12 Extreme Horror Movies You Need To See Before You Die

3. Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer (1990)

Given $100,000 to make a horror movie, John McNaughton asked himself a simple question: €œWhat€™s really scary?€ Freddy Krueger, with his dreadful puns, most certainly wasn€™t, so McNaughton looked to real life for inspiration and settled on the story of Henry Lee Lucas. Lucas was a lowlife who along with his pal Otis claimed to have murdered more than 200 people, so together with playwright Richard Fire, McNaughton told a fictionalized (but not sensationalized) account of his life, careful to emphasize Henry€™s lack of empathy €“ a quality that Michael Rooker (in his first lead role) really brings out in the character. One of the most disturbing scenes (truncated in the original UK release) features Henry and Otis watching a videotape of themselves at work, commenting on the events onscreen as they terrorize a family. Bear in mind that this nearly a decade before Blair Witch et al €“ and a damn sight more horrifying.
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Ian Watson is the author of 'Midnight Movie Madness', a 600+ page guide to "bad" movies from 'Reefer Madness' to 'Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.'