Written By: DMG
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: John McNaughton
Producer: Lisa Dedmond, Steven A. Jones
Screemplay: Richard Fire, John McNaughton
September 24, 1986 (Chicago International Film Festival)
January 5, 1990 (US)
Michael Rooker as Henry
Tom Towles as Otis
Tracy Arnold as Becky
David Katz as Henry’s Boss
Rating = 3.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story follows a man named, Henry. From the start, you realize that Henry is a
serial killer who has a insatiable thirst for killing. Henry soon introduces his roommate, Otis, so the world or killing as both are past criminals on their own. Meanwhile, Otis’ sister, Becky, has come to stay with them and she develops feelings for Henry. With so much bloodshed, someone is bound to get hurt.
There is quite a bit of blood, gore and nudity involved in this film. As the theme of this film revolves around killing, the viewer can expect to see quite a bit of gore. In respect to this, the special effects used in this film were well-done. There is one scene where Henry cuts Otis’ head off and you can see the supposed head. The prosthetics look realistic and are not overly done. There are also suggestions of post-Mortem intercourse.
The Grave Review
The plot is fairly straightforward as the story revolves around Henry’s interaction with various people while committing his crimes. What The film depends on is shock value. As most of the film is disturbing, there is one particular scene where Henry films a home invasion whereby Henry kills the husband and teenage boy while Otis is molesting the wife while laughing. The scene is beyond upsetting. Such a scene reminded me of the controversial Home invasion scene in Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange.
The most prominent aspect of the film came from actor, Michael Rooker’s effort as the notorious serial killer, Henry. His performance as Henry was impressive and psychologically thought-provoking. His subtle demeanor left the audience wondering how he would act and respond to certain situations. The performances from Tom Towles as Otis and Tracy Arnold as Becky were also respectable and did an impressive job. The chemistry of all three actors and actresses made for a well-done performance.
Overall, Henry is an entertaining scene with some impressive special effects work. It is an attempt to dive into the mind of a serial killer. There was one concept of the story that was left out of the film and that concept is that one way or another, criminals get caught with very little exceptions. In that way, there was little justice in the film, but maybe there was a reason for that…
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Henry three and one-half out of five graves.
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