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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

original title: Henry - Portrait of a Serial Killer


  • Arrow Video 4K-Blu-ray
  • Original cut
Release: May 15, 2022 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison UK 4K Blu-ray by Arrow Video (First pressing) (probably identical to the French and Swedish Blu-ray) and the German Blu-ray by Bildstörung (identical to older releases on DVD)

- One alternate scene
- No time difference


Henry - Portrait of a Serial Killer from 1986 has not lost too much of its shock value even today. The film, which was X-rated in the US at the time and censored for a BBFC 18 rating in the UK, was released on 4K Blu-ray for the first time in the UK on April 18, 2022. Arrow Video has once again put together a generous package here, adding quite a bit to the bonus material of Bildstörung's 2012 German Blu-ray.

The new 4K scan looks classy and shows a bit more image information, especially at the bottom. However, attentive fans quickly noticed a strange scene in the first third. A dialogue between Henry (Michael Rooker) and Becky (Tracy Arnold) runs on the soundtrack for the same length as usual, but wrong footage slipped in. A short exterior shot of a previous victim occurred in exactly the same way 15 minutes earlier and doesn't really fit here at all.

At first, it was still speculated that this was perhaps a deliberate adjustment by director John McNaughton, who oversaw the 4K restoration. However, Arrow Video admitted this was a mistake in a short statement on April 22, 2022. Currently, a replacement program is apparently being worked on (source): "For now we recommend holding on to your copy and we will follow up with further information as soon as we can on social and email.".

As you can read on e.g. AVForums this little deviation could already be noticed on the French and Swedish Blu-ray. It should be a general issue with all releases which are using this 4K restoration. It was already created in 2016 for the 30th anniversary of the film and the said Blu-rays from e.g. France (2021) were based on this master. The German Blu-ray, on the other hand, still used a different master in 2012 and was thus unchanged.

Update, 20th May 2022:

The Henry replacement programme was initiated.

Runtimes are arranged according to
UK Arrow Video 4K-Blu-ray / German Blu-ray

The German Blu-ray has a bit more blackscreen to begin with.

+ 0.8 sec

Hard to capture in screenshots: Throughout the film, there are many scene transitions where black fades in and out. On the 4K Blu-ray, the fade out often comes a few frames later, and the fade in correspondingly starts less than 0.5 sec earlier.

23:40-23:44 / 23:41-23:45

Actually, here you see another shot of Becky, to which Henry smacks something off-camera and then puts his can on the table. Becky asks, "Did you really kill your momma?"

On the 4K version of Arrow, this is also heard in its entirety on the soundtrack, but the conversation between the two is interrupted in the process by an exterior shot of one of Henry's previous victims walking to the car. Because of the short silence before the can is placed on the table, it doesn't seem immediately obvious that an exterior shot is interspersed here. In terms of content, however, it makes no sense whatsoever that this shot, which was shown about 15 minutes earlier, is recycled here.

No time difference

UK 4K-Blu-ray (Arrow Video)German Blu-ray (Bildstörung)

By the way, here again the same moment from the German Blu-ray (there only to see at the correct timecode 08:13-08:17 and not twice again in the 23rd minute). Because of the HDR->SDR conversion, the image quality is not 1:1 comparable, however, the larger image detail in Arrow Video is already noticeable in this very compressed image size.

UK 4K-Blu-ray (Arrow Video)German Blu-ray (Bildstörung)

Packshot, slipcase & reverse cover of the UK 4K Blu-ray by Arrow Video:
(Das Wendecover wurde auch für die französische Blu-ray verwendet)

German Blu-ray by Bildstörung (Slipcase):