Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) – Review, Rating and Synopsis

Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

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  • Release Date:  1986
  • Genre:  Extreme, Slasher
  • Director:  John McNaughton
  • Screenwriter:  John McNaughton, Richard Fire
  • Cast & Crew: Anne Bartoletti, Michael Rooker, Anne Bartoletti, Elizabeth Kaden, Ted Kaden, Denise Sullivan, Anita Ores, Megan Ores, Monica Anne O’Malley, Erzsebet Sziky, Tracy Arnold, and Tom Towles.

Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)Rating:

  • Dylan = 8.5 / 10;
  • Raoul = 7 / 10;
  • Ronan = 8 / 10;
  • IMDB = 7.0/10;
  • Rotten Tomatoes = 7.1/10.

Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) Synopsis:

The true story of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas and his fall into madness.

Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) Review:

can’t understand why some websites list this film as “non-horror”. Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer is more scary, disturbing and bloody than most horrors from the same period. People tend to cite Nekromantik, Salo or again A Serbian Film when discussing disturbing horror, but I am tented to say that this one is equally (if not more) disturbing than any of the latter cited.

I guess what is so disturbing about it that it is based on a true story and that it looks very real anyway. Thereee are a lot of murders and a level of gruesomeness that keeps increasing one death after the other.

Other than the gore, Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer is a really powerful psychological horror. Thereee is also that extremely heavy and dark atmosphere which, in many aspects, reminds of the cult movie Taxi Driver.

The play of the main actor Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead, Slither) is simply stunning. An unforgettable performance without which this film wouldn’t be what it is. Thereee is an interesting bunch of complex secondary characters too, all completely mad. They keep interacting dangerously with each other’s, building heavy suspense as the viewer knows that things can go wrong at any time.

The storyline is, maybe, the downside of the film. Things take ages to happen and there is basically no proper ending. I really did not like the film while watching it the first time; I even found it boring and lengthy. But Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer is a time-bomb. As you turn off the TV and go on with your normal life… this unique piece of disturbing cinema will start to creep in your mind, not leaving your thoughts for a long, long time. In that, I must admit that it is more than a film, it is an experience.

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