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The Pit and the Pendulum (2009)

Seven students answer an advertisement to participate in an experiment to explore how the sensation of pain can be eliminated. Arriving at a secluded institute, they are welcomed by ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
JB Divay
Danielle Demski ...
Alicia's Ex-Boyfriend
Alan Divay
Dimitri Divay


Seven students answer an advertisement to participate in an experiment to explore how the sensation of pain can be eliminated. Arriving at a secluded institute, they are welcomed by mysterious scientist JB Divay. Initially, JB's fascination with hypnosis, clocks and cactus plants are dismissed by the group as mere eccentricities. But as the students begin to disappear one by one, they begin to question JB's true intentions. In a final showdown, plucky Jason confronts JB over her deranged practices only to discover boyfriend Kyle strapped to a table beneath JB's final experiment, inches away from the razor's edge... Written by Talos

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Horror | Thriller

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Release Date:

24 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


JB Divay: [to Trevor and Vinnie] All right, boys - strip. You're going to wrestle.
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References Lady Frankenstein (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Can it be?
27 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A David Decoteau movie that's actually quite good? I wouldn't rate it as high as it is on here, I'd give it a 6, maybe a six and a half, but because this is a real improvement on David's last few movies I'll be generous and give a 7. But really, it's a six.

Anyhoo - all the usual Decoteau elements are here: buff guys, one location (same one that was used in his House of Usher and Alien Presence - he must shoot them back to back), non-existent budget, blue hues etc. Big difference though are two things: good story and a much better cast.

The story is straight out of Amicus. A screw-loose hypnotist invites a bunch of extreme sports enthusiasts (including a storm chaser - wtf?) to a mansion where she bumps them off one by one. She tries to hypnotize them to break the pain barrier, because apparently she feels no pain and wants to create someone just like her, because she's lonely and obviously mad. Gender isn't important - she tries it on with the chicks too. The movie is full of references to anything to do with time (pendulum, hypnosis, got that?) and pain (she has a thing for cactuses) There's also a ton of really wacko dialog: "The plural of cactus is cacti!" she growls at the deep sea diving lesbian (yes you read that right) and pretty much everything that comes out of the cute blond storm chaser guy's mouth is a hoot ("a tower of wind connecting the earth and the sky!"). The lines these characters come up with are really something else.

The kills are standard Decoteau - nothing bloody, but there is a modicum of suspense, mostly because some of these characters you actually want to survive, especially the lesbians. They get the best lines. Did I forget to mention that most of the characters are gay/lesbian/bisexual? Well it was cool that none of them made a point/issue of this. Would it be like that in this homophobic world we live in? No. But hey.

The cast is a cut above Decoteau's norm. Lorielle New is %100 ham and holds the movie. I think the whole budget must have gone on her wardrobe, with some loose change to buy the giant pendulum. Danielle Demski (Miss Arizona apparently) and Amy Paffrath (from Evil Bong 2) are cute drunk girls who ditch their boyfriends for each other - they're also good. The rest of the cast (all male) don't get to do much except take their clothes off, no surprise there. The wrestler guys - Tom Sandoval (from Puppet Master 10) and Michael King, (serious hottie) apart from having as much charisma as the lesbians, have a very weird scene, where they roll around on the floor for five minutes while the mad hypnotist writhes naked in a chair with a whip! Oh yeah and Greg Sestero from The Room has a cameo - more weirdness.

It's all schlocky, but there's some cool story lines going on that keep you intrigued and the cast do a good job keeping you entertained. There's hardly a slo-mo scene in sight, no filler or pointless shots of scenery, not even an extended shower scene, which is what a lot of Decoteau's previous movies have been full of.

Basically, this is an Amicus throwback - crazy dialog, weird characters and a fun contribution from the cast. It kept me entertained. More of this please, David.

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