didn't get this film. I liked it, sure, you don't
have to understand something to like it, but
nevertheless. Alright. The story picks up from
Hellraiser 1, with our heroine Whatshername in a
mental institute for babbling on about what
happened when Pinhead and his cenobite mates
crashed her parents' party.
an early scene we have Whatshername wake up to
discover some bloody skinless man scrawling words
on her cell wall. She's understandably just a wee
bit surprised, and expresses her surprise quite
vocally. In rush the doctors. Hmm, how strange,
the bloody man has gone. Whatshername (I think
she was called Kirsty) says she thinks it was her
father, who was killed in the last film by
another bloody skinless man.
I want to know is how Kirsten knew the thing was
Pops. She didn't really see much, did she. A
person, no skin, writing message. One flayed
person looks pretty much like another, as the
make-up artists for this film noted. The only
clue we have that it was her da was the message -
"I am in Hell. Help me." This doesn't
really narrow it down, though, because (as we
will soon learn) Hell has no shortage of bloody
skinless people. And Hell's a big place, how's
she going to know where to look? The least he
could have done was left a postal address or
this is Bob. I can't come to the phone right now
as the minions of Leviathan are sticking sharp
hooks on chains in my flesh. Leave a message
after the ungodly scream of distress."
the head doctor (Channard) of this little
hospital o' fun outwardly doesn't believe Kylie's
story, but then we find out he's secretly
studying the puzzle box that opens a gateway to
Hell, in his thirst for knowledge. There's this
mattress belonging to Kylie's stepmother that she
died on after the cenobites (Pinhead and co) came
for her and her husband and her lover and
everyone else, and guess what Doc Channard's
furnished his office with? That's right, that
self-same mattress. Possibly some kind of black
magic equivalent of Feng Shui.
he plonks some loony on the mattress, hands him a
razor blade and just leaves him to it. This is
obviously what they call 'progressive treatment'.
He bleeds nicely onto said mattress, then
suddenly out bursts - surprise, surprise - a
bloody skinless person. But it's a woman this
time. She absorbs the loony. Why look, it's
Krystal's stepmum. Doc Channard obviously has
this thing for ladies in red as they instantly
fall in love. I know, I didn't write this silly
there's a very boring very Hellraiser 1 sequence
where the Doc brings her loads of eventual
corpses she can absorb. She does and soon all her
flesh has returned. Then the heroine chick whose
name begins with K finds all the corpses and the
stepmum and gets laid out on the floor. Then,
bizarrely enough, Doc and Mum forget about her
and toddle off back to the institute and plonk a
certain dodgy puzzle box into the hands of some
mute kid who's good at puzzles. She solves it.
bright lights, gateways to Hell open, and out pop
the real characters of the series. You know this
is the bit I've been waiting a whole film for.
Pinhead, the chick whose open-throat surgery
never got finished, the fat guy with the cool
shades and the bloke with all the teeth. They all
arrive and surround the puzzle solver.
funny, but what happens when you solve the puzzle
box seems to vary from user to user. With some
people these hooks on chains burst out of the box
and embed themselves in whatever fleshy flaps the
human body can cope with. With others there's
just a few neat lighting effects and a wall
splits apart to reveal a gateway to Down Under,
and I don't mean Australia.
enough it seems that the former applies only to
men and the latter to foxy young women. Perhaps
the cenobites are all a load of lecherous pervs
who like torturing girls so much that they feel
they should welcome them personally, rather than
leave it in the oft-clumsy paws of whatever keeps
hurling those darn hooks on chains.
Hell goes Channard and his new chick. Mute girl
follows them. Oddly enough, Kevin (or whatever
her stupid name is) appears, sees the puzzle box
and the doorway, and just trots in without a
second's thought or regret. Is this girl stupid,
or something? She knows where the door leads, she
had a sneaky peeky last film. And she knows it's
not the most ideal of holiday destinations. This
is a horror film, isn't she supposed to walk in
really slowly, eyes wide and sweat pouring from
every gland in her face, while the camera does
that thing where the background gets smaller? But
no, she just trots in. I can hardly blame the
cenobites for then assuming she'd like nothing
better than a few solid millenia of constant
agony. I would.
stepmum introduces Channard to her boss.
Leviathan, master of Hell. No tentacles, no
drippy orifices, apparently Leviathan is a big
diamond thing with black searchlights coming out
of it. Stepmum pushes the doc into a box thing
and the doc starts on his way down the long road
to cenobitehood. He's not too keen on being
injected with blue stuff, or being wrapped in
piano wire. Neither does he look too thrilled
when he receives a Frenchie from some tentacle
thing. Stepmum, you utter bitch.
lost in the middle of Hell, finds herself in her
father's personal Hell. Oh wait. It's her uncle's
personal Hell. The one who filled stepmum's role
in Hellraiser 1. I knew that silly chick didn't
really know who sent that message, it was uncle,
not daddy, you silly deluded child. He's been
tormented for years by these skinless
cock-teasers in white sheets. Don't get me wrong
but that sounds a hell of a lot better than
getting hooks through every bit of flesh you
could conceivably put a hook through. Perhaps
torment in Hell runs on a rota system, and this
is what you get on weekends.
- flaying, Tuesday - barbed wire, then it's the
old hooks on chains from Wednesday to Friday,
then you can spend the weekend in a Hell that
doesn't actually hurt but will make you cry like
a girl, how's that sound?"
there's a load of old testicles involving bitch
stepmum having her skin pulled off and the Doc
coming back as a vicious Cenobite who slaughters
all his patients and laughs, then Pinhead and his
pasty mates turn back into humans and get killed
by Channard, muyadda yadda yadda.
we get to the bit that I really didn't get. That
mute girl (who picked up the power of speech
somewhere along the way) is dangling by her
fingertips over certain death when along comes
bitch stepmum, last seen falling down a corridor
minus her skin, who asks ex-mute to trust her and
offers a hand. Ex-mute clings to hand but the
skin starts coming off. This woman has found it
extremely difficult to hang onto her skin for
this whole movie. I suppose it's like teeth -
difficult to remove, but that seems like plain
sailing when it comes to try and put them back
bitch stepmum pulls ex-mute (sounds like an
adjective from a Marvel comic, doesn't it) back
onto ledge and mute is expecting bitch to do
something nasty to her, when bitch stepmum
suddenly pulls her face off and - joy of joys -
it's Kirsty underneath.
Did I miss something?! At what point did bitch
stepmum become K-girl underneath? Last we saw
Kylie she was sort of hanging around in the
background while weird stuff happened to stepmum
and mute. Mute falls and clings to ledge.
Apparently at this point Kenneth kills bitch and
puts her skin on. Why, is the question we have to
ask. Did she fancy a bit of a change? Was her old
skin getting a bit tatty? Was she trying to pull
a fast one to stop Leviathan from bunging her in
here's a little fashion tip - wearing a person's
skin doesn't make you look like them. At best you
look like some kind of bloated parody of that
person, and at worst you will cease receiving
invites to respectable parties. If this was some
sort of metaphor I could sort of understand it,
but who's wacky idea was it to sellotape some
meaning onto the end of what has been a generally
understandable horror flick? Did they get bored
writing the screenplay at the last minute and
pass it on to some drama students to finish?
here's the ratings.
in ears rating - 2/10
Surprisingly, Hellraiser 2 didn't have
any truly 'jump and scream like a girl' moments.
The two points come from the bits where people
get hooks on chains through them and the
screaming gets unsettling.
to last film rating - 5/10
The first half was basically Hellraiser
1 with a few genders switched around, but after
that it all goes weird and cobwebby and
metaphory. You disappoint me, Mr. Barker.
and guts rating - 8/10
This scale goes from 10 being Braindead
(Dead-Alive if you're a wuss) and 1 being, say,
Mrs. Doubtfire. Hellraiser 2 does not disappoint
in the gore area, what with hooks on chains and
nails in heads and all that malarky. But it's
still not up to Braindead standard. Only
Braindead comes to Braindead standard.
horror movie sequel rating - 6/10
Would have been higher, but Hellraiser 2
does not go along with ordinary horror movie
sequels, in that it's actually on a similar level
of quality to the original. But less meaning,
more killing, please.
updates - features - essays - reviews - comics - games - novels - about - contact - forum - links