” is all around us. Instead of bringing Kirsty back to the place where it all started, we’re opened up to the idea that hell has no bounds. Wherever Kirsty goes, hell will follow and unlike other horror films where people sail off into the sunset, Hellraiser 2 opens the door even wider for doom and despair.
Frank Is Promoted Not Punished
Frank Cotton makes another appearance in this movie. Frank was my favorite part of the first movie. He’s pretty much our Faust character that is seeking out immeasurable please. He gets whats coming to him but it’s odd because at the end of the first movie he is ripped in pieces and taken back to an eternity of torture. But in this movie it’s like he was given a promotion or something! He’s even still wearing a wife beater! The guy has his own chamber of horrors where he resides… apart from the cenobites!
What is with that!? Everything in this movie is warped and sick. I thought deviants are sent there to be tortured and jacked off with sandpaper forever! No way man, the more evil you the more you advance! We see this because Dr. Channard is given a promotion as well and becomes this new super cenobite that actually fights and kills pinhead in this awesome showdown of cenobite fury. I guess this shows that the cenobites are only terrifying on a minimal scale compared to the world in which they come from. What we thought of them being the main horror of the last movie is eradicated. Instead they are created and governed by the god known as Leviathan. This masters dominion and presence is beyond us that it doesn’t even directly interact with us. Even his hell demons like pinhead are just pawns that Leviathan cares less for. This is like knowing Darth Vader is bad but then finding out there is this other bad guy who is far worse called the Emperor. Actually it sounds a lot like our own world. That’s why Hellraiser 2 is so cool. It says “You think you know? You have no damn clue!” Frank Cotton is now a manager in aisle 55B and this sick bastard that makes out with skinless women is now in charge.
Although it may be a bit confusing and not as good a story as the first movie, it is rewarding and scary as hell. The effects in this movie will blow your mind and give you a queasiness in your stomach. Especially the mattress scene where Julia returns from hell in her flesh suit. Holy crap that scene is intense! We also get an interesting idea of where Pinhead and the other cenobites come from. It gives the hell demons a little bit more to do in this film than the first. Although, they end up dying.
The movie maintains a level of mystery that follows along with that Lovecraftian style. Everything is so beyond our understanding that the movie leaves us wanting to know more. Like uncle Frank and Dr. Channard, we are wanting to understand everything and go beyond our world. But the moment shit goes down, we are crawling our way back from torture like Julia. It may be a clone of the first for sure but I like how it carries the same tone and atmospheric desolation of the first. Actually it takes those same feelings and just makes them larger. It’s a bloody good time and one I wish continued with the others series.
Unfortunately the Hellraiser series would continue and pretty much abandon the larger scale mystery. Which is why I don’t like the Hellraiser series after this point. I felt like the sequels took the mystery of this hellish dimension that one can get to with the Lament Configuration and made it a bland series as Pinhead as the focal point. I like knowing that Hellraiser is more than just a story about a guy with nails in his head that will kill you. I like knowing that the real darkness is secretly around us and our doom or survival is nothing but a fart in the wind compared to what is lurking. The movie isn’t graphic and gory in how people die but in that hell is everyone. It’s touch is what makes it scary with how it transforms people into these ferocious monsters. It’s plans are different than our own. It’s why Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 is such a good film and one I encourage you to watch on day five of Horror Movie Marathon!