Movies and Film

A Return Stay is Out of the Question – Girl in Room 2A (1974)

One has to wonder just what it is that makes a person want to stay in a place that makes them not only uncomfortable, but truly frightened. Is it obligation, a fear of breaking a contract between landlord and tenant or simply a hope that things will get better over time? Such is the case with La casa della paura or Girl in Room 2A as Daniela Giordano’s character Margaret Bradley finds herself in that exact situation. For her, it might be a little more complicated as she has no money having just been released from a stint in prison and having nowhere else to go. The problem is, the weird dreams that she has been having are not exactly dreams and things get awful real awfully fast when she discovers that she is soon to be tortured or murdered or worse and that she was not in fact, the first person this was done to who lived in this apartment.

As far as Giallo’s go, Girl in Room 2A was fairly unexciting. What little mystery there was, was soon uncovered during the first couple of scenes and as to just who the perpetrators were, it is not exactly hard to figure out just who they are. The person in red might surprise the viewer as they are not unmasked until the end of the film and that alone might be the only shocking bit of the whole film, though it does ultimately make sense when one thinks about it. There is some blood and torture present, young ladies being whipped and whatnot from the monster in red among others and while it does keep things moving along in tandem with Margaret’s story, it is not anything out of the norm for a movie such as this. It would have been nice to have a little more suspense present, a little more mystery to go along with the dastardly, titular room of the picture where women are abducted from, but such as it is, it was not a film that bored its viewer either. It might not have thrilled very much, but it was well-acted, had a good dose of horror and it kept the audience hooked despite any faults.

Starring the aforementioned Giordana, she did a good job in the role as both lead and damsel in distress, being both concerned about what is happening to her, yet frightened more than she had ever been before. The biggest name in the picture would be Rosalba Neri who should have had a larger role, if not being the star of the whole thing. Angelo Infanti, John Scanlon and Brad Harris round out the cast and all together, the movie ends up being somewhat intriguing but is not enough in the end, to stop it from being simply run of the mill, at least when it comes to this particular genre.

Directed by William Rose, the man does a fair job of bringing all the elements together and the picture does pick up towards the end of the film, but a little more substance, a little more subtlety and being a bit more cryptic would have gone a long way to elevate this movie into something more.

3 out of 5

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