Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hellraiser 2 sucks. No, but the ending does.

Spoilers! The first 2/3rds of the movie are pretty good. Sure, it's quite a coincidence (or is it?) that Kirsty ends up in the hospital of a complete psychopath who has been collecting all the Lament Configuration puzzle boxes (it does make sense though such a man would track down a little girl good at solving puzzles), and it's rather hilarious how seemingly easy it is to get to Dr. Channard's "Maintenance" level of torture via Mr. Elevator (I really hope he had a secret code or something), but you get a good gruesome villain with Julia taking Frank's role from the first one. It may seem a bit of a rehash from the original with her needing skin, but they have a nice little montage to get you through the familiar territory. I did wonder why Julia and Channard just left Kirsty by herself (and didn't kill her) before they went to watch Tiffany figure out the puzzle box, but Julia explains later they needed to bring some souls (you'd think they'd want to keep Kirsty from escaping though).

Anyway, the real problems are once they enter hell. The part with Frank is excellent, cementing Julia as the main antagonist, but before long, she has a stupid half-assed death scene thanks to some strong wind... WTF? We've got 24 min left in the film at this point, and this is what they do?

That breeze gonna be the death of you.

Ignoring that it's a horribly lame and ridiculous way to kill your key bad guy, it doesn't make much sense either since all of a sudden, a huge vertical slit magically appears down her back so then she can get sucked out of her skin despite moments earlier being able to move in the drafty corridor. That whole sequence comes off extremely low budget and tacky too since the whole killer breeze effect isn't very convincing especially as Julia crawls against it using her two hands on the walls (plus, you know the actress is obviously standing upright) and no one is actually horizontal due to the strong force blowing them (which might be a necessity if it's going to be so strong to rip your antagonist out of her flesh) but where will they fly to anyway? It's not like they're hanging off the edge of a cliff or there's a wall of spikes at the end of the hallway. There's nothing but some light behind them and the really long tunnel. Is she going to take a carpet ride around the maze or something? And why would the entity of this place want to get rid of Julia if she's bringing it souls like it wants? Shouldn't the hero kill her aka Kirsty? That's pretty nice of hell to help them out like that.

Wheeee, I'm flying somewhere but no one knows where or why! Wheeeeeeee, can't show this shot for too long, because it fuckin sucks, and you might realize it!

Of course, you can also complain about Dr. Channard's one-liners ("The doctor... is in!" "What was today's agenda? Ah yes, evisceration!" "Your case is closed, Tiffany! I'm afraid it's terminal!"), but they don't bother me anywhere near as much as Pinhead's fucking pathetic demise. They could've had an epic cenobite vs. cenobite showdown. Instead Pinhead uses a couple chains to hook Channard, which easily get broken, and then Channard slits Pinhead's throat after slaughtering the other cenobites who don't even fight back at all. It's such a huge fuckin disappointment. What the fuck were they thinking? If you're going to kill Pinhead and the cenobites, at least let them tear the shit out of each other first. Pinhead and the others should obviously be a lot more experienced and stronger than Channard. It's so fucking weak and embarrassing. It makes Pinhead look like a joke, and it sucks too since Bradley does such a great job with that character even in that scene.

Kirsty likes to French cenobites.

But don't worry, it gets worse. Julia comes back except twist time! It's Kirsty wearing her skin! And that is even more fuckin ridiculous. For about a million reasons. Obviously, there's no way Kirsty could just put on Julia's skin and look exactly like Julia unless Kirsty was all bloody muscle too at the exact same size and height of Julia... yeah. Then there's the fact they show a Lament Configuration thingie that transformed Channard rising up behind Tiffany and then Julia/Kirsty comes out of there. But they don't actually show her exit it! That's true, but she enters from that side of the screen where there's a fucking ledge and they show the hallway entrance beside Tiffany in the same shot so you know Julia/Kirsty didn't come out of the hallway! WTF? You mean to tell me she somehow magically got in that thing and wasn't turned into a cenobite? The only reason Julia/Kirsty enters from that side is to fake out the audience, but the way they show the hallway in the same shot and the way they set it all up makes it impossible that Julia/Kirsty didn't come out of there. Why the fuck was the Lament Configuration thingie rising up anyway? It wanted Tiffany? Then why does it magically disappear afterwards? Couldn't it reach out and get her with its monster arm thingies? Ok, let's ignore those two fuckups. Don't forget Kirsty had to run all the way back to where the skin was, dress up in it (she doesn't have a mirror either to make sure it fits perfectly), run all the way back, somehow enter from the ledge side without using the hallway, etc. But say you buy that. Then Julia/Kirsty kisses Channard for like 20 min. Ok, it's not that long, but it actually is pretty damn long to makeout with a disgusting cenobite (Tiffany has to solve the other puzzle so it lasts quite a while even if they try to make it seem shorter but it's still long), and you'd think Kirsty would have a hard time doing the whole gross tongue thing with him (they clearly show a very involved French kiss) without him realizing she ain't Julia.

Cool effect wasted in another dumbass scene.

Then you get Channard's death, which is about as shitty and stupid as Julia's and Pinhead's. Keep in mind while Channard tries to kill Tiffany, Julia/Kirsty does nothing but watch. So Channard gets two his tentacle knife things stuck in the ground. You'd think the force of the other big tentacle thing attached to his head would be enough to pull the knife things out before ripping off Channard's head, but there's also the fact you see earlier Channard has at least two tentacles that can come out of each of his palms for a total of four so he could use the other two to just sever the two stuck tentacles. But obviously, they had to kill him so they came up with the worst, most unbelievable way to do it (this movie really sucks at death scenes). Clearly, Kirsty and Tiffany are worthless so they can't do it despite the fact you need an active protagonist. It is cool the way Channard's head gets torn off, but it's just so absurd how it happens.

Black light = scary? Fail.

And I didn't mention the Leviathan aka the crappy giant thing with black light coming out of it that is supposed to be the ruler there or whatever. Yeah, that sucks. You couldn't try to create something a little bit more imaginative? I guess the cenobites help outweigh the boring, not-even-remotely-frightening-or-cool aspect of that, but still, the Leviathan sucks. So yeah, what should have been the best part of the movie turns out to be the shittiest. Why do people like this movie again? It's a helluva lot better than the other sequels I guess, but that ain't saying much.

11 comments:

  1. so what you are sayin' is you didn't like this... :)

    i hated the first two for the extra gore, i am a wuss anymore... i like the ill-fated 4th film... it has lots of back story.

    have a grand 2013... see you in it!

    jeremy

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  2. I actually do like it for the most part (originally saw it a long time ago... just forgot a lot of it), but the ending just doesn't make any sense (it almost seems like Julia wasn't supposed to be Kirsty but they changed it at the last minute), and the death scenes for Julia, Pinhead, etc. are so ridiculous. I do like how you see who the cenobites really are, but they should've put up more of a fight.

    I've seen a lot of the deleted scenes for Bloodline. If the director hadn't been screwed over, it might've turned out to be really good. I wish we could get a real director's cut on that one, but I'm sure that'll never happen.

    I read online the second one was supposed to have a much longer opening that went into Pinhead's back story in great detail, but they had to cut it because of the budget so now all you get is that tiny little bit (which I still liked a lot).

    Anyway, thanks! And Happy New Year to you too!

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  3. This review in combination with another has really made me question my motives for liking this film. It really made absolutely no sense!

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    1. Yeah, I still like it for the most part, but it definitely has some flaws.

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  4. Can't you just read a wiki? Everything you find wrong with the movie is explained, Leviathan being a stupid shape is part of the hellraiser storyline, it's not supposed to be a physical form just a controller of the realm that can extend it's power with those tentacle things. Maybe it's predatory as well and the other cenobites know not to just stand around while it sneaks up behind you.

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    1. If I have to read a wiki for it to make sense, the movie is missing some vital details that should have been included. If the Leviathan isn't supposed to have a physical form, they shouldn't have shown such a subpar boring design. I don't think the wiki is going to explain how super simple and ridiculously easy it is to get to the hospital's floor of torture or why Pinhead (a very experienced Cenobite) is killed so easily by the new rookie Channard or how Kirsty can perfectly fit in Julia's skin. I understand you're a fan of the movie and you want to defend it. I like the film too and just because I offer up some criticism doesn't mean I think it's garbage (the latest direct-to-video sequel definitely was and it makes this look like a masterpiece in comparison). There are just some things they could've done better. I think you've got to admit the Channard vs. Pinhead battle could've been a lot more badass. Your explanation for how Channard gets dispatched is pretty cool actually (if that thing is predatory and the other cenobites know not to just stand around), but there are still quite a few other problems.

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  5. I feel sorry for ashley laurence. She's a good actress, but her career went into the toilet after hellbound. It would have been cool to see her become a big star!

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  6. Pinhead and his gash are disposed of so easily because they had been weakened by the realization they were once human. You can see by look on their faces they were shocked and sadened to learn of the lives they had lost and forgotten. If pinhead had been in his prime, he would have completely shredded Dr. Channard. As for Leviathan, the comment above was correct. He has no form. Yes, the film needed more explanation, but I have to defend it because I love the Hellraiser films so much and Barker's vision is genius. If the filmmakers were given a bigger budget I'm sure more would have been put into the film.

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    1. I still really like the film myself even if I seem quite negative here. I have the crazy 3-hour-long making of on it, and I'm even an Associate Producer on that so I don't want you guys to get the wrong impression. I am a big fan.

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  7. I liked this movie for years since it came out but the more I read on the Hellraiser world the more this film seemed to drop the ball. Clive Barker also had his hand on this film? After reading the Scarlet Gospels and seeing how powerful a being the Hell Priest is......yeah you mean to tell us he just went out like that to the Doctor?(!?!) They could have easily torn his (penis?) tentacle from the top of his head....but. no. Just go out without a fight. Good review of Hellbound even if it points out a lot of negative scenes.

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    1. Thanks! I need to read the Scarlet Gospels. I really like the Hellbound Heart.

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