Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Part 2 (1998) Review
Written by: skfan
If there is one thing I hate more then anything in the horror genre it would have to be remakes but second on my list would be sequels. Needless to say I was a little cautious about watching a sequel of one of the all time greatest serial killer films ever made. Simply put I was shocked at how much I liked this film. I think its almost unfair to compare this to the original Henry especially without the performance of John Rooker who doesn't return as Henry instead a relatively unknown actor Neil Giuntono, who instead of trying to reprise Rooker's role adds a new edge to the character that makes Henry that much more disturbing.
The plot of Henry 2 is very similar to the first. This time around we meet Henry some time after we'd left him at the end of the first film. Now Henry is running low on cash and needing work desperately. Henry finds work at a porta potty company. Almost right away he becomes friends with Kai, another worker. Kai invites Henry to stay with him and his wife until he gets back on his his feet. After only a few days staying with them Kai invites Henry out in the middle of the night to help him burn down a building. Henry discoveries that Kai is a torch for hire, for building owners that want to collect on their insurance. What Kai doesn't know is that Henry has an even darker secret of his own that he is dying to share with someone. The acting from the entire cast is great. Like I said Neil Giuntono's performance as Henry although it isn't as strong as Rooker's its damn close. Rich Komenich as Kai was excellent as well and helped add a human side to the movie that throughout had a very disturbing feel to it.
The was also quite abit of gore especially compared to the first one and the death scenes were well thought out and shot. None of the deaths were overlong or played out instead the filmmakers delivered effect brutal uncompromising scenes of pain torture and death that were perfect in the context of the mood and feel of the film. Chuck Parello wrote and directed the film and did and excellent job. Parello who only seems to be interested in making serial killer films with "In the light of the Moon" and "The Hill side strangler" delivers the goods with this film by keeping the movie tight and on point.
There really is no self indulgence with the production at all. From the realistic gore, low key acting, minimal score, and straight forward camera shots everything in this film was well done. There are very few sequels that come even close to their original counter parts and although this film doesn't stand up to the brilliance of the first Henry film it comes close. For any fans of the first film or of serial killer films in general, which there aren't that many good ones this is a must see.