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

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Reviews

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May 26, 2016
Disappointing film that feels made for tv and fails to shock with lack of tension, realism and unsuccessful special effects... Acting's decent tho
½ March 22, 2016
Truly disturbing, with out remorse.
March 10, 2016
Solid performances from a young Michael Rooker, and the late Tom Towles drive this honest, brutal and disturbing look at the life of a serial killer. In a decade full of mindless teen slashers, this is a welcome relief. One of the best horror flicks of the decade, it holds its own almost thirty years later. Honest and methodical, this flick does not shy away from its subject matter, nor does it revel in its gore. Truly a great watch.
March 3, 2016
I came in watching this movie and expecting Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer to be a disturbing film. While it wasn't quite as disturbing as I thought it was, it's still a disturbing enough film that would shock the audience. Michael Rooker is very good of acting like a normal person while being crazy also. The theme song is very creepy, and it's new to see a killer train someone. The chemistry between Henry and Otis's sister is nice, even if it is unsettling to see what Henry has done throughout the movie. The dark comedy is pretty funny because of the stupid moments Otis has, and there are some very disturbing moments in here, no doubt about it. The characters are scary memorable, and the film is interesting enough to get me entertained, and a bit disturbed.
½ January 3, 2016
Still a better love story than Twilight.
½ November 1, 2015
Very very good. I'm quite speechless. Michael Rooker was brilliant.
October 13, 2015
A very raw and violent deception of a serial killer. Perhaps too realistic because the life of a serial killer between killings isn't all that interesting. But when spit hits the fan it will have your attention.
July 22, 2015
Not the best serial killer movie I've seen (with two of my favourites being Zodiac starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Dahmer starring Jeremy Renner), but considering this is one of the first mainstream serial killer films, it did well. Many of the scenes involving violence were dark and gave me an intense feeling in my heart. You can really feel the thrill that the main character gives you with his changing emotions. Overall, the film's acting wasn't very good and the feel of the movie was slightly trashy. Some of the scene also didn't make sense to even exist and I felt they were there just to make the movie longer. The cinematography was nothing new. My final thoughts of this movie are that this films as a little overrated and could have been executed better, but overall was a decent movie and I guess I'd say I enjoyed it.
July 22, 2015
Not the best serial killer movie I've seen (with two of my favourites being Zodiac starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Dahmer starring Jeremy Renner), but considering this is one of the first mainstream serial killer films, it did well. Many of the scenes involving violence were dark and gave me an intense feeling in my heart. You can really feel the thrill that the main character gives you with his changing emotions. Overall, the film's acting wasn't very good and the feel of the movie was slightly trashy. Some of the scene also didn't make sense to even exist and I felt they were there just to make the movie longer. The cinematography was nothing new. My final thoughts of this movie are that this films as a little overrated and could have been executed better, but overall was a decent movie and I guess I'd say I enjoyed it.
½ May 13, 2015
81% on my Tomatometer.
May 3, 2015
Really good, although very unsettling so be warned.
May 1, 2015
Truly believable and frightful depiction of a serial killer's life and "motives". The part of Michael Rooker is just fascinating to watch.
½ April 2, 2015
Ever so slightly interesting peek into the mind of a killer.
½ March 31, 2015
One of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2015
Apart from the solid performances, there's little else to praise in this mediocre film that mistakenly believes that resorting to shocking, purposeless violence is enough to draw what it assumes to be the "portrait of a serial killer", instead of developing his motivations.
March 16, 2015
Serial killer films have become their own genre of filmmaking with all of their own tropes and stereotypes, but before all of that started, director John McNaughton brought us a gritty and terrifying look into the mind of a disturbed individual with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Even almost 30 years later this film still has the power to shock and horrify audiences, because of its minimalist approach to telling the story. It doesn't feel like McNaughton is pulling out a bunch of tricks to manipulate the audience, instead it feels like he captured these events on film, and we're just watching them play out.

There's a dirtiness and grime to this film that coats everything it touches. This definitely applies to Michael Rooker who plays the titular character in an uneasy performance that is both charismatic and tense. You never really know what is going on in Henry's mind, but you don't really want to know either. As you watch him in awkward social interactions, you can tell he's not comfortable in normal human interactions. However, you see his real personality come out when he's taunting his victims. Playing with them like a cat with a mouse moments before carelessly disposing of them when they become inconvenient to him. It's a stark performance that will give you chills.

And with Tom Towles to play against, Rooker and Towles have plenty of fun together. As they have fun with murder, you are watching with delight and horror. It's a complicated film that plays with all of your emotions, leaving you feeling guilty for enjoying it as much as you did.
March 8, 2015
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. Henry is, quite simply, unforgettable. And, it should be hastily added, in some scenes almost unwatchable, even for the strong of stomach.
½ February 14, 2015
-IGNORE THIS RATING
3.5/4
Extraordinarily powerful portrait of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, who thinks killing is not a crime but simply a way of passing time and relieving boredom. Absolutely searing performances, brilliantly directed, but often extremely difficult to watch; infamous "Television sale scene" is one of the most intense scenes in film history. Not easily enjoyable, and certainly not for all taste, but for a film that takes on such an evil character and shows him as a actual person deserves attention. [NC-17]
January 12, 2015
After recently meeting each other:
Girl: I was raped by my father and recently came out of another bad relationship
Guy: That's cool, My mother beat me and made me watch her whore out to other men, then I killed her and now I'm a serial killer...
Girl: we have such a connection!

This was when I stopped watching.
January 12, 2015
Creepy, nasty film - but worth four points because its so alarming to view something so coldly from a serial killers supposed viewpoint. Chilling.
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