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Penny Dreadful
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Penny Dreadful (2006)

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Plot Summary:
"Young Penny (Miner) goes on a retreat with her psychologist (Rogers); the intention is to help her overcome her phobia, an intense fear of cars. Unexpected events find her in a nightmarish situation where her worst fears come true."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 20 June 2007 My Rating: out of 5


Rachel Miner and Mimi Rogers star in this twisted tale about a car-phobic who heads off on a road trip with her psychologist to attempt to overcome her fear. The trip proves tense for Penny and turns into a living nightmare when the duo picks up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a sadistic escaped mental patient. The ladies try to escape but the mysterious hitchhiker makes it all but impossible for Penny by trapping her in the doctor’s car.

The film starts out well and benefits from a good old jump scare, courtesy of a Michael Berryman cameo, and then gets creepy with the introduction of the hitchhiker, but it stalls a little midway and doesn’t really fully recover until the climax.

When Miner and Rogers are together the film is at its best, once they are split up, Miner proves capable of carrying the film, but is forced to interact with a group of random characters who each have about two scenes, and are there purely to die in the space of five minutes and provide the audience and our protagonist with false hope. This really ruined the second act for me but the third act managed to boost proceedings.

The film’s villain is creepy and some of the stuff employed here is scary but the main focus of the film will only really be terrifying to anyone who is afraid of cars. Dumb characters and some really poor decisions stretch credibility, but the film looks great and Miner and Rogers are really good.

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