Critic Reviews

80

Metascore

Based on 22 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is as fine a film as it is a brutally disturbing one.
100
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.
88
Slant Magazine
The film doesn't so much bring us closer to the serial murderer as it reminds us of our culpability as spectators.
88
The film uses a slice-of-life approach to create a docudrama of chilling horror.
88
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.
80
No film in recent memory has tapped into primal, visceral fear as HENRY does, with its vision of a depraved world that seems at once too horrible to exist and too realistic to be denied.
80
A spare and authentic screenplay unfolds in an almost documentary-like enviroment, there are no histrionics and the acting is of the highest order, but the film shocks and disturbs as much for its morally questionable purpose as in its ugly subject.
75
The movie rides the very thin line between art and trash, between exploitation and illumination. It's true, certainly, that it takes one into a universe of such moral squalor that one feels tainted afterward.
75
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is undeniably disturbing, especially that video scene and when it shows us (however discreetly) a body being hacked up in a bathtub. Yet the critics who’ve hailed it as a landmark are going overboard. Henry is just a superior B-movie with an artsy-clinical title.
40
It's precisely Henry's coldblooded affectlessness that is meant to shock and disturb us. But "Henry" leaves us feeling more numbed than moved. Half art film, half schlock-horror cheapie, "Henry" isn't quite sure what it wants to be.

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