Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Movie review: Penny Dreadful

Supernatural forces are at work in London and famous explorer Sir Malcolm Murray is determined to combat them. Calling upon American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, scientist Victor Frankenstein, and medium Vanessa Ives the four combat evil and the impending darkness it brings.

Timothy Dalton (Sir Malcolm), Eva Green (Vanessa), Harry Treadaway (Frankenstein), Josh Hartnett (Ethan), Reeve Carney (Dorian Gray), Billie Piper (Lily), Rory Kinnear (John Clare), Danny Sapani (Sembene), Patti LuPone (Dr. Seward), Shazad Latif (Dr. Jekyll).

Penny Dreadful is a captivating series exposing a side of famous fictional characters such as Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, Dr. Jekyll and more, that isn't found in traditional tales. The series brings together this variety of characters in London, where supernatural forces are working to bring darkness to the world. And possibly an end to humanity.

The series is a wonderful mix of supernatural, horror, and drama as it tells a dark story which moves along at a good pace. The inclusion of other, less known but equally as dark and disturbing, characters brings depth to the storyline and series while holding audience interest very well.

Acting was very good with Dalton, Green, Treadaway, and Hartnett all doing quite nicely. The addition of Carney, Piper, Kinnear, LuPone and others who also delivered well finished off the quality feel of the series.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were nicely done with good variety, detail, and a solid realistic feel. Use of natural backgrounds was enjoyable as well. CGI, while necessary, was reasonable and fit the film tone nicely. Dialogue was good with nice depth and detail throughout. Sound and soundtrack were well done.

Being someone who enjoys the embellishment of traditional fairy tales and horror stories, I enjoyed this series a lot. (The only downside was that it ended with Season 3). Technical work and acting is well done, no doubt, but the weaving together of different famous fictional characters in new settings and situations is pure joy. Those with a like mind should enjoy this series, as should those who like darker tales.

With plenty of sexuality, nudity, violence, gore, and disturbing images, save this one for older teens and above.

Released: 2014
Reviewed: 3.27.17
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: TV Horror, TV Drama, TV Fantasy, Supernatural Stories, TV Series

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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