Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Reviews

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May 17, 2017
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer has a creepy, city-after-dark overtone, an existential chill. It carries a true grindhouse whiff while staking its claim as art.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
December 5, 2016
It is unspeakably unpleasant, and it is almost perfect.
Full Review | Original Score: 10/10
November 9, 2016
The director's artistry overshadows his grind house titillations, though they're still to be found aplenty...not just grim and gross or even disturbing; it's hurtful.
October 15, 2015
It resonates with nightmarish energies, as if possessed by a malevolent quality that keeps its subject matter piercing in this era of violent saturation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 16, 2014
In a world in which eight nearly identical Friday the 13th movies offer the adventures of Jason the ax-murderer as entertainment for teen-agers, maybe we do need this sobering alternative.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 16, 2014
A powerful, original look at the hopeless urban underclass in the American city, where lost people nibble at the garbage of our culture -- in a kind of perverse application of the "trickle-down" theory -- hating themselves and us all the while.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 16, 2014
If you want a gore fix, this is it. If you're looking for a film with purpose, better wait until the bill changes.
September 16, 2014
McNaughton's rough, non-judgemental direction gives the film a stylishly chilling documentary feel, while the killer's use of a camcorder asks some challengingly uncomfortable questions about voyeurism and the nature of screen violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
September 16, 2014
John McNaughton's direction has flashes of cinematic brilliance, but there's a disturbing lack of purpose to its clinically told and horrifyingly violent tale.
August 12, 2013
A drama of vivid intensity, it has all the marks of a well-made, thoughtful film that does not exploit violence for its own sake or make killing a source of entertainment.
August 12, 2013
The film is an honest and disturbing attempt to come to grips with the sort of modern horror that we must -- more urgently every day -- try to understand.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
August 12, 2013
This movie is not really about a killer, but about killing -- the way killing is depicted in the movies and the way movie audiences have been conditioned to react to such violence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 12, 2013
The difference between John McNaughton's incredibly chilling film and the usual serving of screen carnage is the difference between the mind of a murderer and the cynical and manipulative depiction of mindless murder.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
August 12, 2013
Sure, it's compelling; the nature of the material guarantees that. But it doesn't seem to be telling us much more than that the world is a scary place and murder is ugly. We knew those things. This is tabloid chic.
August 12, 2013
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is as fine a film as it is a brutally disturbing one.
August 12, 2013
McNaughton's direction combines a strict social realism with a cool, Fritz Langian sense of pre-determination, while his work with actors has the improvisational freshness of a John Cassavetes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 8, 2012
The film is diabolically driven by Michael Rooker, who embodies the fractured, disconnected personality of Henry.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
October 8, 2012
The flipside of the '80s teen slasher genre, John McNaughton's movie manages to go beyond the disquieting, distressing or even disturbing. It's downright dismaying.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
September 5, 2011
From a technical standpoint, Henry is amateurish. But ultimately it's not the gilded frame that made it a modern horror classic, but its unblinking portrait of a remorseless killer who stares back at the audience and forces them to turn away.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 20, 2008
McNaughton, co-writer Richard Fire and Rooker have pulled off an amazing feat -- a portrait of a damaged mind that refuses to explain, judge or glamorize psychopathic violence.
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