Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Release Date: March 28th, 1990

DVD Release Date: November 3rd, 1998

Not Yet Rated |1 hr 23 min

Plot Summary

Henry (Michael Rooker) is released from prison following his mother's murder. He supplements his job as an exterminator with a series of indiscriminate and violent murders. Fellow jailbird and drug dealer Otis (Tom Towles) becomes a willing accomplice in Henry's bloody killings. But as the depravity escalates and Henry forms a bond with Otis' sister, Becky (Tracy Arnold), things start to get out of hand. The film is based on the true-life story of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.

Cast: Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold, Tom Towles, Anne Bartoletti, Mary Demas, Elizabeth Kaden, Ted Kaden

Director: John McNaughton

Genres: Horror

Keywords: Murder , 1980s , Intense , Sister ,

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Mike ClarkUSA Today

    Nothing in John McNaughton's script and direction is exploitative; there isn't a frame of wasted action in what may well remain the year's most tightly constructed movie. As such, you're with this qualified classic all the way, you believe in it all the way, and you're thus forced to take its sporadic atrocities seriously. How many movies (and how long has it been since we've seen one) have really pulled this off? [20 April 1990, p.4D]

  • 88
    Peter TraversRolling Stone

    McNaughton has made a film of clutching terror that's meant to heighten our awareness instead of dulling it. At the end, Henry is still out there among us. And he's no B-movie monster in a hockey mask. He could be the guy next door. This film gives off a dark chill that follows you all the way home. show more

  • 100
    Desmond RyanPhiladelphia Inquirer

    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer contrasts the mundane and the domestic with the appalling. The tone doesn't vary at all, and it's not a pretty picture, but movies that burn their images into your consciousness like this one are very, very rare. It is admittedly hard to look, but this is a portrait that demands to be seen. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com