Saturday, April 18, 2009

Movie Review: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer 2 (1998)

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer 2
Mask of Sanity

Written & Directed by Chuck Parello

Neil Giuntoli .... Henry
Rich Komenich .... Kai
Kate Walsh .... Cricket
Carri Levinson .... Louisa
Daniel Allar .... Rooter

Henry (based on real serial killer Henry Lee Lucas) has returned, still drifting and still killing. He finds himself a less-than-dream job at a portable-toilet company and is offered to stay with Kai, one of his co-workers, until he gets his feet on the ground. Kai, his wife Cricket and their niece Louisa are far from a perfect family dynamic, but at least functional. That is, until Henry comes along.

Soon enough, Henry finds himself involved in the arson business that Kai moonlights in, hired by business owners who want to collect the insurance money. It pays much better than their day jobs, and it's not long before Henry is able to buy himself a car. When they stumble upon a couple of witnesses, however, it's Henry's turn to shine. He ties them to a fence and shoots them execution style. Kai soon joins Henry in his killing spree.

Toilets by day, fire by night, and now random acts of murder in between. Their calendar is pretty full, especially with Cricket competing for Kai's attention and young Louisa trying to get Henry in the sack. But when Kai realizes the monster he has become, he decides he wants out. Henry, of course, will not allow that.

The tension building around the household literally erupts and brings the movie to a screeching conclusion.

This film would have perhaps been better off as a feature independent of the Henry title. The first major problem is that the titular character was played so differently this time around than he was in the original. Secondly, the whole feel of the movie was different, nowhere near as gritty and brutal as the original. And lastly, the whole arsonist angle and multiple fire scenes seemed planted only to be flashier than the original. It was, but flash and glam isn't always a good thing.

Bottom line, a decent movie if you can resist comparing it to the original or a nice alternative to those who were unable to stomach the first.

Rated R
84 Minutes
United States

Wherefore art thou, Michael Rooker?

1 comment:

  1. I found this one to be too Made-for-TV for my taste, the characters were bland and the derivative plotline just felt watered down. It wasnt terrible but I cant find myself rewatching it any time soon.


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