92 Min. | Horror – Mystery – Thriller | November 2006
IMDB Rating: 5.1
Director: Richard Brandes
Staring: Rachel Miner, Mimi Rogers, Chad Todhunter
Penny Dreadful Review: Penny Deerborn (Rachel Miner) and her therapist, Orianna Volkes (Mimi Rogers) take a trip to help Penny overcome her fear of cars. But as with any horror film, things go wrong and the car they are traveling in ends up becoming a prison for Penny (wedged between two trees). Oh, and there’s also a serial killer loose in the woods. What is going to be the real deal-maker (or breaker) for Penny Dreadful is if the audience can relate to Penny’s fear of cars. Roughly an hour of the film has her in the car by herself being scared. Not much of a plot, or much dialog – just the actress and her expressions of fear. Many viewers will find this intensely boring. Rachel Miner deserves full credit for being amazing. She seems to have a very solid range, if Penny Dreadful is any example – she was asked to carry a film all on her own with no characters to talk to.
Mimi Rogers (the former Mrs. Tom Cruise) also plays a unique role. As a corpse. I think that deserves some credit, too, as even acting dead must take some skills – never really moving or breathing on camera. Definitely a new direction for Rogers. Secondary characters were nice, if for no other reason than to round out Penny Dreadful. Pretty decent horror thriller if you over look the many plot-holes in it “Penny Dreadful” also as in its cast in a cameo appearance as the creepy gas station attendant Michael Barryman of “The Hills have Eyes” fame. Oddly enough Barryman is one of the most sympathetic characters in the entire film. Barryman can’t help how he looks, like something out of you worst nightmares, and when he scares the living sh*t out of Penny when he gentlemanly tells her where the washroom is located, at his gas station, you sympathize far more for him, in having his feelings hurt, then with her.
The 16 year-old Rachal Miner is by far the best reason to watch “Penny Dreadful” in how she as Penny Deerborn conveys fear and terror throughout the entire film as she’s being stalked by the deranged masked or hooded killer. If anything the fact that Penny is a target of the escaped psycho makes her overcome her fear of cars which now he, in trying to murder Penny, replaced. As for Mimi Rogers as Orianna Volkes she was far more convincing in Penny Dreadful as a corpse that a living person which she played-in the majority of scenes she was in the movie-to perfection.