Monday, July 25, 2011

Penny Dreadful (2006)

 Worth Every Penny

Editor's Note: This review was originally published in 2006

We all have our irrational fears. Some of us are afraid of the dark. Some of us are afraid of spiders. I myself am afraid of being raped by a gourmet chef (this goes back to 1994, when I was raped by a gourmet chef). Penny Deerborn is afraid of being trapped in a car. After a brutal accident that claimed the life of her parents, Penny (played effectively by Rachel Miner, Californication) has a hard time staying in any vehicle without losing her shit. Under the care of her psychologist, renowned author Orianna Volker (film veteran Mimi Rogers, Ginger Snaps), Penny is taken on a road trip to help overcome her fears. But after they pick up an eerie hitchhiker (I guess Orianna was too busy tackling coulrophobia to watch The Hitcher), their little retreat hits the emergency brake and Penny finds herself trapped in her biggest fear: Orianna’s BMW.

Penny Dreadful works for two main reasons: an original plot, but more importantly, Rachel Miner’s performance. Penny spends most of the film trapped in a car and unable to escape. The killer finds surprisingly creative ways to add fear to a situation that could easily grow dull, such as smearing blood on all of the windows so Penny’s tomb becomes one foreboding red tint. Rogers, who has to play a...well...rather stiff role in this film, does a fine job in evoking a few scares every once in a good while. But as I said, the film’s success is due to the acting of Miner. You honestly believe this girl is terrified of being in a car. She spends the entire movie screaming, crying, popping Xanax, talking to herself, and sleeping. It may not sound difficult but she pulls off without a doubt, the best lead character in the 8 Films to Die For set.

Along with a select few, Penny Dreadful makes the Horrorfest set worth it. A clever concept, a wicked killer, and straight up talent on Miner’s part make for a surprisingly awesome movie. Penny Dreadful is one ride that’s worth being trapped in.

3.5/5 Stars

Andrew's Hidden Message: I ended the last sentence with a preposition. It’s killing me.


  1. Loved this film. I wish After Dark would go back to making them like they did with the first 2 sets. After Dark Horrorfest 2006 is my favorite of them all. They have steadily declined with each subsequent set in my opinion.

    Rachel Miner was terrific in this. They definitely made the right choice when casting her for the part.

  2. i'm so glad to hear somebody else enjoyed it! this review is from 2006 and from then to this day, i see nothing but terrible responses to it. I don't know why, but i found it to be quite fun. I haven't seen it in quite a while now, but i'm thinking that i may have to get my hands on it!

  3. Veľmi pekný horor večne ho pozerám a večne to prežívam s Penny !! A ten film Vám veľmi vyšiel !! :)

  4. Very good horror movie you ever watch it forever and I live with Penny! A film that you really came! :)