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The Hellraiser 2 Ending We Never Got To See

It may have quickly descended into an array of direct-to-DVD sequels, but the "Hellraiser" franchise is still incredibly iconic thanks to Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and his dedicated batch of Cenobites who torture wayward souls in various horrifically sadomasochistic ways. The first film kicked off with Frank Cotton solving the Lament Configuration (think demonic Rubix Cube) and being dragged into the Cenobites' dimension.

However, Frank didn't stay there long, as he managed to escape Pinhead's clutches when his old-flame Julia Cotton (Clare Higgins) moves into the old house with Frank's brother, Larry, and a stray drop of blood resurrects the depraved individual from the demonic realm. Frank and Julia worked together to prey on unsuspecting men, draining them of their blood so a skinless Frank could return to his former self. He even attempted to seduce Julia's step-daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) but she managed to summon Pinhead and the Cenobites to drag Frank back to their dimension. It ended with Julia's death on a mattress while the Cenobites ripped their former victim to shreds. It's a really wholesome, family-friendly movie.

"Hellraiser 2" was an even weirder affair, with Kirsty having been taken to a psychiatric facility run by Dr. Channard, who just so happened to be obsessed with the Lament Configuration and had the mattress that Julia died on in his home. And after a bloody sacrifice, Julia was reborn the same way Frank was in the first film. The mind-bending finale turned Channard into a Lovecraftian Cenobite before Julia was eventually trapped in the Cenobite dimension for all eternity. However, according to "Hellraiser 2" writer Peter Atkins, the sequel originally had a completely different ending for Julia Cotton.

Pinhead wouldn't be the face of the franchise

In the "Hellraiser 2" commentary track, writer Peter Atkins explained that although Julia wound up trapped in the Cenobite dimension in the theatrical cut, the villain was originally intended to be the ongoing face of the franchise. While Pinhead was already the main thing drawing horror fans in, the ending of "Hellraiser 2" would've seen Julia take over from him as the primary antagonist, becoming the Queen of Hell.

Clive Barker, who wrote "The Hellbound Heart" (which "Hellraiser" is based on), wanted to see Julia positioned as a terrifying female force in the genre. But unfortunately, Clare Higgins had no interest in returning to the role in future sequels, so Julia had to be written out. It's a shame because the complicated character was given an interesting arc over the first two films and actually had her own sexual agency rather than being a victim to be ravaged by horrific monsters like in typical '80s slashers.

Surprisingly, the producers actually shot a version of the ending with Julia as Queen of Hell, but unfortunately, the footage can't be seen online. However, there is a photo of Higgins wearing a sleek black dress for Julia's intended demonic ascension (via The Clive Barker Podcast). It's a shame we never got to see the actress lead the franchise as intended, but it also gave us an iconic villain in Pinhead, so it's not all bad. Who knows? Maybe the "Hellraiser" reboot will give us a new version of the character. Only time will tell.