Released just one year after HELLRAISER, HELLBOUND continues right where the first movie left off, and even includes a digest version of the final scene of the first movie in case you completely forgot what happened in that, or maybe just randomly decided to see this horror sequel and need to know what happened during the last 10 minutes of the first movie but absolutely nothing before that.
HELLBOUND is an entertaining movie but an underwhelming sequel.
It is entertaining because of how imaginative it is; with a few changes here and there, it would make for an excellent fantasy adventure film. You could say it's an ultra-violent and sadomasochistic version of THE GOONIES (1985)—or, perhaps more appropriately, RETURN TO OZ (1985) due it focusing on a young girl who is wrongly kept in a mental institution and has the ability to travel to a fantasy world.
Having said all that, this is very fun movie. The effects are just as good if not better than those in the first movie, but the higher budget means that everything is of a much larger scope. The acting is all around better as is the pacing, suggesting that having Tony Randel replace Clive Barker in the director's chair was a good idea (Barker is credited with the story only for this one).
There is, however, one major problem with this movie and that's the script. A lot of the dialog is poor, and it only gets worse when a new Cenobite is introduced toward the end of the movie. Spitting out one-liners like some kind of lame doctor version of Freddy Krueger, this guy is awful. He's also got a ridiculous design as he's tethered to the Cenobite realm with a tentacle attached to the top of his head... I was hoping for a scene where the heroines escape by running just out of reach of his tether. Sadly, that doesn't happen, though the way he is killed is pretty awesome.
This suggests that HELLBOUND was an attempt to go mainstream and get some of those Freddy bucks, which is a shame. This would only get worse (much worse) as the series continued. But that is a story for another day.