The Penthouse

Great views often come with great BIG consequences.  

Don’t believe me?  Just ask professional photographer L. B. "Jeff" Jefferies, famously portrayed by Jimmy Stewart, from Hitchcock’s Rear Window, which seems to be an influence on The Penthouse.  He might not have had the most scenic of views, but his courtyard offered glimpses at his neighbors during a heatwave that his brief wheelchair-bound residency certainly capitalized on when strange things started happening around him . . . and, just like that, he finds himself a murderer’s target.

"The Penthouse is a DARK thriller with murderous intent"

But what if that view opened up to the vast spread of the ocean?  Would his life have become so complicated?  

According to Director Massimiliano Cerchi (Mayday), Jeff’s life just might have - especially if he happened upon the sailboats floating in and out among the waves crashing into this island’s marinas.  Welcome to the unbroken view from The Penthouse.  Sure, sure, sure, this low budget thriller has its fair share of problems - some of those issues come from not successfully communicating its intentions to the audience - but, hey, at least the ocean scenery offers some nifty views . . . to a KILL.

Just don’t stick around for very long.

The Penthouse is a DARK thriller with murderous intent.  It works better once we get past some of the awkward introductions as a rich couple, Peter (David Schifter, Bloody Ballet) and his wife Amanda (Vanessa Ore, Heaven Bound), settle into their oceanfront penthouse and start to view their surroundings.  Wealthy and bored?  I think not.  Suddenly, these voyeurs have their hands full when the VIOLENT Charles (Michael Paré, Painkiller, Once Upon a Time in Deadwood) sails into the marina.  The Penthouse

Amanda gets more than she bargained for when she sees him strike his girlfriend, Tess (Krista Grotte Saxon, Joe Vampire).  Charles wants her to stay on the boat.  Something doesn't feel right here.  Suddenly, she finds herself in the role of private investigator as she and Peter throw themselves into the search for Tess when she, apparently, goes MISSING.  But their time as Good Samaritans is short lived.  

Now, even Detective Martinez (Nicholas Turturro, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2) has a list of suspects . . . and it’s - JINKIES! - Scooby and the Gang!  This twist, in a film which banks on the most obvious of twists, happens thanks to the efforts of Paré, who takes his villainous role and runs with it, making the scamming Charles the most interesting part - outside of its stunning location - in The Penthouse.  

The Penthouse might not be surprising in its BY-THE-NUMBERS thriller, but it is more than competent and cinematographer Heath Franklin’s work sparkles with purpose and intensity as the waves make for a surprising backdrop for murder and mystery.  I just think that, especially in the climax, there should have been a bit more time spent in getting the right performances from all involved.

Welcome to Penthouse 1.  Time to mind your own business.  The Penthouse is now streaming On Demand thanks to Lionsgate.

2/5 stars

Film Details

The Penthouse

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
88 mins
: Massimiliano Cerchi
David Schifter
Michael Paré, Nicholas Turturro, Krista Grotte Saxon
: Thriller
Sometimes it's best to mind your own business.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Things that are below the surface... are better left that way."
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 13, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
Synopsis: A man covering up a crime assumes a nosy neighbor may have seen what he did. He turns the neighbor's lives upside down to keep his secret. But is there more to his motive?



The Penthouse