Henry- Portrait of a Serial KillerTitle: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Runtime: 83 minutes
Director: John McNaughton

This is the first time I’ve seen this film from start to finish, and I won’t soon forget it. It’s far from perfect – the acting outside the three leads is questionable at best – but the script is actually smarter than it first appears. This is a raw, violent, grimy independent film that has a cold, dead soul. Though this isn’t “scary” in the traditional sense, it is quite unsettling.

The story is simple enough: Henry is a serial killer. He happens to live with Otis, who also enjoys raping and murdering people. That is not a good combination for the general public. In the time we spend with the two, Otis’ sister, Becky, comes to visit. Becky and Henry take a shine for each other, which makes Otis even weirder than he normally is. It’s really just something you need to see to understand. Disturbing is a great way to describe to the relationship of these three odd individuals, and the acts that they commit.

What’s a bit disappointing, though, is the fact that the true story of Ottis Toole and Henry Lee Lucas is 1000x worse than anything shown in this film. I feel like McNaughton (the director) could have gone further with the facts and delivered an even more powerful movie.

I will admit that I didn’t see the ending coming the way it did, but this screams of a script that had no other way out, and that isn’t a knock on it at all. The film presents the darkest side of the human psyche, and with that comes consequences. Henry is definitely disturbing.


Original Uncut DVD

Rent on Netflix