Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Out on DVD from 3rd February, Penthouse North is a slicker than usual B-movie film that tells the story of a blind woman who does not know the truth about her boyfriend and how they can afford such a great penthouse apartment in New York City.
The action takes place over one New Years Eve night and our heroine played with great finesse by he beautiful Michelle Monaghan (Mission Impossible 3 and Source Code) as Sara, a war photographer coming to terms with the loss of her vision. On NYE in NYC she runs some errands, comes home and realises there is an intruder in her home, Chad (Barry Sloane). Her ailment obviously makes her unaware until she comes across her dead boyfriend; this is a wonderful scene as she walks round the prone body and only comes aware of his fate when she slips in a pool of his blood.
Sara overcomes Chad and escapes her building and when seeking help she encounters the charming Hollander played by Michael Keaton (who appears in Robocop out this Friday). However, after a brief period of calm we realise Chad and Hollander are in cahoots.
Exposition allows the criminals to explain they are after cash and diamonds, meaning they trash the place and hope the disposable boyfriend had told Sara where the money is situated in the flat. The film then descends into a cat and mouse game between the blind girl and the two criminals. We get the criminals descend into madness as they try to one-up each other.
The discovery of the diamonds is handled with great aplomb in one of the few original moments of the film. That is he unfortunate nature of the screenplay, try as the capable actors do to elevate their one-dimensional characters.
However, due to the vulnerability of Sara you sense no harm will come onto her from Hollander. The films conclusion harkens back to the days of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.. as the heroine gets the rewards and the spoils.
Whilst this is a B movie, it is a gripping serviceable affair and seeing Keaton on the screen is always a pleasure.
Penthouse North is out on DVD from Image Entertainment now for £12.99 on DVD and £15.99 Blu-Ray