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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Posted on August 18, 2015

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) Review

Elizabeth Erwin

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer   | 98 min   | 1986   | John McNaughton | X[i]

Synopsis: Henry is an unrepentant serial killer who forms a murderous bond with another man.

Review: Michael Rooker’s chilling tour de force performance is perhaps the greatest serial killer characterization ever committed to film.

Grade: A

Viewing Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is not for the faint of heart. Stark and unyielding, the film is a deeply unsettling look into the mind of an unrepentant murderer. The film centers on pathological murderer Henry, who discovers a kindred spirit in his roommate, Otis. The two engage in vicious murders as Henry schools Otis on the finer points of evading capture. Their relationship is tested when Otis’ sister Becky comes to visit and becomes enamored of Henry. Based on the life of Henry Lee Lucas, the film is both a psychological exploration as well as an explicit foray into gore.

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