Based on a short story called “Dark Can’t Breathe” by Joel Soisson — check out our interview with him here — this Rick Bota-directed sequel is the first to have Lance Henriksen in it (he was originally going to play Frank in the first movie, but chose Near Dark instead*) and the last to have Doug Bradley as Pinhead.
This sequel gets meta as a group of young adults are obsessed with the game Hellworld which is based on the Hellraiser movies. One of their friends, Adam, goes full on Mazes and Monsters and kills himself after he gets way too involved.
Two years later, they’re invited by an invitation inside the game to come to an asylum once owned by Lament Configuration creator Philip Lemarchand. It turns into a slasher, as The Host (Henriksen), Pinhead and the Cennobites Chatterer and Bound wipe out most of the cast.
Much like most of the other Hellraiser sequels, this would be a fine low budget horror movie without the name Hellraiser. That term implies that we’re getting something special and sadly, this does not deliver on the promise. If it were just called Hellworld, I’d probably say it was a minor success.
*As it was, Henriksen was already in Romania making Mimic 3: Sentinel and Khary Payton was in another sequel made at the same time in the same country, Dracula II: Ascension. I mean it when I say that nearly all low budget horror in the 2000s came from this country.