• Penumbra
    2 minutes 46 seconds
    Added: Apr 11, 2012

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Penumbra Reviews

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January 7, 2013
Penumbra (The Bogliano Brothers, 2011)

The Argentinian thriller Penumbra shares some of the same problems as Chilean thriller Baby Shower, which I reviewed recently. Specifically, this is a movie that starts off slow, slow, slow, which seems to be a common thread among South American movies that style themselves horror (q.v. The Silent House review from a couple of years ago as well). But whereas Baby Shower just kept getting worse as time went on, Penumbra morphed into a fun, if not terribly original, little picture once the pace picked up.

Marga (L'auberge Espagnol's Cristina Brondo) and Ana (voice of Dr. Hell's Ana Lunaâ"we only ever experience Ana via Marga's cell phone) are Spanish sisters who inherited a loft apartment eight years previous. It's located in Argentina, where the two spend two months every year for business purposes, and because of the bad neighborhood, they consider it unrentable. Out of the blue, though, Marga is contacted by Jorge (Berta Muñiz from the Plaga Zombie franchise), acting as an agent for someone who feels the apartment will be perfect for his needs, despite the fact that he can afford a great deal better. That's the first thing that sets alarm bells off in Marga's head, but being the greedy, generally nasty person she is (there's an early scene of her tasering and berating a panhandler that sets the tone of her personality). She meets Jorge and Victoria (Chiquitas' Camila Bordonaba), who identifies herself as his driver, at the apartment, and the three settle in to wait for the new owner, Mr. Salva (The Fish Child's Arnaldo Andrà (C)), to come and sign some papers. Time drags on, and more alarm bells start going off in Marga's head as things get weirderâ"but her desperation to get the apartment off her hands keeps her there.

There's a lot of interesting stuff in here about class warfare (not only in the panhandler bit, but more subtly in the way Marga treats the elderly neighbor from the second floor), as well as some other incisive commentary on other things I really can't get into without spoilery bits; suffice to say that if you like social commentary in your thrillers, you don't have to dig too far down in this one without running across some. But it's all handled very well. At no point do the Bros. Bogliano stop the plot for a âbut now, here's an IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT RACISM!â? moment, which is a very good thing indeed. I'm not entirely sure the movie ever quite gels the way it's supposed to, and a lot of people absolutely hated the last five minutes (I'm not one of them, though I do admit the whole thing felt kind of like a shaggy-dog joke when we hit that last bit. But then, I love shaggy-dog-joke movies; the original Ocean's Eleven is one of my favorite films of all time), so keep that in the back of your head. But it's some good stuff, nothing you should spend months/years tracking down but worth a watch if you happen upon it at Redbox. ***
May 28, 2012
What a fucking awful movie, I'm not sure that I've ever heard so much utterly pointless dialogue in my life.
April 20, 2012
Hmmm... at first I wrote this off but on second thought, it's kind of intriguing in a "B movie" sort of way.
April 22, 2012
Karma can be a bitch and Brondo proves that she can play one very well in the role of Marga. The mood jumps around quite a bit with humor, suspense, mystery, psychological aspects and a splash of violence.
April 16, 2012
Penumbra offers us a decent mystery that has no question as to what happened, nor why these people did what they did.

Plot is vague and seen it in other films that had the same cliche story, but non the less in this Spanish interpretation is fairly interesting.

Christina Brodo character can be easily hated; because, of how she comes about, but I rather found her rather interesting. Especially her character that is a bitch, and you know what they say about Karma. Its a bitch. Non the less her performance was great, we barely see a women carry the film very coherently and efficiently.

Overall Penumbra is not nothing original or spectacular, but Brodo carries the film fairly good, and I was not expecting the ending at all, it also had some decent tension. Decent flick, but don't go in expecting much, though.
April 25, 2012
This was AWFUL. I love horror, mystery, suspense movies of all kind and this was a giant fail. It led up to NOTHING. Climax at the end was so dumb. Don't waste your time. They talk for an hour and a half and then it just ends. SO BAD. Watch anything else.
April 15, 2012
Esta cinta no ha sido muy bien calificada pero en lo personal me gustó y mucho. Primero, la española Cristina Brodo sale espectacular en esta producción argentina. Luego, pienso que es una trama interesante, muy al estilo de un clásico cuento de terror de finales de los 70s, aunque el resto del elenco pudo haber actuado mejor, el guión cumplió con mis expectativas. Muy recomendada.
April 18, 2012
zzzzzzzzz I've only seen this plot about 20 times before. Come on Hollywood, hire some good writers and get some new plots.
April 18, 2012
Probably the worst movie i've ever seen...
Rick R.
April 17, 2012
Surprisingly good. Great performance by Cristina Brodo as the tough as nails would-be landlord. Just when you think you know where it's headed, Penumbra takes some interesting plot twists to keep you guessing.
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