Penance Lane – USA, 2020 – overview and reviews

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[Total: 5   Average: 2.4/5]

‘You will pay for their sins’

Penance Lane is a 2020 American horror feature film about a hardened criminal who takes a job in a creepy old house on the titular lane.

Directed by Péter Engert [as Peter Engert] from a screenplay written by Munier Sharrieff, the movie stars Scout Taylor-Compton (Star Light; The Lurker; Ghost House; et al), Tyler Mane (Abnormal Attraction; Rob Zombie’s Halloween and sequel; The Devil’s Rejects), John Schneider (Demons; Smothered; Snow Beast) and Daniel Roebuck (Wild Boar; 3 from Hell; Dead Night).

Plot:

Crimson Matthews (Tyler Mane), a violent ex-convict, hopes he’s found a path to redemption by odd-jobbing on Penance Lane. However, Matthews’ work leads him to unearth an unspeakable evil and discover just how far a dying town will go to bury its past…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“To its credit, Penance Lane makes an asset of its overly active plot, and the pacing is such that the film is rarely dull. At a time when the horror market is clogged with lazy junk that doesn’t put forth a bare minimum of effort, Engert and Sharieff’s ambition to overachieve makes for a refreshing change of pace.” 1428 Elm

” …Penance Lane seems as though it was doomed to mediocrity from day one. However, its cast never say die and fight until the very end, providing an experience that, while not particularly memorable, is at least survivable for its succinct run time.” Cryptic Rock

“Someone needs to tell them that Crimson isn’t the cool name they think it is or that portraying the top-billed woman as hopelessly helpless is terribly outdated. More simply, someone just needs to dare speak the words not often heard on a low-budget film set, “let’s try another take.” Culture Crypt

“The action, pacing, and horror all go up a notch or three and really never let up until the film is over. I liked that Penance Lane was not a typical horror film – similar in that respect to, Compound Fracture. There are layers to the story – some may seem familiar – but overall the film is interesting.” Eclectic Arts

“While not completely delivering on its grindhouse ambitions, Penance Lane mixes that old chestnut of the “creepy house at the end of the block” with the familiar “family of mutants” horror movie trope and produces an unclean and creepy B-movie funhouse.” Film Threat

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“Though some moments in the film seemed choppy or not quite fleshed out, there are solid elements to the film. Among the frenzied plot and characters that amble down Penance Lane, we see nuggets of golden originality. Any inconsistencies or details that are not addressed are not enough to bring down the film thanks to the innovative plot and enjoyable cast.” Horror Buzz

Penance Lane travels a well trod road indeed. We have a dilapidated house full of mystery (a tradition since ye olde Gothic age), a town well aware of the darkness descending, and a stormy individual with an outsider’s soul thrust balls deep into said shenanigans… it’s all well done, but we have seen most of this material before.” Horror Fuel

“Peter Engert’s Penance Lane is a fun and silly ride that leaves the viewer satisfactorily entertained. It is no work of art, but it doesn’t need to be. Not every film has to move the needle forward and sometimes clear-cut amusement is sufficient for success…” Killer Horror Critic

“Despite my only gripe of the film being this emphasis on this male empowerment masculinity, I truly enjoyed it. It may have been the science experiment creatures and the level of violence but this film reminded me a bit of Incident in a Ghostland. Even though these films are vastly different, I got strong vibes that reminded me of the latter.” Nightmarish Conjurings

“The story of Penance Lane could have been a lot of things with just a few changes. It could easily be a straight action film in the vein of Steven Seagal’s Fire Down Below, or […] Hostel. A story with just a little more meat on its bones and the cast will help the movie stand out a little from its peers, but the rest of the quality is below the standards for mass appeal.” Red Carpet Crash

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“Director Peter Engert does a nice job of trying to balance the varied elements of Penance Lane, succeeding most often in the dramatic portrayals from his lead cast members but also delivering a good deal of tension. Penance Lane has four writing credits, and the film feels like it. That is, rather than a singular or evenly commonly shared vision, it feels more like a “too many cooks” scenario…” The Scariest Things

“There is a good bit of action in the beginning then things settle down for a but before the action picks back up and lasts until the credits begin to roll. After the opening sequence the film and some of the characters are not who you think they are. The more the film moves along the more surprised and disturbed you may become.” Video Views

“Granted, Penance Lane doesn’t have the most logical of plots. But it makes up for it with plenty of action. That includes an epic fight that resembles a wrestling match, possibly another nod to They Live. There’s also a couple of twists I didn’t see coming and a performance by Schneider that reminded me of a villain on the Batman TV show. And I mean that in a good way.” Voices from the Balcony

“Outside of some impressive performances from former wrestlers, Dukes of Hazzard veteran John Schneider is utilized well in the film. I always enjoy seeing Daniel Roebuck and Scout Taylor-Compton may have given my favorite horror performance I’ve seen her in to date. It’s an enjoyable ride down Penance Lane that doesn’t dead end where you might expect.” Without Your Head

Choice dialogue:

Crimson Matthews: “I really hate @ssholes that quote the Bible.”

Release:

Worldwide distribution by Level 33 Entertainment.

Cast and characters:

  • Scout Taylor-Compton … Sherry
  • Tyler Mane … Crimson Matthews
  • John Schneider … Father John
  • Daniel Roebuck … Captain Denny Wilson
  • Travis Love … Bobby
  • Dallas Page … Hyson
  • William Tokarsky … Crazy Ray
  • Troy Brenna … Duke
  • Sailor Larocque … Christina
  • Booker Huffman … Shooter
  • Renae Geerlings … Precious
  • April Bogenschutz … Jan Roddick
  • Michael Leavy … Tony
  • Tom Culler … Noah (as Thomas Joseph Culler)
  • Robert Privitera … Tommy Ross

Production companies:

  • Mane Entertainment
  • Safier Entertainment
  • Wicked Monkey Productions

Filming locations:

Georgia, USA

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