THE PENTHOUSE (1967)
Article 4954 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Peter Collinson
Featuring Suzy Kendall, Terence Morgan, Tony Beckley
What it is: Thriller (?)
A couple of intruders terrorize an adulterous couple in a penthouse apartment.
The problem with a lot of practical jokes and mind games is that they’re really only funny to the person pulling them, and not funny at all to the victims of them. Watching this movie is like experiencing a practical joke from the point of view of the victim; the ride is not fun, nor are the revelations satisfying. It certainly doesn’t help that the premise itself is one of those unpleasant scenarios that occasionally pops up in cinema; I’ve never really been fond of the “talky psychos terrorizing innocent people in an environment they can’t escape”. The story can be redeemed if the psychos are particularly interesting or if the story really has somewhere good to go with the idea. Unfortunately, in this one, the psychos are mannered and unreal; they feel like literary or theatrical creations rather than living people, and by the end of the movie, nothing has happened to really change that feeling. Ultimately, the movie feels like a film-maker’s joke on the audience, with only one side really feeling the humor in the punch line. This is not my type of movie.