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The story is all shown through "obtained" video camera footage found in an abandoned southern California institution. Footage purportedly from/by a victim's camera - one of many tortured ladies at the hands of a mutilation-prone physician (injuring both himself and many others). The premise of this is reportedly based upon the story/circumstances of the real Graeme Reeves, even inclusive of a text-ending stating how he has still escaped prosecution and has not been caught (in reality he is in prison awaiting trial overseas). Putting aside the film has really nothing to do with the guy, you get a well-acted low-budget take on this popular genre. Rooker is outstanding, though he only gets a few scenes. The torture scenes are tough, and if this were rated I am sure it would be in the NC-17 range. A musical score was added to further the impossibility of how certain scenes could be filmed or how this cut was edited, but if you skip the analysis of logistics and watch the performances you will get more out of it.
Supplements are lengthy and include:
* Three alternate endings.Read more ›
None of these concepts are terribly original, but I suppose the stripper+Hostel formula was inevitable. Honestly, I never thought I would be bored by that near fool-proof formula, but a combination of shaky-cam - as if the torturers would give her a camera to document the atrocities - and subpar script make this a mildly enticing movie, which depends entirely on how much nudity a viewer is expecting from a movie about tortured strippers.
Surprisingly, the performances aren't overwhelmingly bad, despite the fact that none stand out. Actually, the strip-tease performances were atrocious, and I seriously doubt any of the so-called "exotic dancers" made a living without some illegal activity in the champagne room. Tony Todd makes an appearance as a chauffer, and Michael Rooker overacts throughout his brief appearances, but otherwise the film is carried by a fairly competent cast of the lesser known. Perhaps the best aspect of this film is the gory makeup work and special effects (head shot!).
Replete with recycled concepts and the unfortunately ubiquitous shaky-cam, Penance is mediocre at best. Unless the idea of tired torture porn shown through the religious lens of a handheld camera is your thing, I'd suggest skipping it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's really nice women and interesting. But overall, the movie as a whole is not really exciting.Published 8 months ago by Wimpy Charley
Had some really eye opening scenes other then that it was bazzar !Published 13 months ago by william bailey
If all you want to see is boobs then I guess this movie is for you. I know it's about strippers but I thought it would be more disturbing than what it was. Read morePublished on February 8, 2014 by Gorygal
I have had trouble with this movie, it goes blank after about a quarter of the way through it. I have tried it many times, and it does it every time. I think I got a bad movie.Published on October 21, 2011 by Lorri E. Gum
Sob story found footage film. Now we see that the lead character is in real need of financial help since we learn early on she has no insurance for her sick daughter and as we all... Read morePublished on December 17, 2010 by Barry Brandon
My husband and I watched this movie the other night and it was excessively creepy. The plot and the acting was great. The psycho freaked me out - majorly! Read morePublished on October 14, 2010 by bridget3420
this movie gets 1 star because there's one scene about an hour in i didn't expect, but still wasn't worth watching this stupid movie. Read morePublished on August 31, 2010 by R. Vasquez
PENANCE is another one of those first-person, hand-held camera horror flicks with may seem amateurish and improvised, but it also pushes the boundaries with its gritty realism. Read morePublished on August 14, 2010 by C. Christopher Blackshere