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Penny Dreadful (After Dark Horrorfest)

91 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Mar 27, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Penny, a young woman traumatized by a childhood auto accident that killed her parents, accompanies her therapist on a road trip back to the scene of the accident as part of her therapy to overcome her fear of cars. But, when the two women accidentally cross paths with a dark and mysterious Hitchhiker on a lonely stretch of mountain highway, an attempt at healing suddenly takes a terrifying detour into a horrific life and death struggle with a ruthless, deranged killer bent on preying upon Penny's worst fears.

Special Features

  • "Behind the Screams" featurette
  • Music video

Product Details

  • Actors: Rachel Miner, Mimi Rogers, Chad Todhunter, Mickey Jones, Liz Davies
  • Directors: Richard Brandes
  • Writers: Richard Brandes, Diane Doniol-Valcroze, Arthur Flam
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MEYKE6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,665 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Penny Dreadful (After Dark Horrorfest)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 13, 2007
Format: DVD
One of the things I've really enjoyed so far about the After Dark Horrorfest films is their refreshing take on popular horror concepts. Penny Dreadful provides a fresh take on slasher films. In fact, I rather hate calling it a slasher but that's ultimately where it will be lumped. What Penny Dreadful really is, is a psychological horror and a powerful one at that. Not for those who are claustrophobic for sure!

The film stars Rachel Miner, best known for her riveting performance in "Bully" as Penny Deerborn, a young woman whose deep rooted fears have virtually handicapped her life after she was traumatized by an auto accident which killed both of her parents. Penny's fears seem to be many but start with a fear of cars. She is traveling with her Psychologist Orianna (played by Mimi Rogers) to the scene of the accident to confront her fears.

Along the way they hit a person hitchhiking along a dark stretch of road. Seeing that the person is ok, they offer the mysterious hitchhiker a ride to a nearby campground (ha ha ha) and by now the silent passenger has even creeped out the Doctor and she's anxious to be rid of their rider as soon as possible. You can probably guess the hitchhiker turns out to be a crazed killer but that might be the last thing that is stereotypical about Penny Dreadful. Unlike so many other recent horror slashers, Penny Dreadful doesn't seek to amaze viewers with creative new ways to kill, nor is it all that gory. Rather, this is a study in terror.

The killer eventually traps Penny in the car, wedging it between two large trees so she cannot open the doors.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By John Upton on April 7, 2007
Format: DVD
"Penny Dreadful" is one of the 8 After Dark Horrorfest films that saw theatrical release over the course of one weekend in 2006. I considered going to the movies to see a few of the films but figured the DVD's would probably cost me less than the fare of a movie ticket (I was right based on the sale price the week they were released). Besides, I can deal with disappointment watching a bad movie on disc than seeing one in the movies.

I'm a big fan of horror movies and can be pretty lenient in my opinion of them as long as they aren't a complete disaster. (See my review of "The Beast of Bray Road"The Beast Of Bray Roadfor an example of complete disaster. "Penny Dreadful" falls somewhere in the half way point.

The film focuses on Penny Deerborn (Rachel Miner) who is terrified of automobiles after a tragic accident when she was young took the lives of her parents. Penny is embarking upon a road trip with Dr. Orianna Volkes (Mimi Rogers), a psychiatrist trying to help rid Penny of her amaxophobia. During the trip, the two cross paths with a hitchhiker. This, of course, is the point in all horror films when everything goes to hell.

I'll start by saying that the hitchhiker is a very creepy character and there are scenes of great tension in the movie. I enjoyed the idea of the car, a source of terror for the character, having to serve as a refuge. The biggest flaw with the film is it's too long (92 minutes). Instead of being released as a feature film it should have been part of Showtime's "Masters of Horror" series. There are a few side characters introduced in the film who serve no real function but to be potential victims.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Cory T. Shaeffer on April 4, 2007
Format: DVD
Though this film is not as scary as the original "Blair Witch Project," it is somewhat similar in terms of the premise. It is set exclusively in the deep woods, thus sparking the comparisons. Basically the story is about a young woman haunted by a tragic car accident from her youth, who winds up trapped in a car by a deranged psychopath. The young woman must overcome her fears and fight against the killer's "games" in order to survive. Rachel Miner is an underrated actress, and her skills are utilized well here; she carries the film for the most part. This is her second notable performance in a very dramatic and demanding role ("Bully" was her best performance), so by casting a quality lead actress it adds to the film greatly. The plot and suspense is not quite on par with, say, Steven King's work, nor is it as tense throughout as "Blair Witch." Nevertheless, Miner's performance provides a dynamic that most horror flicks lack - a female lead with strength and survival instincts that can actually be taken seriously. I rented this based on Rachel Miner's performance in "Bully," and I was not disappointed.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Ramos VINE VOICE on May 26, 2008
Format: DVD
Young Penny portrayed by Rachel Miner goes on a retreat with her psychologist portrayed by Mimi Rogers. The psychologist plans a trip with the intention to help Penny overcome her phobia, an intense fear of cars. Unexpected events find her in a nightmarish situation where her worst fears come true, as she allows her fears paralyze her. It is an O.K. story of suspense and horror with some blood thrown in.
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