Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Henry:Portrait of A Serial Killer Movie Review 211

Henry:Portrait of a Serial Killer is a 1986 thriller released in 1990. It is directed by John McNaughton and starring Michael Rooker(The Walking Dead). It is loosely based on real life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.

Henry(Rooker) is a loner who has a nasty past-time. He kills people for apparently no reason. He is a quiet guy by day and he is not someone who stands out from others. Henry spots women and he follows them home. Then, he kills them. He has no conscience or guilt about those he kills. He has a dodgy friend called Otis(Tom Towles) who is a weirdo also. They share a place together until Becky(Tracy Arnold) arrives. She is Otis' sister and she has fallen out with her husband who treats her badly. She has arrived in Chicago to make something of herself for her daughter who is staying with her mother for the moment. She likes Henry immediately but he is very shy with her.

Henry kills bugs for a living and he uses his job to enter people's homes and kill them. Becky is interested in finding out about Henry so she asks Otis who tells her that Henry killed his mother. Otis was in prison with Henry and that is how they became friends. Becky doesn't seem to be too bothered about Henry murdering his own mother. She still likes him. She has a heart to heart with Henry and finds out that his mother mistreated him as a child. Becky tells him that her dad was abusing her. They bond over their bad childhoods.
Becky gets a job. Henry gets angry when Otis tries to kiss his sister. Otis and Henry go out and pick up two prostitutes. Henry kills them both. Otis is shocked at this.

Henry and Otis come to an understanding and Otis joins him in his killing spree. They steal a camcorder and start recording their horrible crimes. They pick victims at random and they even kill a family. Becky decides that she wants to go back home. She asks Henry to come with her. He needs to think about it. While he has gone to get cigarettes, Otis attacks and rapes his sister. Henry arrives back and tries to stop him. Becky stabs Otis in the eye. Henry finishes the job. Henry cuts Otis up and puts him in plastic bags. Becky and Henry go off in a car and Henry disposes of Otis. Henry and Becky go to a motel to rest and the next morning, Henry  drives off in the car. Becky isn't with him but her suitcase is and there is blood coming from it. Henry has killed her and he throws her body away... We assume that he is going to continue his murder spree.

This movie is bleak. There are no happy endings here. It is a honest, realistic account of a serial killer with no
conscience or guilt over his crimes. He is murdering people and walking away from them. He even murders the girl who loves him. He has no social skills or no sense of empathy with people. It is a very good movie and it is worth watching for Rooker's performance alone. It gets an 8/10.


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