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Superior supernatural horror short
Woodyanders18 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Jessica Clausen (an excellent performance by the lovely Emily Vacchiano) and her husband David (a fine portrayal by Sebastian LaCause) inherit a beautiful New York City townhouse that turns out to be haunted. Writer/director Bryan Norton relates the absorbing story at a brisk pace, grounds the fantastic premise in a believable everyday reality, does an ace job of creating and sustaining a spooky atmosphere, delivers a decent smattering of gore, and pulls out all the pulse-pounding stops at the harrowing conclusion. Moreover, the big twist at the very end is quite clever and surprising in the way it ingeniously subverts the standard conventions of the haunted house premise. In addition, this nifty short gains considerable strength and impact from the masterful subtlety of the storytelling. The cast of familiar genre faces and affectionate nods to various horror films helps a whole lot: Tina Krause brings a winning blend of humor and spunk as Jessica's sassy gal pal Marla, Betsy Palmer excels as friendly and helpful medium Trudie Tredwell, Warrington Gilette (Jason in the second "Friday the 13th" flick) cuts an imposing figure as the murderous Donald Acquin, Peter Dupre sleazes it up well as unscrupulous real estate agent Gary Stender, and Leo Geter even pops up in a cool bit as the voice of abrasive shock jock Barry Simms. Kudos are also in order for Arthur F. Schmidt's sharp cinematography and Daniel Belardinelli's classy score. A really neat little item.
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DVD review
Scotty Valentine14 July 2007
The much hyped short "Penny Dreadful" comes to DVD finally after endless reports and tidbits posted on every horror website and magazine since 2005. But is it worth the wait? Well, the answer is YES....and no. The movie itself is a neat little thriller, so sweet and nice at first, ugly and mean spirited in it's final moments. Tech specs are top notch and the cast of genre vets, including the underrated Betsy Palmer, fill their roles with aplomb. The "no" comes in because I wanted more. A few short extras on the DVD to a 30 minute program do not a DVD make. The Betsy Palmer featurette is nice, but there are no subtitles, close captioning options or other languages to choose from. Final score: Movie :10 Final score: DVD : 7
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no way
Packymalone12 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
That ending! I never saw it coming, but it makes total sense. Better and more acceptable logically than "the Sixth Sense"...

I heard this had a "twist" ending and tried to figure it out...but my guesses we always wrong. I assumed the husband was in on the whole thing, hoping to drive Jessica insane, but the real revelation about whats happening in that house is much more clever, and i'm surprised I've never seen it done in another motion picture. Good DVD package for 10 bucks. The outtakes are hilarious and the "Making of" featurette was interesting enough to make me want to watch the movie again right after. The film certainly doesn't look like the disaster the director talks about while making it. Highly recommended if you like your movies scary, short and sweet.
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Elegant horror film
Richard Pasco24 November 2005
Synopis: Jessica and David Clausen (Emily Vaughan and Sebastian Lacause) are a young married couple that inherit a beautiful brownstone townhouse in the West Village from Jessica's long lost Aunt. The couple is shown the empty house by an estate attorney (Peter Dupre) who delivers some bad about inheritance tax on the property. Jessica and David, in short, can't keep the house. The couple do, however, move in temporarily, as the agent promises to line up a few buyers. Slowly, Jessica experiences strange occurrences in the house. Noises from downstairs, a blonde child in a red sweater (John Thompson) looking at her from the front window. Instead of being scared off, Jessica embraces it. David, too busy with medical school to care, humors her. Jessica's friend Marla (Tina Krause) dismisses her claims that the house is haunted thinking instead it's some sort of repressed guilt. But is the house trying to tell her something? She enlists the aid of Trudie (Betsy Palmer), a dotty local psychic to figure out what's happening. Review: Right at this moment, the best way for me to describe my feelings on "Penny Dreadful" is that it is cutely, immensely sad. The inclusion of "cutely" there may appear... strange. While this movie was chilling in certain parts, the ultimate feeling it conveys (to me) is some sense of a heavenly, sad and beautiful evil. And also that feeling of how separated from the rest of the world the core story is, it's like an own universe where everything is about someone passing through time in darkness. The story is complex and moving,the acting is very good (Emily Vaughan is very understated and very good in the lead role),the direction is elegant, the sets and locations perfectly fit the mood of the film. I must add that the ending is one of the most stunning and PERFECT ever,in every ways (direction,cinematography,acting,music)! To sum up: this film is sad, chilling, haunting and yes, in some ways, moving. I have read a review that criticized the film's slow pace: I, for one, especially appreciate the Director's willingness to take time to build suspense and terror. I believe that silence is an important part of a horror movie (perhaps almost every kind of movie) and it's obvious that the Director shares my appreciation for what's NOT said. What a treat this turned out to be. If you judge a movie based on blood and guts, or CGI effects, you won't care for this. This film is a much more cerebral movie, which requires multiple viewings to take it in fully
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bj_schwartz12 November 2005
I saw Penny Dreadful at its Screamfest Premiere. The film was simply a cut above.

It is rare to see a worthy story told so ably. And even more rare to see a horror film that delivers so thoroughly on its promise of scaring us moviegoers.

At the screening, there was a palpable sense of glee as "Penny" picked up steam ... This is a REAL horror movie. The full roller coaster ride that made this viewer, for one, remember why he loves the genre. (Unfortunatley there are so many movies out there that conspire to make us forget...)

So, in short: bravo! Long live the intelligent, witty, compelling horror film! I can't wait to see Mr. Norton's first feature.
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Classy DVD
Valerie Newman14 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Cinema Image's DVD of Penny Dreadful could be called something like "Supernatural Terror from the Beyond"....and for good reason. Penny Dreadful, directed by Bryan Norton, is a classic haunted house story with a twist. It is set in present day New York and the location work is incredible, with rich autumnal hues that make Greenwhich Village look postcard prefect. on top of that, the writing, acting and cinematography are all first rate. A young couple temporarily inherits a Brownstone in New York and discover it's haunted. But by what or whom?

"Penny", sporting a welcome cameo by Friday the 13th 1 and 2 alumni Betsy Palmer as an amiable psychic and Warrington Gillette as an uptight husband, is big-budget and lush and is effective enough to not rely on overt visual effects. The SFX are great, and the best part are that they don't look like FX at all. The revelation of the nature of the hauntings is a simple, excellent idea I haven't seen before. Little plot details and lines of dialog pay off and are referenced later in the film, so for once, we have a movie that doesn't cheat! All the clues are present for the viewer to figure out the final reveal. But, Norton is so skilled at letting the audience fall for his screenplay's subtle misleads, it of course makes you feel like a fool for not figuring it all out. All this capped by a nice downbeat ending (poor Jessica) and you've got something worthy of a top tier Twilight Zone episode. The only spoiler is a visual "added explanation" over the end credits that's not needed if you've been paying attention.

Good, classy work though.
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let's scare Jessica to death
georgearthuraddison10 September 2006
What a night! I attended a cast screening of the new short film Penny Dreadful last night which was a wonderful time. Betsy Palmer was on hand to sign autographs after the show as was the lovely Emily Vacchiano who plays the lead role of Jessica in the movie. Both were so nice and were willing to talk to fans. Penny Dreadful is an excellent film with good, old fashioned story telling. No flashy or slick BS thank God. Listen carefully and you can hear the 'Silver Shamrock' jingle from Halloween 3 in the background of the kitchen , which made the audience erupt with laughter, as did an wonderful in-joke about Betsy's take on dead children being mischievous. The story is good and there is a neat twist at the end that makes me want to see the movie all over again so I can pay more attention.
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DVD Review
JP58424 February 2008
Bryan Norton's Penny Dreadful (not to be confused with the Richard Brandes/After Dark Horror Fest film of the same name) is an atmospheric ghost story that doesn't reinvent the wheel but which skillfully builds through solid pacing and slick camera-work. The film follows a young couple, Jessica and David Clausen (Emily Vacchiano and Sebastian Lacause), who have moved from New Jersey into Manhattan where they take up residence in the townhouse that they've inherited in the West Village courtesy of Jessica's late aunt. The house needs a bit of work and the state is going to hit them with an inheritance tax - as such, they can't afford to keep it and so they decide to live in while they fix it up to sell.

Not long after they've moved in, however, Jessica starts hearing and seeing strange things in the night, most disturbingly, a spectral man with a shotgun roaming the hallway. She also hears things coming from downstairs and sees a small blonde boy appear in the front window. Jessica, understandably enough, begins to think that the house is haunted.

Rather than flee the home, she decides to try and figure out what they ghosts want. In order to get to the root of this she enlists the aid of an elderly woman skilled in communicating with ghosts (Betsy Palmer), but the woman swears up and down that there are no ghosts in the house at all. Jessica starts to wonder if she's losing it, until one night on Halloween, it all hits the fan...

Penny Dreadful has an ending that really pays off and makes you want to watch it all over again. Be sure to stick around through the end credits for a little extra clarification on the twist. Adding to the film is the slick cinematography and careful lighting. Norton's film is a good looking one, and a carefully shot one. The subtle camera work lets the shadows creep in and rather than bombard us with visuals of the supernatural early on, the story lets us move along with Jessica as she investigates - we never know more than she does. Performance wise things shape up fairly well with the two leads doing a fine job and with good work all around from the supporting cast.

The first extra is a commentary track courtesy of Bryan Norton and a moderator. Norton talks about the historical importance of the location shooting (Fulci fans may be impressed!) before going on to talk about problems that he ran in with his original DP. Norton covers casting and cinematography and explains how and why certain scenes were handled. Norton, a film teacher, talks about utilizing as many horror movie fans and friends into his crew as possible, as he feels it helps to use people who do not have contempt for the genre. It's an informative and well paced track that provides a detailed look at the creation of this short film. Up next is a featurette entitled Building The Bad House (11:10) begins by explaining what a penny dreadful is before taking us behind the scenes of the production while it was shooting. We see some storyboards and get some thoughts from the cast and crew members on how they feel about the project. Betsy Palmer shows up and dances an odd dance for the camera before sitting down for an interview. We see some of the green screen shots being set up and we see some of the effects work being created.
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Good, scary Halloween fun
Peter Haining5 November 2005
Every once in a while comes a little gem of a movie that catches you by surprise and you know you won't forget it.

New York City and Greenwhich Village have never been so lovely on screen as they do for the setting of this story about a haunted townhouse and the young couple who move in. The wife begins to see grisly visions of a murder that seems to have been committed there. But is the house really haunted? The story takes place in October, and you can practically taste the autumn on the screen (I took the Village haunted house tour one Halloween weekend- great fun).

Great setting, great mood. "Penny Dreadful" is a very good film indeed, but is a lot of fun for film buffs, too. There are subtle homages I noticed to other horror films ("Topper", anyone?) - some references more successful than others. Is this really the same setting as "Wait Until Dark"?

"Friday the 13th" star Betsy Palmer has a somewhat humorous role as a Trudie, a looney psychic who tries to help figure out the mystery. The supporting cast is made up of genre actors (Palmer, Gillette, Dupre, and Tina Krause) who nicely play off the attractive leads Emily Vaughan and Sebastian Lacause.

The scene with Vaughan having to crawl across broken glass will have you turning away, and there's a great bit with an shotgun totting intruder trying to break into her bedroom in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm. There is a great ending ( I wasn't expecting the twist at all) .

Perfect Halloween viewing . Sit back with your candy apple and enjoy.

***1/2 out of ****
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Pretty Good
Max Albright24 November 2005
Penny Dreadful: written and Directed By Bryan Norton. Starring Emily Vaughan, Sebastian Lacause, Tina Krause, Peter Dupre and Betsy Palmer. Screenin Date: Oct 26, 2005

***1/2 out of **** stars

'Penny Dreadful' is old fashioned haunted house movie that will most probably please connoisseurs of the genre. While it hardly breaks new ground, the film is at times funny, scary and violent. There are subtle references to other films, such as "Don't Look Now" and "The Haunting of Julia". Betsy Palmer (Mrs. Voorhees from the original Friday the 13th) comes to investigate a seemingly haunted New York City townhouse inherited by a handsome couple Jessica and David Clausen(Emily Vaughn and Sebastian Lacause). Is the house possessed or is poor Jessica losing her mind from repressed guilt of a secret abortion from years before? Just when you think you've figured it out, you haven't. The acting, score and cinematography are first rate.
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A treat for horror fans
Kenshiro Otanaka17 November 2005
Penny Dreadful is a somewhat simple ghost story with some very unique twists. What makes the film so charming though, is the gathering of many horror icons, like Betsy Palmer as a doddery old psychic, Peter Dupree as a sleazy real estate agent, and Warrington Gillette. Tina Krause also shows up, but has no nude scenes, which lowered the rating of the film marginally.

Also, since it's a short, it doesn't suffer from the usual slow plodding found in most ghost stories.

One aspect that makes PD unique, is the reaction of the main character when she realizes that her and her husband are living in a "haunted house". Instead of the usual freaking out and every one assuming she's crazy, she's excited by the aspect of living with ghosts and embraces it. Very different.

An overall well crafted film.
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Subversive Haunted House movie
spcotter1314 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Penny Dreadful follows the exploits of Jessica and David, a newly married couple whose new house has all the trappings of a classic haunted house. When dark figures appear in the night and the power refuses to work properly, it soon becomes clear that we're back in Amityville Horror territory. And who's that young boy who smiles at Jessica from her front window, then promptly vanishes into thin air? After much skulking about in the dark witnessing strange visions and the intervention of a dotty medium, an answer is provided in the final moments; after Jessica suffers a nervous breakdown, a new family moves in and its all revealed to have been events witnessed psychically in advance by poor Jessica.

Director Bryan Norton does a commendable subverting the clichéd and old hat premise, always letting the audience think they're ahead of the game. Norton mounts one or two quite creditable, if minor, shock scenes, and it must be said though that ending is a genuine shock.
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Penny Dreadful....really Isn't
movieguy11a16 January 2007
This little film really caught me off guard. I couldn't believe this was a student low budget film. The quality is excellent and very very well made.

The director of this film has a bright future ahead of him and I cant wait to see what else he comes up with. \ Betsy Palmer is wonderful as Trudie the psychic and even though his part isn't a big one it was great to see another Friday veteran Warrington Gillette again after an all too long absence from films.

This film deserves all the attention it can get. Don't miss this one and pay close attention to ALL the details.
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An amazing short film that plays like a big one!
jay-newton4 January 2007
Using a "haunted brownstone" in NYC sets the stage for one of the most delightful films you can see. If you like good ol' scary films with sustained horror, get this one. It has everything - a scary old house, ghosts and some fun special bloody effects. It also has veteran actor Betsy Palmer. who, incidentally, chews up the scenery. The rest of the casting is first-rate, so who can ask for more? Not only is this film thoroughly entertaining, it is made by a young director who Hollywood should be charting. Bryan Norton is extremely talented, and PENNY DREADFUL is a film that is a roller-coaster ride into the Twilight Zone complete with screams and chills. This is a director who does what he does best - DIRECT! You will be on the edge of your seat throughput. See it!!! J. Newton
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This House Possessed
Winchester73-112 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I love the haunted house genre. Amityville, Poltergeist, The Haunting- you name it. Now here comes a little movie called "Penny Dreadful" in Screamfest LA's film festival at Universal Studios.

Sure, it's another film about a stupid white couple that move into a haunted house, but so what? It works. Mysterious phone calls? Check. Spooky children? Check.

Power outage in the middle of a dark and stormy night? Check. It's all here. But so is Betsy Palmer doing her best Madame Arcati impression as a Greenwhich Village fortune teller.

Kudos for keeping it fast moving and for adding a sense of fun to the proceedings. Incidentally, however, I do remember an old Twilight Zone that had a similar ending, but this film is well done and scary so I don't mind.
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Dreadful Places
Dennis Etchinson26 November 2005
For the record, PENNY DREADFUL is a literary term defined as: A sensational novel of crime, violence, or horror. The term is an English archaism referring to cheaply printed books bound in paper at only a few pennies' cost. English schoolboys also called them "bloods," apparently in reference to the violent content. The equivalent term in American slang is "dime-novel," again referring to the cheap price, or "pulp fiction," referring to the cheap wood-pulp pressed to make the paper. ...

PENNY DREADFUL the film looks hardly cheap with its classy production values and decidedly non trashy approach to horror. While using the term PENNY DREADFUL as the title for this above average haunted house chiller seems a bit of a stretch, it still remains a fairly effective short movie.

1950's glamour gal Betsy Palmer puts in a nice cameo as a fortune teller sent to the house to help the young couple who've inherited it. Good to see her still out there.
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Best in Showcase
AddisonDe3 November 2005
Scary and fun movie. And very smart film-making that transcends the conventions of the haunted house genre.

"Penny Dreadful" was hands down the best film in the "Screamfest L.A." lineup that I caught in October. The film, about an attractive couple inheriting a haunted house, is well written and directed, and the twist ending, for once, actually seems to make total sense.

The cast is great, especially the one and only Betsy Palmer in a fun role where she's (wisely) allowed to steal the scenes right from under her younger co-stars feet. The atumnal New York City locations are a real plus. The ending is surprisingly gory and very violent, considering how subdued the rest of the film is.

If you can't catch this at a festival, try tracking down a DVD. I understand that Fangoria TV has picked up the film for Broadcast and it is getting put on 2 or 3 different DVD compilations. Would make a great remake for a feature.
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DVD review 'Penny Dreadful"
Joe Horror2 August 2007
When it comes down to reviewing a film you've got sit down and look at more than a few things. Were all the characters developed thoroughly, was the story interesting – original, the logic of the film and its situations, etc. In a regular 90 minute film, it's hard to get all of this in and get it right on the money. In a short film, it's much worse. Instead of a full hour and a half or more, you now have less than an hour to put all of these elements – or at least a few of them – and still have everything turn out to well. Upon sitting down to review Penny Dreadful I knew five things, one this was a short film, two it had a lot of rave reviews from festivals and online sites alike, three it was a ghost story, four there was another film out there sharing the same title and five; it had Betsy Palmer in it. Other than that, my mind was pretty much a clean slate. The film starts off with our main character Jessica, along with her husband, has just inherited a house her aunt left them in her estate. Due to some taxing law in the state of New York they cannot keep the house and have to sell it but decide to live there while waiting for it to come off the market. While in the house Jessica starts to see apparitions of the paranormal kind and immediately decides the home is haunted. Dismissing the spirit of that of just a playful child Jessica soon begins to unravel a mystery of dire consequences leading to the story's shocking conclusion. I was surprised after watching this one. I heard many mixed things about it and most that were going in the film's favor say it worked as a short. Me, I think it needed a lot more fleshing out. The story was more than interesting, the characters were likable and the acting was above average. This film just screamed to be longer but only clocked in at under a half an hour. I liked the film for what it was but could see a lot more being done with it. The entire film felt too rushed and Betsy Palmer's character was underused. All of the film's characters seemed like there were underused. Everyone could've been built on more as well as the film's story. But I have to commemorate the filmmakers for doing their best on the short film as the final product is no schlep of a film, it's actually rather good. One would not complain a short film was too short if they didn't like what they saw and wanted to see more. I'm sure you have figured that out on your own though there haven't you? Yeah, you smart ass. Anyways, the film works in the areas it's supposed to. It manages to hold onto the viewer and keep a firm icy grasp within its short running time. I could imagine this happening even if the film was longer because as I said, in its short run – it is a very well done, creepy little film. My only real complaint, aside from it being too short, was the lack of use of Betsy Palmer's character. She's only in the film for a better time of 5 minutes or so then is quickly rushed off screen while everyone else continues on. Not that anyone else in the film was bad; I just felt that Betsy's character could have been used more in the story. One of the major things I have to point out in this film was the way it was shot. It looks so much like an old school Canadian horror film from back in the 70's its amazing. From what I understand this is what the director of the film was going for and I must address that they pulled that off and with flying colors to boot. The film builds up a lot of suspense in its shots of the long dark hallways, in the empty rooms as Jessica explores the house after hearing strange noises for the first time. All of it fits together very nicely and works well. Penny Dreadful is no classic film by any means, but it never tries to be. All it ever tries to do is be a smart and original ghost story with one hell of a twist which it pulls off wonderfully. Director Bryan Norton is now a well known horror fan who manages to incorporate several of horror's biggest franchise stars, hey where else can you see the original Mrs. Voorhees in the same film as the first man to play her grown son? That's what I thought.
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Dreadful? Not at all!
StanleyHebert8 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Penny Dreadful

This movie is a real hoot. first off, there seems to be a few folks out there with sour grapes about this film- probably the people who keep losing to it on the festival circuit. There is no way you can say this film isn't well done.

i've seen it twice and I'm still gonna buy the DVD. It's scary in all the right places and has a wicked sense of humor that is refreshingly not all "wink wink" (depsite the appearances of horror folks like Betsy Palmer) like we get nowadays.

The finale hits hard because the film suddenly gets very bloody and has a sick shotgun to the face scene that made the audience scream out loud followed by a whopper twist. Definitely an excellent little film to watch out for.
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The ending
dukasbill28 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Penny Dreadful, starring Mrs. Voorhees from Friday the 13th (Betsy Palmer) in a supporting role:

#1 is a very good movie.

#2 It actually is scary.

#3 Has a neat twist ending that makes you want to see the movie again.

I wont re-hash the plot like others have done on this site. The ending.....OK...some people have said that they don't get the ending of this movie! Are you insane???? Are you blind? It's perfectly clear....even without the final newspaper montage that hits you over the head with it. Finally heres a movie that doesn't pander....and some people still don't pay enough attention. The kid in the red sweater in the window? The second time you see him? Hello!
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Good Movie
David Cohn Curtis16 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Penny Dreadful is well paced film involving a haunted house scenario and looking and feeling like one of the better episodes of the Hammer House Of Horror TV series. Jessica Clausen (Emily Vacchiano) is having trouble settling down in her new house. Blood keeps turning up everywhere, there's a spooky child in the window, and she keeps hearing noises during the night, eerie phonecalls of a screaming woman. Then, in a spectacular "whoah!" moment, a man brandishing a shotgun walks silently up the stairs and tries to break into her bedroom before vanishing. Thinking she must be experiencing a haunting, she calls in a medium (Betsy Palmer) - but the medium can't sense anything. What's going on...? Not only is this a genuinely disturbing movie, it also has a great twist ending and a really nasty death at the end, which wouldn't look out of place in an Italian gore movie. Penny Dreadul is worth seeing for this bit alone...Intelligent and well done with a neat cast full of genre players past and present.
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Horror Short That Stands Above the Rest
commercial_reject22 September 2006
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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Penny Dreadful ROCKS!
felixfelix300026 October 2006
I have seen a LOT of films this year, and I just have to say, Penny Dreadful is in the top 5. It's a very cool story with directing that's off the charts. Director Bryan Norton (NYU) throws it down with fury and power, as this 30 minute short rips you apart inside. And this film also marks the triumphant return of Betsy Palmer (Jason's Mother, Friday the 13th) to the horror film genre. When she hits the screen, you are RIVETED! The camera work is smooth, the editing is clear, the acting is stellar, but it's the directing that really makes this whole piece work. Norton really knows what he wants and how to get it from his actors. With grace, poise, and yes, even yelling! All in all, Penny Dreadful is a must see for any fan who likes to be pulled into a film. Scary, full of wonder, and very, very slick. Nice job.
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Bruce Windsor25 February 2006
I just watched a submitted screener DVD of this film for our upcoming film festival this year. Checking the IMDb page, I can't for the life of me understand why it has the mediocre rating it does (17 people have given it the lowest score?). The comments that people have taken the time to write have all been extremely positive- so what gives? Nobody that gave the film the low rating dared to write anything, which makes me assume that they have obviously NOT seen it. People give bad scores just to drop a film's rating for whatever reason. There's absolutely no way, after seeing this film, that someone could say that Penny Dreadful isn't a scary movie. It's well paced, looks and sounds great and avoids all the sub-par visual BS that recent releases have to offer. It even beats out many of the current Master's of Horror episodes we've screened lately. Come see it at this year's Hollywood Scarefest.
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Find this film!
Lynn Johsnon16 February 2006
"Penny Dreadful," is beautifully photographed film about a gorgeous young couple (Emily Vacchiano and Sebastian LaCause) living in a New York City townhouse haunted by the specter of a deranged killer, played the Screamfest Festival in Hollywood a few months ago and was by far the best film there. A truly unsettling tale that unfolds at a perfectly creepy pace and boasts a simple but surprising twist ending. The piece moves deliberately as the lovely young wife slowly unravels after moving into a new house, experiencing violent hallucinations of a murdered family. It's a downbeat, gory and well told film that provided the only real chills of the set of films presented in the showcase.
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