Today we have another sequel to a movie from last year’s movie marathon. I actually kicked off this whole thing with the original Hellraiser, a movie I’d always meant to watch and had never gotten around to. Overall I thought it was ok. I felt that the first half was a little slow with nothing much more than a demanding skinless guy wanting people murdered for him. The final chunk unleashes the crazy and it’s far more entertaining.
Turns out, those thoughts can almost directly apply to the sequel as well.
Hellraiser 2 does indeed continue the story from the first movie, with the lead girl Kirsty now being, where else, locked up in a mental hospital. It’s a pretty standard plot device for a sequel, but it definitely feels pretty justified here. When Kirsty goes through the story from the first movie when talking to her doctor and his assistant, she does sound bat shit insane. Picture someone having to explain how her mother’s lover is killed by a bunch of demon guys who are summoned from a puzzle box, then he comes back as a guy with no skin who needs the mother to murder people so he can get his skin back, so they kill Kirsty’s father and then this guy with a bunch of pins in his head shows up with this buddies and try to take her to the hell world and there’s a monster chasing her and then she reassembles the puzzle box and the demon guys go away but I think someone else turned into a bird or something. You see what I mean? Crazy shit.
It turns out here that Kirsty’s doctor is way into this puzzle box/Cenobite thing and has been studying it forever. He resurrects Kirsty’s mother using the mattress she died on in the first movie, and once again the quest for skin begins, though it’s not quite as big a focal point this time around. Thankfully she’s all skinned up pretty quickly after her arrival. The skinless make-up effects are still effectively disgusting, and any time a fully skinned human is getting all sexual with a skinless person, it’s not for me. Apparently that’s a button for me. I don’t want to be controversial, but I think people without skin should stick to their own kind. That’s just my opinion I’m afraid.
Anyway once the Mom has all her skin back, shit goes completely off the rails. All of the main characters end up in the Cenobite world and then it’s a non-stop barrage of insanity. The doctor becomes this God-like tentacle monster that chases everyone around, people are losing their skin, other people are then picking up and wearing said skin, I think there were some exploding eyeballs at one point and the list goes on. I don’t think I had any clue what has happening 90% of the time, but it was certainly never boring.
As with the first Hellraiser, this is a very goopy movie. Tons of gore, all of it very drippy and icky. The make-up is phenomenal across the board. The Cenobites look awesome although they seemed to be in this movie far less than the first one. The primary antagonist here is the doctor and the weird tentacle shape he takes on. It’s a pretty good make-up job, though clearly they had to use a lot of close-up shots because the way that thing moves would be fucking ridiculous looking. Still looks pretty good though.
So while I did once again enjoy the originality, the plot does feel very similar to the first one, though I suppose that’s pretty common in horror. They do make some effort to expand on the mythology by well, telling us Pinhead’s real name. I suppose we didn’t see the actual Cenobite world in the first movie but it’s mostly a bunch of nondescript hallways. These guys must get lost all the time, all the shit looks the same. Aside from that though, skinless person wants skin, gets skin, crazy shit for 45 minutes. Also chains, lots of chains.
I started to write this conclusion paragraph you’re reading but I feel I concluded things pretty well in that last paragraph. So I’m out!