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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 34.15%
Average: 4.88%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 4.88%

2 reviews, 29 user ratings

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Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer
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by Hawkboy

"Not a horror movie, but a horrifying experience."
5 stars

Freddy, Jason, Michael - suck it.

Henry Lee Lucas was a man who confessed to a whole bunch of murders, and then recanted his statements and claimed he was innocent of all charges. He was convicted, however, and this film is loosely based on his story. The film doesn't glorify him, nor does it pity him as a misunderstood soul. This film simply shows us a man who has ceased to feel anything, and who kills people as a result of that detachment. "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" is a tough, unflinching film that manages to scare the hell out of the audience without resorting to cheap shocks and creative death scenes. Everything that happens in this movie has a cold deliberation. The audience knows what's going to happen, and the fear is matched by a cold feeling of dread.

The story behind this film is well-told: The producer gave John McNaughton money to make a horror movie. He expected a cheap "Friday the 13th" knock-off that could pull in a few bucks with the teenage crowd. McNaughton gave him this. And it shocked the hell out of everyone, most of all the producer. It was banned for a long time, and when it finally came out, people either loved it for its realism, or hated it for its borderline exploitation of real-life events. The "scary" scenes in this movie are what "8MM" strived to achieve, and failed. 8MM tried to couple the disturbing images with flashy cinematography and loud music, so that the audience is distracted from the horrors. "Henry" just stares right at the images, and dares you to look away.

In this movie, the viewer has a pretty good idea what's going to happen from the first frame onwards, and it provides little surprises. But it's amazing how a film can terrify you, by simply showing evil, not as a wise-cracking "bastard son of a thousand maniacs", but as a person, externally the same as everyone else, who walks the streets every day unnoticed. And does it ever terrify us.

Don't expect your typical gory deaths involving teenage girls being turned into pizza and machetes sinking into kids in wheelchairs. But DO expect to be disturbed.

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originally posted: 03/08/99 17:35:48
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User Comments

9/09/17 morris campbell overrrated trash skip it 1 stars
11/05/16 David Hollingsworth The most starkly gritty and unglamorous 'portrait' of a serial killer I've ever seen! 5 stars
7/20/16 Louise Proves you don't need a huge budget to make a film which stays with you afterwards. 4 stars
5/11/15 stanley welles a drama of effective, chilling and vivid intensity 4 stars
5/11/12 Marty abrupt end but i liked the chilling feel to it. good dialogue. cold flick. 4 stars
8/24/08 mr.mike Effective and uncompromising. 5 stars
2/02/08 Total Crap. I gotta say I liked it. As sick as it was. "Otis... plug it in." 4 stars
6/18/07 William Goss Impressive for an indie, underwhelming as - well - a portrait of a serial killer. 3 stars
4/23/07 stef was very shallow, lack of character depth and shitty dialogue, however not bad for low budg 3 stars
9/14/03 KING EDWARD this movie makes me want to strangle children, while wearing kabuki makeup. 5 stars
5/12/03 Jack Bourbon Pretty good. 4 stars
4/23/03 Kyle A bit disappointing. 4 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby A bit underdeveloped, yet it's admittedly very effective stuff. 4 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby Original and powerful. Rooker is incredible. 4 stars
6/23/02 malcolm hypnotizing, horrifying -- sometimes it seemed Otis was the REALLY evil one 4 stars
7/16/01 Kevin One of the best films of the past decade. Brutal. Cold. Disturbing. Incredible. 5 stars
5/05/01 job 10 19 deeply disturbing 4 stars
1/12/01 Skip The most disturbing movie I've ever seen. I remember actually crying in the theater. 5 stars
1/09/01 admoss top dog film with lots of suprises 5 stars
5/26/00 KORBIN GLENN BEACHER "Michael's portrayal of Henry is an incredible display of PURE acting!" 4 stars
2/21/00 Jack Arnold A mesmerizing film and almost impossible to categorize.Unsparing look into the mind of a me 5 stars
10/11/99 Weird Andy ...and peoplr find "Blair Witch" scary. 5 stars
6/15/99 Dylan Very sick. just the way i like it. Serial Killer flick with extra chilli. 4 stars
5/10/99 carl lame lame lame 1 stars
4/19/99 jimmy jam Sawt yesterday and I'm gonna see it a couple more times 5 stars
4/13/99 Movie Freek Brilliant, disturbing, and ultimately the most incredible serial killer film ever! 5 stars
3/09/99 Goopy Seriously horrific. Makes Kevin Williamson look like the hack he is. 4 stars
2/23/99 little jerry Psycho(1960),Chainsaw(1974),Henry(1986),Seven(1995).These are THE FOUR. 5 stars
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  02-Feb-1991 (NC-17)



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