Detectives Sean and David Carter are on the case to find a gruesome serial killer terrorizing the city. Joining forces with Detective Christine Egerton, they dig deeper into a spiraling maze of horror that may not be of this world.
Gary J. Tunnicliffe
Doctor Channard is sent a new patient, a girl warning of the terrible creatures that have destroyed her family, Cenobites who offer the most intense sensations of pleasure and pain. But Channard has been searching for the doorway to Hell for years, and Kirsty must follow him to save her father and witness the power struggles among the newly damned.Written by
David Carroll <email@example.com>
Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) survived the first attack from Hell in "Hellraiser", but her troubles are far from over. She is now locked up in a mental ward run by an occult-obsessed doctor (how appropriate) and her evil stepmother, Julia (Clare Higgins) refuses to stay dead.
This film is incredibly polarizing, I fear, because it has such strong qualities of both good and bad. The bad include special effects that really date the movie (though are still superior to much of today's work) and the introduction of a certain level of silliness that pervades the later films. The doctor as a cenobite is a bit strange in form, and opens the door for the even more bizarre creatures in part three.
There are some plot and continuity issues, such as wondering where Kirsty's boyfriend from part one went. And while the film seems to try to explain loose ends from the first film, it creates a whole lot more... the maze (presumably hell) is not adequately explained, nor is the role of the giant puzzle box. While some of this is addressed in later films, it seems that what we learn later tends to contradict what we see here.
But let us say some good things about this one. First and foremost, the Julia without skin looks incredible. It is hard to say they topped Frank without skin (from the original) but I think they did. The way she comes crawling up out of the bed... her blood-soaked flesh. Beautiful. "Right to Die" owes a huge debt to the work in this film, the same way that this film owes a debt to "Bride of Frankenstein" with its use of thunder and bandages...
We also have to give the gore creators some credit, because the insane man with the knife was pretty intense... actually, all the asylum inmates are well-played. For all the flaws this film may have, they more than made up for it with a couple of memorable scenes. While my favorite in the series is "Bloodline" (I believe I am in the minority on this), I think part two may have been the last great addition. Sequels were not necessary, and obviously everything after part four just gives the franchise a bad name.
Anchor Bay has released a twentieth anniversary edition, and I would strongly recommend it. Older features, such as an audio commentary from 2001, are available, as well as a few new featurettes. "The Soul Patrol" features new interviews with Barbie Wilde, Simon Bamford and Nicholas Vince. "Outside the Box" features a new interview with director Tony Randel and "The Doctor is In" features a new interview with Kenneth Cranham.
As someone who has met Ashley Laurence, Doug Bradley, Clive Barker and each of the cenobites, I have a strong personal interest in this film. I can say that the Anchor Bay edition is easily the best to date and any "Hellraiser" fan would be making a mistake in getting an older, inferior edition.
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