In the first film, Julia and Larry move into the old Cotton family home. What the couple are unaware of is that Larry's brother Frank had died in the house after opening the Lament Configuration, a puzzle box that opens a doorway to Hell. While moving their furniture in, Larry accidentally cuts his hand on an exposed nail and bleeds all over the floor in the room where Frank had died. Moments later, his blood brings Frank back, though only as a decayed husk of a man.
Julia discovers Frank who convinces her to help restore him completely, and so Julia starts luring men home supposedly for sex, but is actually feeding them to Frank. However, Kirsty later discovers Frank and runs away, taking the Lament Configuration with her. Kirsty later returns to the house after contacting the Cenobites, promising them Frank in exchange for letting her live. But by this time, Frank has already murdered Larry and taken his skin. He tries to trick Kirsty, but when that fails, he attacks her with a switchblade while Julia holds her in place. Kirsty manages to squirm free of Julia's grasp just as Frank closes in and Frank ends up stabbing Julia, then he partially absorbs her in the same manner he consumed the men that Julia brought to him.
Julia barely holds on to life and drags herself into hers and Larry's bedroom, grasping the Lament Configuration. She dies upon the bed when the Cenobites come for her, her face ripped away by hooked chains.
"They've changed the rules of the fairy tale. I'm no longer just the wicked stepmother. Now I'm the evil queen." - Julia Cotton, Hellraiser II
Julia returns from Hell after Phillip Channard, head of the Channard Psychiatric Institute, sacrifices one of his patients upon the bloody mattress that Julia had died upon. Seeking to know the secrets of the Lament Configuration and the macabre pleasures of Hell, Channard helps Julia by bringing her victims that she can consume so she can heal herself.
Later, Dr. Channard brings home Tiffany, a seemingly mute girl who is obsessed with solving puzzles. Tiffany is given the Lament Configuration to solve and she opens a portal to the Labyrinth, the Hell from which the Cenobites hail. Julia then brings Channard before the Leviathan and pushes him into a coffin-like device that turns the doctor into a Cenobite.
Julia then confronts Kirsty and her former lover Frank in Frank's own private hell, tearing out Frank's heart before going after Kirsty. Kirsty and Tiffany are almost sucked into a white void at the end of a long tunnel and Kirsty tries to push Julia into the void. The evil woman tries to claw her way back and Tiffany appears to reach out and grab her arm. However, Julia's skin hasn't entirely healed and there is a gash running down her back. When Tiffany takes Julia's hand, Julia is pulled out of her skin and disappears into the white void.