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- Genres: Mystery / Horror / Thriller /
- Year: 2009
- Country: USA
- Cast: Marieh Delfino: Amelia, Graham McTavish: Geeves, Alice Amter: Eve, Jason Connery: John, Valorie Hubbard: Kathy, Lochlyn Munro: Jack, Allison Lange: Tara, Michael Rooker: Mann, Tony Todd: Chauffuer, James Duval: Guy, Eve Mauro: Suzie, Sita Young: Molly, Katherine Randolph: Polly, Garrett Jones: Will, Tracy Coogan: Nat, Morann Peri: Lisa, Alexis Wolfe: Lydia, Chris Ivan Cevic: Pete, Nathalie Walker: Fran, Jake Kennedy: Cop,
- Storyline: Penance stars Marieh Delfino as an exotic dancer who goes out for her first job and finds herself in the clutches of a maniacal doctor (Graham McTavish). The genre-friendly cast also includes Tony Todd, Michael Rooker, Jason Connery, Zombie Honeymoon's Tracy Coogan and Wicked Lake’s Eve Mauro.
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He played his role well of a psycologically disturbed man who twists morality, righteousness, and penance to teach a lesson to the women that chose to sell their body.
There's a few people swiftly introduced, a little bit of nudity (hey, I'm not THAT shallow but it certainly doesn't harm a horror film to have some gratuitous nudity now and again if there's not much else going on) and then a move towards something a bit untoward and creepy. A Saw copycat, yes, in some ways. This leads her to take a very, strange, well-paid job that turns into something quite sinister and could very well be the last thing she ever does, all thanks to the twisted client (Graham McTavish) who thinks of himself as a saviour giving these poor, morally unsound, women a final shot at redemption. Granted, some of the torture methods are quite gruesome and bloody, overall this is a pure waste of time.Rated R: Graphic Violence, Full Nudity and Graphic Language. Certainly not an original plot, but the film was decent enough for viewership. Cue lots of gratuitous nudity, pointless cameos from horror icons, dumb plot development, vaginal mutilation, self-castration, and more nudity.Penance's use of the found footage gimmick is totally implausible, the story painfully dumb, the supposedly tense action absolutely laughable, and the violence disappointing (although nasty in concept, the gore is not that graphic), but Marieh Delfino kept me entertained throughout, albeit on the most basic of levels. The acting was alright by a mostly anonymous cast.Michael Rooker's character should have been predominantly featured as the character hadn't been seen in most of the film. Add another review. The tactic makes the usual point of such films, watching the torture methods and the abundant nudity nearly impossible to determine because of the inane manner of narrating over everything, twisting it to odd angles or positions in order to avoid being caught in such a precarious moment, which only highlights the film's biggest blunder of all in the fact that no one in their right mind would be filming during such activities and their decided inability to remove it from them to begin with and you have a pretty egregious set of flaws just from the set-up. It's also another in an increasingly-popular line of "found footage" films so stay away if you dislike that particular trend.Written and directed by Jake Kennedy, Penance starts off as something not too bad.
Only simpletons with an attention span disability will call this torture porn. But what I had forgotten about was the power of a fit bird in the raw to make almost anything worthwhile...As part of her audition tape for a TV game-show, the usually reserved Amelia agrees to help her stripper pal Suzie (Eve Mauro) entertain a group of stags at a party; let's just say that this girl was built to strip! From that moment on, Penance becomes pure trash entertainment: after Suzie is given a black eye by a customer, Amelia reluctantly stands in for her friend on a highly paid job for a special client, a decision that results in the poor girl's incarceration at a disused asylum where she is subjected to torture by Geeves, a religious zealot who has dedicated his life to purifying the souls of strippers. Plus, this is yet another effort that must be downgraded for the inclusion of twisted religious reasoning since this makes no sense why the tactics must be undertaken and you have absolutely no interest beyond the nudity to watch this, which isn't that excellent since none of the ones who should are the ones that do. The one nasty highlight, involving McTavish talking directly to the camera while performing a squirm-inducing act of self-mutilation, ends up teetering into comedy because the dialogue being spoken is just so amateurish and stupid.Who knew that a film all about a bunch of strippers being tortured and forced to see the error of their ways could be so dull? This kind of thing was all done so much better, and fearlessly, by Jess Franco many years ago. There is torture, and largely the film involves a very psychologically disturbed person seeking revenge through torture.So, psychological torture horror with some gore, yes. Penance is all about a woman (Marieh Delfino) who desperately needs to raise some cash and so turns to her friend, who is a stripper, and learns how to bust the moves that will earn her some cash. Sadly, when it should all really kick into gear it just gets boring and preposterous.The biggest problem, and one that often besets films of this type, is that you just can't believe someone would keep filming under such stressful circumstances. Especially when there are moments with the main character setting up mechanisms she hope will later help her to escape.Tony Todd pops up for a completely useless cameo, Michael Rooker is sadly underused and the film spends most of it's time with people who can't improve the weak material with their delivery. In fact, it makes me wonder if I would have enjoyed The Blair Witch Project more if Heather Donahue had only thrown caution to the wind and flipped out her norks.... You can give it a look though, but if you have a better film to watch, you should slip that in instead.
Shot in documentary style, we are taken into a dark world that crosses between stripper life, trickery, and dark religion.A redeeming quality of the film is how it gave the impression that certain risks aren't worth the reward and that desperation can bring us to threatful situations. Filling in for a friend on a stripping job, a young woman finds she's captured by a deranged madman intended to purify similar women for their sins and is tortured to achieve those results.Yet another utterly retarded Torture Film here, only this one made all the more infuriated with the inclusion of the "Found Footage" moniker, so it's pretty much what would happen if "Paranormal Activity" did the "Saw" series, and that only spells disaster for all involved due to the inability to see anything going on because the camera's shaking too much. But that's far too simple to capture what's going on here. This film lures its viewers down into an graphic and disgusting abyss around the role of being a stripper, and attempts to terrify strippers and pre-strippers away from the lifestyle. \n \n Industry information at your fingertipsOver 200,000 Hollywood insidersEnhance your IMDb PageGo to IMDbPro »Own the rights? Probably best compared to a combination of Saw and the Killing Room. I'm as sick and tired of predictable torture flicks and found footage films as the next horror fan, and so Penancewhich 'cleverly' combines these two tired sub-genres to create the 'found torture footage' sub-sub-genrehardly sounded like it was going to deliver much of interest to this particular jaded viewer.Indeed, after just a few minutes of wobbly Blair Witch-style nonsense, during which attractive young mother Amelia Wallis (Marieh Delfino) prattles in front of a video camera about her love of Topanga Canyon, her job at a centre for battered women, and her daughter, I was itching to switch off. This film is also not for the weak at heart and gets very graphic.All in all, I'll write it off as nothing special. I'm starting to wonder if there's a group of people out there who simply go around labeling stuff torture porn to turn people off from otherwise excellent films (such as Martyrs).It does have some nasty scenes, but more is left to the imagination than is shown, so that kills the porn element. A very well thought out story. .
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