Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer 2 – aka Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer 2: Mask of Sanity – is a 1996 American horror thriller written and directed by Chuck Parello (The Hillside Strangler; Ed Gein); it stars Neil Giuntoli, Rich Komenich, Kate Walsh, Carri Levinson, and Daniel Allar.
The movie is obviously a belated sequel to Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986).
Henry (Neil Giuntoli) takes a thankless job at a port-o-john company where he meets husband and wife, Kai (Ken Komenich) and Cricket (Kate Walsh). They take pity on the homeless drifter and offer him a room in the home they share with their emotionally fragile teenage niece, Louisa (Carri Levinson).
Henry learns that Kai has a side job as an arsonist-for-hire, setting up fake insurance scams to make money for their boss, Rooter (Daniel Allar). He agrees to join Kai and on one of their first outings, they discover two squatters in a building that’s been marked for fire. It is then that Henry introduces Kai to his life’s work…
“A fitfully riveting slow burn, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Part 2 is a psychological slasher flick that stands as one of the rare sequels to, at the very least, pay homage to that which has come before.” Preston Jones, DVD Talk
“Largely bereft of imagination, flair, or emotional investment, Henry 2 is a pretty tough movie to sit through. Neil Giuntoli just doesn’t cut it (excuse the pun) as Henry, even though he underplays the performance, so from the off it’s difficult not to think, ‘Ok, convince me’. And, of course, he doesn’t, and because Rooker’s performance was so intensely memorable…” Eat My Brains
“There’s plenty of murder and mayhem throughout the film, but the story is so tedious it seems to drag on endlessly.” Staci Layne Wilson, Horror.com
“Henry 2 is a passable psychological slasher movie for fans of the genre, but Giutoli makes Henry’s coexisting woundedness and amorality fascinating to watch. It’s even believable when after one character shoots herself in the head in front of him, he’s visibly upset.” Anita Gates, The New York Times, August 14, 1998
” …lack of originality in the premise of the film is coupled with a few scenes that are just too unrealistic to work and as such this sequel doesn’t have the same sort of impact as its predecessor. That being said, writer/director Chuck Parello has crafted a decent horror movie in that there are some very suspenseful scenes and a few good kill sequences.” Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!
“The acting and direction are what made this film and its predecessor so great and the strength of the performances in this sequel was the main thing that elevated it from becoming another cinematic embarrassment like so many others that try to expand on a great idea only to fail miserably.” The Video Graveyard
Main cast and characters:
- Neil Giuntoli … Henry
- Rich Komenich … Kai
- Kate Walsh … Cricket
- Carri Levinson … Louisa
- Daniel Allar … Rooter
Clarendon Hills, Chicago, Mokena and Orland Park, Illinois, USA
1 November 1995 – 3 December 1995
The film premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival in October 1996 but only received a VHS release in 1998.
Michael Rooker was offered the chance to reprise the role of Henry Lee Lucas but turned it down.