Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Time Out saysA disappointing sequel to Clive Barker's innovatory 'body horror' pic, which - while making some effort to flesh out the Cenobite mythology - simply performs cosmetic surgery on the original. This time, it's a skinned Julia (Higgins) who writhes up from a blood-caked mattress, while depraved psychiatrist Dr Channard (Cranham) summons Pinhead and his pals with the help of Tiffany (Boorman), a dumb teenager with a penchant for solving puzzles. And when Kirsty (Laurence) receives a message in blood from her Hell-bound father, she plunges into a subterranean labyrinth to save him. Directed with staggering ineptitude, this never approaches the visceral intensity and flesh-crawling terror of the first film. The teenage heroines are too insipid to elicit either interest or sympathy, Julia's graduation from wicked stepmother to Evil Queen erases a crucial element of moral ambiguity, and the labyrinth looks like a cross between an MC Escher painting and a '70s 'progressive rock' album cover. Only Channard's transformation into a Cenobite, and subsequent celebration of his perverse power, match the intellectual complexity and visual ferocity of Hellraiser.