This film opens similar to its predecessor. We see a radio sending out random transmissions and a bunch of war equipment (guns, helmets, etc). Then we see a man (Doug Bradley) sitting alone in a dark room holding a puzzle box in his hands. He solves it and immediately hooked chains shoot out and tear into his flesh. Then several cuts are made in his head both diagonally and vertically. At first it looks as if he's suffering but as the process gets more brutal he begins to enjoy it more. Eventually several large nails are inserted into each intersection by a hammer and we now see the man is transformed into the cenobite known as Pinhead.
Now we cut to Kirsty Cotton, a young woman, has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, still haunted by the emotional scars and visions of the horror that destroyed her family. As Doctor Channard (Kenneth Cranham), and his assistant, Kyle MacRae (William Hope) interview her, she tells her account of what happened to her family. She pleads with them to destroy the bloody mattress her murderous stepmother, Julia, died on. MacRae is the only one who seems to believe her. However, it is revealed that the obsessive Dr. Channard has been searching for the Lament Configuration, the doorway to the world of the Cenobites, for years. After hearing Kirsty's story, Channard has the mattress brought to his home, and has one of his deranged patients (named Mr. Browning)(Oliver Smith) lying on it, and cuts himself with a straight razor. The resulting blood-letting frees Julia from the Cenobite dimension, though Julia's physical form is inexplicably whole, lacking only skin. Channard, seduced by Julia's charms, has surreptitiously brought more mentally-ill patients to his home for her to "feed" on. MacRae, who had snuck inside Dr. Channard's house to investigate Kirsty's claims, witnesses this gruesome scene, and returns to the mental hospital to tell Kirsty. The two decide to return to Dr. Channard's house, so Kirsty can attempt to save her father. They also decide to bring a young patient, Tiffany (Imogen Boorman) whom Kirsty has befriended. Tiffany, who hasn't spoken for years, has demonstrated an amazing aptitude for puzzles. Once in the house, Kyle goes upstairs to investigate. Julia seduces him and takes him inside the basement where she then attacks him, feeding on his blood to replenish her own flesh.
Using Tiffany as a proxy, Channard and Julia unlock the Lament Configuration puzzle box and enter the world of Pinhead and the Cenobites, a realm dominated by their god Leviathan which manifests itself as a great steel diamond floating in the sky. However, the mere act of opening the Lament Configuration is not the reason to be targeted by the Cenobites, as Pinhead (Doug Bradley) stops the others from harming Tiffany, claiming that it was not hands that summoned them here - it was desire. In the process he transforms the box into a diamond shape much like that of his god Leviathan - the Leviathan Configuration.
Elsewhere, Kirsty is confronted by the Cenobites, who are still eager to "experience her flesh". She leaves them, roaming the labyrinth of corridors, and eventually finds Frank (Sean Chapman), who has been trapped in a room with writhing female shapes, but unable to sate his lust. He turns his malicious attentions on Kirsty, but she manages to escape by igniting a nearby picture of him, which causes him to ignite as well very much in a reversed "Dorian Gray" effect. As his skin sears off by fire, Julia suddenly appears with Tiffany by her side. Frank (now played by Oliver Smith), eager for some carnal pleasures (or simply to escape from his hell) commands Julia to come to him. Julia, having not forgotten his betrayal, gives him a kiss but then rips out his heart from his back: revenge. As she gloats over his corpse, a horror-struck Kirsty flees with Tiffany.
Kirsty and Tiffany continue on, only to re-encounter Pinhead and his minions, who are now intent on "experiencing her". She reveals a picture she had found in Dr. Channard's house, an old photo of the man Pinhead used to be, dressed as a British soldier. Doctor Channard reappears, having been transformed into a Cenobite by Leviathian after being betrayed by Julia herself. Pinhead and the others attack him, but he easily shatters their chained hooks, and kills them one by one. Upon dying, their human forms are restored. Doctor Channard leaves the Cenobite domain, and goes on a murderous rampage through the mental hospital, gleefully killing patients and staff who have opened the other boxes Channard had distributed. Tiffany recovers the puzzle box, and begins manipulating it, attempting to close the gateway. Channard is lured back and attacks her, but pauses when he sees what he believes is Julia (actually Kirsty wearing the deceased Julia's skin). Tiffany is given the opportunity to reconfigure the Lament Configuration puzzle back into a box shape. Leviathan transforms into a box shape as well, destroying Doctor Channard, and wreaking havoc throughout the area, and allowing the two girls to return home just as the gate between the two worlds closes.
The film ends with an epilogue where two men are removing the belongings from Channard's home. One of the men comes across the blood stained mattress where Julia had been killed. He calls his colleague to come look before being promptly cut up by the chains which cover the mattress itself. By the time his friend arrives, he finds the man severed in two, as a pillar with the remains of the Pinhead and the other Cenobites, raises from the ground where a head says "What's your pleasure, sir?" with a look of manic glee.
|Clare Higgins||Julia Cotton|
|Ashley Laurence||Kirsty Cotton|
|Kenneth Cranham||Dr. Philip Channard / Channard Cenobite|
|William Hope||Kyle MacRae|
|Doug Bradley||Pinhead / Captain Elliot Spencer "human form" / Pinhead (archive footage)|
|Barbie Wilde||Female Cenobite / Sister Nikoletta "human form"|
|Nicholas Vince||Chatterer / Chatterer II|
|Simon Bamford||Butterball Cenobite / Laslo "human form"|
|Deborah Joel||Skinless Julia / Skinless Julia on Pillar|
|Angus MacInnes||Detective Ronson|
|Sean Chapman||Uncle Frank / Frank Cotton (archive footage)|
|Oliver Smith||Frank The Monster (archive footage) / Mr. Browning / Skinless Frank|
|James Tillitt||Officer Cortez|
|Bradley Lavelle||Officer Kucich|
|Edwin Craig||Wheelchair Patient|
|Ron Travis||Workman 1|
|Oliver Parker||Workman 2|
|Catherine Chevalier||Tiffany's Mother|
|Frank Baker (actor)||Durlict's voice (archive footage)|
|Andrew Robinson||Frank Cotton (archive footage) / Larry Cotton (archive footage)|
|Grace Kirby (actress)||Female Cenobite (archive footage)|
|Robert Hines (actor)||Steve (archive footage)|
|Michael Cassidy (UK actor)||3rd Victim (archive footage)|
|Anthony Allen (actor)||1st Victim (archive footage)|
|Bronco McLoughlin||Channard Cenobite (uncredited)|
|Geoffrey Portass||Pinhead on Pillar (ceamo)(as Geoff Portass)(uncredited)|
|Little John||Puzzle Guardian on Pillar (Ceamo)(as Little Jon)(uncredited)|