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Penny Dreadful (2006)

Young Penny goes on a retreat with her psychologist; 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.



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Cast overview:
Penny Deerborn
Orianna Volkes
The Hitchhiker
Gas Station Attendant
Lucy Rogers-Ciaffa ...
Young Penny
Penny's Mother (as Elyse Marie Mirto)
Truck Driver


Young Penny goes on a retreat with her psychologist; 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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Don't forget to breathe...

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/terror, some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 November 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ao Encontro da Morte  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Plagued with horrible weather, the cast and crew had to work through a sandstorm and several inches of snow in order to finish production. See more »


When Alvin is in the car with Mary Saunders - her bra is off in one shot and back on again in the next. See more »


The Hitchhiker: [whispering in the dark] Penny...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits appear on the misty windows of abandoned cars in a dark junkyard. See more »


References Cujo (1983) See more »


The Wrong Place
Performed by Canoe
Written by Richard Brandes, Michael Burns, Pierre Martin, Evan Brau, Steve Gurevitch
See more »

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User Reviews

The most ungrateful hitchhiker EVER!
24 May 2007 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

After reading and analyzing some negative reviews concerning this film, my wild guess is that "Penny Dreadful" turned out to be a disappointment to those who were looking forward to a movie that would desperately try to follow the "twists in the end" trend. It appears that many people are somehow disappointed by the fact that this film had an ending that wasn't complex or 'surprising' enough. In my case, however, as the film was coming to an end, I was hoping for a simple ending without an unnecessary twist. To my pleasant surprise, I got exactly what I wanted and the ending wasn't far-fetched and insulting like most horror films that are being released these days.

In "Penny Dreadful", the story is about a young girl named Penny, who has a severe fear of cars, as a result of a traumatic accident. Willing to overcome her phobia, Penny goes on a road trip with Orianna, her psychologist, as a way of overcoming her fear. During an argument, Orianna accidentally hits a hitchhiker who was walking in the middle of the road and decides to stop to help him out. When she realizes that the traveler is actually in perfect conditions, Orianna decides to give him a ride as a modest way of apologizing. Unfortunately, the hitchhiker turns out to be a raging murderer who will turn the therapeutic experience into Hell on Earth. Given the circumstances, the thing that Penny fears the most, ends up becoming her only saving shelter from the psychopath who lurks outside.

Like I stated before, one of the things that I praise the most about "Penny Dreadful", is the fact that there were several ways to turn the whole thing upside down towards the end and "shock" the audience with an ending that would make a villain out of the least expected character. "Penny Dreadful" is a very simple and yet compelling little film with an uncomplicated ending that despite of its simplicity, it still contains a small surprise that doesn't ruin the entire thing. I won't say it, of course... but there is one little surprise regarding the killer. I enjoyed this movie a lot, regardless of a few little things that I didn't quite get. For instance, I would have to point out the meaningless background story about a young folk having extramarital sex with a married woman and the old man who is aware of this act of adultery. It doesn't have any kind of connection to the story of Penny and Orianna. Perhaps the only reason why these three secondary characters appear, it's because otherwise, it would be ultimately uninteresting to see the hitchhiker and Penny throughout the entire film. Regarding the characters, I was glad to actually felt compelled to root for the good guys. These days, a lot of horror movies are released where the 'villains' are more empathetic, which leads to lack of interest for the main characters. Even though there were moments in which I felt like jumping into the screen and punch both Penny and Orianna for being so stupid, I felt empathy for the heroine of the story the whole time. I can't deny that she was a very irritating, but at the same time, I could empathize with her and I wanted her to survive, through a gruesome type of redemption.

If you're in the mood for an enjoyable film that doesn't desperately try to shock the audience with a "wonderful twist", give "Penny Dreadful" a chance. But most of all....brace yourself, put on your seat-belt and don't forget your breathing exercises, because this is going to be one hell of a ride!

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