Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Quite a brutal and frightening film.

Michael Rooker is Henry, a character loosely based on the serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, and Rooker is a dominating force on the screen.  The chilling and callous manner in which he dispatches these innocent people shows how much of a monster some of these serial killers can be.

It is odd, but Henry is not the worst character in the film. Otis (Tom Towles) is far and away a worse person.  Otis would at times accompany Henry on his killing sprees and he would even video tape the events.

I have to say that I was having a herd time finding someone to root for in the film.  It weirdly almost sets Henry up as the anti-hero in a few scenes, but those feel wrong (as is proven at the film’s conclusion).  I really wanted there to be some kind of comeuppance for the pair of horrid individuals, and when that did not fully happen, I found it to be a little unsatisfying.

However, the final shot of the film is absolutely dark and powerfully scary.

Michael Rooker was top of the line in the role.  His performance was frightening and executed perfectly.  The imagery was dark, brutal and nightmarish.  The belief that there were people like this in the world truly makes one doubt humanity.

Finding a rating for this film is tough.  It doesn’t feel right to give this one a “FUN TIME” rating, but I would not go to the “CLASSIC” rating either.  It also does not feel right to call this “OVERRATED” as I would consider this a (mostly) positive review.  So I am going to debut a new rating for this film that will cover it.  It is a….




Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

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