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Penny Dreadful (2005)

3:46 | Trailer
Jessica and David Clausen are an upstart couple who come face to face with the Supernatural after inheriting a beautiful townhouse in New York City's West Village District.


Bryan Norton


Bryan Norton
25 wins. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Emily Vaughan ... Jessica Clausen (as Emily Vacchiano)
Sebastian La Cause ... David Clausen
Betsy Palmer ... Trudie Tredwell
Peter DuPre Peter DuPre ... Gary Stender
Jodi Kelly ... Louise
Warrington Gillette ... Donald Acquin
Tina Krause ... Marla
John Thompson John Thompson ... Trevor Acquin
Leo Geter ... Barry Simms
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eddy Trotter Eddy Trotter ... Eddie


An upstart couple from New Jersey inherit a beautiful $7 million townhouse in NYC's West Village District. Forced to sell the place because of taxes, they move in for a few months to make some renovations. But Jessica begins experiencing strange occurrences in the house: noises from downstairs, a blonde child in a red sweater looking at her from the front window, strange telephone calls in the middle of the night. Instead of being scared off, she embraces it. It's exciting living in a haunted house. Jessica figures out that what she's experienced is an event from the past. Is the house trying to tell her something? Does it hold a terrible secret? She enlists the aid of an eccentric psychic in hopes of solving the mystery. But the psychic insists the house is not haunted. Is Jessica losing her mind? All is revealed on Halloween night, when Jessica, alone in the house, wakes up in a pool of blood that is not her own.... Written by E Media Wire

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Let's Scare Jessica to Death See more »


Horror | Thriller








Release Date:

26 June 2007 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Jersey City, New Jersey, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Winner: Best Short Film Action/Cut Film Competition 2006. See more »


Jessica's shoes change from shot to shot in the opening titles sequence as she walks through the Village. See more »


David Clausen: [watching Trudie as she grabs her coat] She looks like she should counting ballots in Flordia.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Brad Norton 1956-2005 See more »

Alternate Versions

The version that premiered at Screamfest at Universal Studios in October 2005 had various extra scenes not found in the final release version:
  • a scene of Jessica riding her bike in the West Village.
  • a scene in the fashion agency where Jessica meets her boss, Marla.
  • a longer sequence the office where Jessica discusses her relationship with David.
  • a longer scene with Jessica and David in bed on the first night in the house.
  • A scene where Jessica learns she is not pregnant via a home pregnancy test.
See more »


Features The Ghost & Mrs. Muir (1968) See more »


Silent Night
Written by Joseph Mohr, John Freeman Young (as John Young) and Franz Xaver Gruber (as Franz X. Gruber)
Performed by Greenwich Village Children's Choir
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Horror Short That Stands Above the Rest
22 September 2006 | by commercial_rejectSee all my reviews

I've seen plenty of short horror films through my travels. Most are complete trash which make me ask myself "How the hell did this get distribution?" But every now and then, you come across something different, something unique. When it seems like all hope is lost and you're about to give up on movies, that gem comes along that makes the wait worth it. Walking into "Penny Dreadful", I never thought it would be anything more then another sloppy horror short. But it turned out to be that gem us horror fans so badly needed.

After her Aunt dies, Jessica (Emily Vaughan) and David (Sebastian Lacause) inherit a huge house in the upscale section of NYC. Right away, strange things start happening. Jessica is sure the house is home to some odd apparition. She brings in Psychic Trudie Tredwell (Betsy Palmer) to check things out, while David is constantly away, working. According to Trudie, the house is completely ghost-free. Regardless of the house being haunted or not, the weird happenings continue. Incredibly creepy phone calls of a woman screaming for help and Jessica waking up in a refreshingly large pool of blood, really take a toll on Jessica. It pushes her over the edge, and there may be no turning back...

The first thing I want to say about this movie, is that it puts the characters first. That's not only rare for a horror film, but for ANY modern film in general. Being a horror film, it would usually showcase the gore and violence above everything else. But there is little of both in this film. Don't get me wrong, this movie does have some nice gore shots, really good in fact. Nothing extreme to push it to splatter film status, but definitely enough to satisfy the gorehounds and gross out the chicks. There are also some extreme moments of tension here. I've watched every kind of extreme film genre there is, and even I felt a sense of dread at times. The cinematography and music were top-notch as well. I'll leave it at that, or this review will end up being 60 pages long.

Of course, the characters wouldn't have become who they are without the wisely chosen cast. The biggest attention grabber here is obviously Betsy Palmer, which any horror buff will know, played Pamela Voorhees in the ultimate slasher epic, "Friday the 13th." Although her role is brief, she does what she came to do and really adds something to the movie. Another known name in the horror community, Warrington Gillette, also stars. Gillette played the unmasked Jason in Friday the 13th Part 2. He did an outstanding job as the a-hole husband of the couple who buy the house from Jessica and David. I'm not sure who played the real estate agent, but he was a real scumbag and I loved it. Bryan has thrown in some truly REAL characters. Leading lady Emily Vaughan really made this movie something special. I hope she sticks with the craft, because I see big things for her. Oh yeah, and she's really hot too. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person. I'd also like to note Sebastian Lacause, who played the husband, starred in "Boogie Nights" as a character called "Hot Traxx Dancer." That's hands-down the greatest name ever. It has nothing to do with this movie, but it's so ridiculous that I had to say something about it.

Hollywood has lost its magic, it's up to little guys like Bryan Norton to keep that flame burning. Penny Dreadful is a ball-gripping experience that leaves a taste of blood in your mouth. This is an amazing short horror film from Bryan Norton, and I'll be waiting for his debut feature.

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