16 user 21 critic

Penance (2009)

A young mother decides to become a stripper to earn some fast cash, only to find her worst nightmares are about to begin.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sleazy party guy
Suzie - Sassy
Garrett Jones ...
Corridor prisoner


A young mother decides to become a stripper to earn some fast cash, only to find her worst nightmares are about to begin.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He Made Them Pay For Their Sins


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Release Date:

30 May 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Devil's Dungeon  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first cut of this film ran two hours and fifteen minutes long. See more »


When Mann points the gun at Will it's a Beretta 92f then when Mann takes the camera and shoots Will it's a different gun and then right after the gun changes back to the Beretta 92f. See more »

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User Reviews

Great horror with ideas
17 February 2016 | by See all my reviews

We are told that what we are about to see are tapes found at a hospital for the criminally insane. Uh huh, that's not good.

Next we meet a girl named Amelia, talking to the camera. She's actually applying for an extreme life makeover show. She's a got a kid with some disease that eventually will end up costing tons of money to treat, she's in debt already, and her job, to report abuses at a woman's shelter, doesn't pay much. She gets a friend of hers to "film everything." Another friend, Suzie, offers to help her gain some confidence in herself. But Suzie is a stripper so her little course involves... stripping among other things so she even convinces Amelia to give stripping a try for some fast easy cash. At first it works out alright for Amelia. One day Suzie calls her over, she's been beat up. Amelia is outraged and wants to document it to report it but Suzie doesn't want to. Instead she suggests Amelia take her place in a stripping job that pays $3000. Amelia reluctantly accepts.

She's picked up in a limo, driven to a secret location where she meets two other girls. They do a strip audition in front of an unknown and unseen guy. Next they are offered champagne and faint. They wake up in locked cells. There are lots of other girls locked up in rooms as well. A foreign woman attends to them and zaps them with a taser whenever they misbehave. Finally, the obligatory Brit in formal military clothes (?) interrogates Amelia. He wants to know if she's a stripper, which she denies claiming it's all a misunderstanding. She's beaten until she admits it.

In the meantime, we learn that the Brit is on a mission to purify the girls, to rid them of sin. They have to pass 3 tests if they want to make it out alive, that's aside from the punishments they have to endure. In the process he will take out their "fun parts." And in all this, he too, is purifying himself so he thinks, and he even walks the walk by removing his own fun parts. At last Amelia decides to take charge of the situation and will attempt to make it out alive after enduring a lot of suffering.

I despise lost footage movies; the characters are always stupid and insufferable, the story cheap and basic, the dialogue moronic, the shaky cam is obnoxious and to top it off you always get lousy green nightvision. But Penance is different. The POV format doesn't distract and the video quality is good, that is until the setting changes to the hospital. Then suddenly audio becomes useless. Apparently they recorded audio live and it led to a lot of echo and very little clarity. On top of that, the character of the foreign woman speaks with such a heavy accent I couldn't make out anything she said. Video suffers also in this setting, it get's darker, grainier, colors get greener. But aside from that the story is excellent, apparently based on reality. The villain's justification goes even deeper than what I described and I enjoyed the rich story which is unusual for horror movies that don't bother to justify the villain's actions or why on earth someone is filming everything, but here it all has a good explanation.

Very enjoyable is also the cast, all the girls are gorgeous and there's plenty of nudity. Usually movies that deal with torture try to clean things up by avoiding nudity, but fortunately not Penance. But it's the lovely Marieh Delfino who steals the show, a natural beauty with a natural body who is also an outstanding actress. Makes no sense that this girl hasn't gotten more work. Eve Mauro also does a great and hot job as always.

I wasn't expecting much from Penance, but it's a very strong horror movie.

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