Blinded by the money, Marga agrees to wait, but as several other colleagues of Jorge's arrive with increasingly shifty stories and with no sign of Mr. Salva, Marga begins to suspect that something's amiss. And she should, because Jorge isn't who she thinks he is, and he and his cohorts have something dark and twisted planned that requires both her apartment and the impending solar eclipse that's only minutes away. As time ticks down, Mr. Salva shows up to reveal the horrifying truth.
The End Result
Writer-director Adrián García Bogliano (who works here with his brother Ramiro) excels in building thrills on a low budget with minimal plot, utilizing the intensity of limited space and the urgency of time constraints to generate pulse-pounding moments (while also finding time for some biting social commentary). He's also able to tweak somewhat familiar setups just enough to create a real uncertainty that, like his kinetic camerawork, is invigorating.
Penumbra immediately sucks you in with its concept and with the rising tension, but the ultimate payoff is underwhelming and provides little explanation of the villains' plan and no background on who they are the reasons for their actions. These lingering frustrations don't ruin the movie, however; it stands as another solid entry in Bogliano's increasingly impressive portfolio.
- Acting: B- (Brondo excels in embodying her character's harshness without sacrificing its humanity.)
- Direction: B- (Stylistically more of a mature, slow burner that some of Bogliano's kinetic previous efforts.)
- Script: C (A great setup is undermined by a modest climax and a lack of explanation.)
- Gore/Effects: C+ (A couple of moderately gory scenes.)
- Overall: C+ (Entertainingly unpredictable until a lackluster ending.)
Penumbra is directed by Adrián García Bogliano and Ramiro García Bogliano and is not rated by the MPAA. Release date: April 20, 2012.