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Your online source for Horror news, info, and reviews. I cover new and classic Horror, as well as Exploitation and Cult films. I also discuss books, comics, games, toys, clothing, etc, as long as it pertains to the Horror genre. My movie reviews are short and to the point, as I know when I come across a long review, I tend to skip that one. I hope you enjoy your time at my House of Horror! Come on in!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

DVD Review: PENANCE (2009)

Let me start of by saying this is an amazing film. One that probably not too many people have heard of, but definitely should have. With as many Horror films as I have seen, it is not often that a film has something in it that I have never seen before. This movie did. It is not often that a movie makes me uncomfortable while watching it. This movie did. This movie is twisted and demented and I loved every single minute of it. PENANCE was produced, written, and directed by Jake Kennedy.
Here is the plot synopsis from the MVD Entertainment website:

Based on a true character, and from the award winning horror writer/director of 'Days of Darkness', and the producer of the indie horror hit 'Automaton Transfusion', comes a cautionary tale that will make you squirm and twist in your seat. With unrelenting suspense and terror, Penance is the tale of a young, demure single mother, Amelia (Marieh Delfino), who hits upon hard times and decides to take her future into her own hands and becomes a stripper. Everything is going well until Suzy, her stripper friend, is beaten up on a job and recruits Amelia to take her place. Reluctantly, Amelia takes the job, only to find the job isn't everything it seems. Driven to a strange location by a dark and mysterious man (Tony Todd), and confronted by a grizzled hit man (Michael Rooker), Amelia's world is turned upside down, as her captor (the mind bending Graham McTavish), is intent on one thing and one thing only - to purify Amelia and the other women in his incarceration.

This is one of the better movies I have watched in a long time. The film starts off fun and uplifting, with Amelia talking about why she is having to turn to stripping to pay her debts. She has a best friend that is a stripper, Suzy, that teaches her the basics. They have fun at first, but then after Suzy is beat up, Amelia realizes that this is not the life for her and swears she will not strip again. That is until Suzy offers her one last job that pays big money. Amelia can't resist the thought of being able to get out of debt, and decides to take this one last job. It was a decision that will change Amelia's life forever. She is driven to a secret location by a chauffeur played by veteran Horror actor Tony Todd. The place looks to be some sort of hospital and she soon meets the "staff", which includes another veteran Horror actor, Michael Rooker, and Graham McTavish, who plays the leader of this demented hospital staff. Amelia soon realizes that these people are not going to let here go anytime soon. She also realizes that she is not the only girl here, as there are many others who are being held captive. She witnesses first hand brutal beatings, whippings, and electrocutions being performed on the girls. Amelia attempts an escape and films the whole thing, hoping to get video evidence that she can someday use to bring these vicious people to justice. The escape attempt is seen through her camera in a first person view, that is very terrifying. Even after all the beatings, Amelia swears not to give up and to get revenge on these people.
The film is full of some great gore scenes, esp. one that the PENANCE official website says is "the most outrageously graphic scene in movie history". Now that is a huge statement, but one I cannot argue with. I can't think of any scene in any other film I have ever seen that has bothered me more. I won't go into any details, as you really must see it for yourself.
I must note here that the music is wonderful throughout the film and really sets the creepy tone for the film. The acting is wonderful as well, from all the veteran actors, to the lesser known actors such as Eve Mauro and especially Marieh Delfino, who plays Amelia. Her torture scenes are among the worst and are made to be very believable through her wonderful acting skills.

The dvd is an Unrated Director's Cut with a run time of 85 minutes, and includes the following special features:

-How to strip featurette with Eve Mauro and Marieh Delfino
-3 alternate endings
-Interviews of the cast in character
-Anatomy of a scene
-Interview with the director
-Behind the scenes Featurette
-Commentary with the director
-Commentary with the director and producer
-Deleted scenes

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for PENANCE
CLICK HERE to purchase PENANCE on dvd from Seeofsound.com
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of PENANCE


  1. Ha..yeah, this is pretty twisted. Definitely worth checking out!