The Hellraiser series -9 in all plus a planned reboot film and upcoming TV series- is originally based on a Clive Barker novella The Hellbound Heart. The franchise obviously has a hold on the horror-loving crowd. I've read the novella and seen the first film. I have movies 2-8 and will be watching them all.
Moria says the film "disappoints somewhat but is worthwhile." HorrorNews.net says, "Hellbound is the perfect horror sequel, hands down. Everything about this movie is fantastic and true to the world that Clive Barker set down in Hellraiser."
DVD Talk says,
Hellbound: Hellraiser II proves that sequels can be done well, with smarts and with style. Pinhead has since become a bit of a cliché but here he and his crew are still intense and frightening characters, nightmarish visions that have taken on humanoid form. It's not often you can call something a modern classic but the movie really is an expertly made and incredibly effective horror film well worth revisiting.Slant Magazine gives it 2 out of 4 stars and says, "the sequel’s cure proves infinitely bloodier than the original’s disease". Slasher Studios Reviews says, "Hellraiser 2 stays true to the spirit of part 1 and is the only successful companion piece." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 50%.
Roger Ebert gives it 1/2 star and closes his review with this:
an ideal movie for audiences with little taste and atrophied attention spans who want to glance at the screen occasionally and ascertain that something is still happening up there. If you fit that description, you have probably not read this far, but what the heck, we believe in full-service reviews around here.
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992) is 3rd in the series, and I wondered how that was possible after watching the 2nd one. If Pinhead is integral, how could the franchise continue after the ending of the 2nd film? I found out. This is definitely a step down.
Empire Online says, "This is the sort of picture teenagers in malls in Akron, Ohio might understand — a good horror sequel, and that's all". Moria calls it "a big disappointment." HorrorNews.net concludes, "Straight up, this is a bad movie. Not “Sweet Jesus make it stop!” bad, but bad in the sense that you gather a group of friends, a case of beer and pizza and you don’t take it too seriously."
EW gives it a C-. DVD Verdict says, "the film has dark charms that should satisfy any fan of acupuncture's worst poster boy." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 17%.