Sunday, July 4, 2010

Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful was part of the 2006 "8 Films to Die For" Film Fest and it is the second film I have seen from this fest, from 2006 or any year.  Not because I have anything against these collections, in fact, I think they are pretty cool.  I can just never drag my ass to the theatre and by the time they arrive on DVD I have completely forgotten about them.  So when Penny Dreadful showed up on IFC I taped it, figuring, with a name like Penny Dreadful it can't be that bad.

I was wrong.  It was bad.  It took me two days to watch it.  The concept is interesting, and an original take on the "babe lost in the woods being menaced by a creep" storyline.  Penny, played by Rachel Miner, is a young woman who has an intense phobia of cars.  As a child she lost her mother in a horrific car accident, where it seems she was the only survivor.  In an attempt to get over her phobia and live a normal life, Penny hires Mimi Rogers.  Rogers plays a Therapist who believes that the only way to overcome your fears is to face them head-on.  She is also kind of an idiot because instead of watching the road, she spends her time lecturing Penny and hits a hitchhiker. 

This hitchhiker, like most hitchhikers, is a murderous psycho.  I think the hitchhiker is supposed to be a guy, but "he" is played by a woman, Liz Davies.  Or maybe it is supposed to be a woman, I really didn't care at this point.  Penny ends up alone, literally trapped in the car, terrorized by the hitchhiker.  And this is where I checked out. I couldn't get behind Penny.  She just annoyed me.  For the most part the hitchhiker remains an unseen entity, a figure that we glimpse running past the car or hear making menacing noises in the woods.  Once we really get a good look at he/she, the illusion of a terrifying threat is gone.  The hitchhiker is just a crazy nut job, and I seriously doubt someone so loony could have orchestrated this night of terror.  The finale seems tacked on, and unfortunately sets us up for a sequel.  No thank you filmmakers. 

1 comment:

mike said...

i watched a decent horror/suspense last nite. it was called "the shortcut". what i liked about it was, it was suspensful without needing a ton of blood and guts to carry it thru. the characterization was good, the story somewhat believable, and the acting decent. so if you see it, give it a chance....B+