Saturday, Monday, Thursday: "Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer"

Oct. 29, Oct. 31, Nov. 3

Oh man, so there's horror of the spooky-ooky sort (which is most of it) and there's horror of the creeping dread kind (some more avant-garde Italian zombie movies, and the best John Carpenter stuff). And then there's just the full-stop terrifying horror devoid of supernatural forces that just kind of stares down how cruel people can be to each other and all the rest and doesn't let up (see our Screens feature, "Hundreds Of Dead Bodies," for more horror-not-horror recommendations). 1986's "Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer" is that kind of horror. Save for its over-the-top though fairly realistic gore, nothing about this movie really screams horror in the conventional sense. Instead, it's a detached serial killer movie, full of naturalistic acting (reviews often cited John Cassavetes as a precedent for the movie's performances), lots of awkward silences, and bursts of quick, brutal, and often fumbling violence. It's rough, explicit stuff (including an extended sexual assault sequence) so be warned, but this dead-eyed psychological profile of a movie is worth it if you want to endure it. And if you don't, that's totally fine; this idea that people who don't want to watch supremely fucked-up horror are "weak" or whatever is nonsense. As Maggie Nelson writes in "The Art Of Cruelty," "You walk out when you realize whatever it is you're watching, for whatever reason, simply isn't worth it." This one may not be worth it to some readers. 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 29, 7 p.m. Oct. 30, 9 p.m. Nov. 3; The Charles, 1711 N. Charles St., (410) 727-3464, thecharles.com, $7.50-$9.50. (Brandon Soderberg)

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