Monday, April 16, 2007

DVD Review: Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful is one of the films included in the After Dark Horrorfest, also called "8 Films to Die For." In the promo for 8 Films to Die For, we're told that these films are too intense, too gory and too sick to be viewed as a regular theatrical release. While there's really nothing too gory or sick with Penny Dreadful, it is intense. It's a very well-shot film that piles on the apprehension and anxiety. The film is effective because of #1-the directing and #2-the acting of Rachel Miner. Ms. Miner was fantastic in her role as the traumatized Penny. She had to be thoroughly exhausted at the end of each shoot. The film centers around the road trip of Penny and her therapist, Orianna. Penny is still traumatized over the death of her parents in a car accident when she was young. She has a fear of automobiles and the road trip is supposed to help her conquer her fear. Unfortunately, when their car hits a wierd hitchhiker, things go very, very bad. Overall, it wasn't the scarefest I was hoping for, but the intensity of the film made up for the lack of scares. Well directed, well acted and a pretty good film over-all, Penny Dreadful gets ***1/2 out of *****.