The Girl in Room 2A (1974) Poster

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Surprisingly obscure and perverse giallo.
HumanoidOfFlesh26 March 2007
A young girl named Edie is mysteriously kidnapped and taken to a country house where she is tied up,stripped and hung from the ceiling by her wrists.She is then tortured and finally killed by a long spear that penetrates her soft flesh Meanwhile the beautiful Margaret just released from a women's prison takes a room at Mrs. Grant's remote country mansion.Soon the strange things begin to happen...This sleazy and rather perverse giallo from Ramiro Oliveros is quite similar to Massimo Pupillo's "The Bloody Pit of Horror".The action is slow and the mystery elements aren't well-handled,but there is enough nudity and misogynistic violence to keep fans of Euroexploitation happy.Give this one a chance.7 out of 10.
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Crime and punishment giallo style
Red-Barracuda3 February 2013
Girls who stay in room 2A at a mysterious boarding house are being abducted, tortured and killed by masked assailants. The latest female tenant and the brother of the last victim begin investigating the mystery.

Perhaps the most defining thing about this giallo is the fact that it was directed by an American. When I saw the name William Rose in the opening credits, I automatically assumed that this must be an Americanised Italian name for a director wishing to sell his product in the States. But no, it was in fact an American B-movie director working in Italy. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the fact that The Girl in Room 2A is not exactly the most stylish giallo out there. Visually it is pretty pedestrian when set alongside other similar Italian productions, although, in fairness, this may be due to the quite limited settings. Quite a lot of the movie takes place within the confines of the boarding house and this may also account for the lack of good lighting. It's certainly a relatively restrained effort in terms of violence, except for the pre-credit sequence of course, which is very salacious. In fairness, the beginning promises more than the movie ultimately delivers. I wouldn't say it ever gets dull but it just doesn't necessarily live up to its potential.

There are a few strange details such as the mysterious villain who looks very similar to the Crimson Executioner from Bloody Pit of Horror (1965). This one doesn't possess the sheer delirium of that crazy film though, this one is much more down-beat, while still being far from realistic. The casting is notable for a couple of the actresses. The lead girl is Daniela Giordano who made a very memorable and sexy turn in Mario Bava's comedy Four Times That Night. She isn't quite as well utilised in this feature, as Bava's playful movie was better suited to her. The other actress of note is Rosalba Neri who starred in many Italian genre pictures in the 70's, such as the excellent Amuck! Sadly she is very under-utilised in this film which is somewhat careless of the film-makers.

This isn't a prime example of the genre. It isn't quite stylish enough, nor is the mystery interesting enough. Nevertheless, it does have enough strangeness to be worth a watch if you are a fan of Italian thrillers.
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Not the most exciting Giallo ever made
The_Void8 January 2007
The Girl in Room 2a doesn't really fit in with a lot of the Giallo films released around their heyday back in the early seventies. The plot, as is the case with many of these films, focuses on murder; but there's very little mystery to it, the cinematography is entirely mundane and the plot just seems to settle as soon as the credits have rolled, which a direct contrast to the sprawling and over complicated story lines that most Giallo's feature. After the opening credits, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you've hit the Giallo jackpot, as we get to watch a screaming young woman skewered with a huge metal spike. From there we watch as her corpse is thrown off a cliff in order to make people believe that she in fact committed suicide. Soon thereafter, a young ex-inmate named Margaret moves into room 2a in a boarding house owned by Mrs Grant, who lives with her weird son Frank. Margaret soon meets a man named Jack, the brother of the girl killed at the start of the film and the two begin investigating the suicide, which he believes has something to do with Mrs Grant's boarding house.

Despite being slow, the film is at least interesting for the most part, and American director William L. Rose seems to have some sense of direction where the story is concerned, as it eventually comes to a point that mostly makes sense. The lack of mystery is a major negative point, however, and while I'm not entirely sure whether you are meant to have guessed the identity of the murderers, it's so blindingly obvious that I find it hard to believe you weren't already supposed to know. The cast features just one name, and that belongs to sexy seductress Rosalba Neri...who is unfortunately wasted with a role that is far too small for illustrious persona. The locations didn't impress me much, as the film doesn't feature a lot of variety in this department, and the cinematography isn't exactly awe-inspiring. There are a couple of grisly murders - one of which is the one that happens before the opening credits. The lack of murders wouldn't have been a big problem for me, however, if the film was more exciting. Overall, Girl in Room 2a isn't the worst Giallo you're ever likely to see; but it certainly isn't the best, and I don't recommend going out of your way to find a copy.
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Daft and badly written non-giallo
Coventry19 February 2018
There basically only exist 3 groups of people in this world. The first group considers "The Girl in Room 2A" to be a giallo and the second group doesn't. The third group has never even heard about "The Girl in Room 2A" and thus couldn't care less whether it's a giallo or not. This last group covers about 99,5% of the world's population, but of course we'll completely disregard them in this review.

Yours truly homes in the second group. Somehow, the American born smut director William Rose (previously responsible for duds like "Rent-A-Girl" and "50,000 B.C.") found some financers and collaborators in Italy. Good for him, but just because a film is released in 1974 and the title contains keywords like "casa" and "paura", it doesn't necessarily make it a giallo. Admittedly, certain trademarks are present, like beautiful and innocent young women being slaughtered by a masked assailant, the boarding house type of setting and the brother of a former victim independently investigating the case. But it's made clear rather early in the film that the girls are being targeted by a perverse satanic cult rather than by a perverse lone killer and, moreover, "The Girl in Room 2A" doesn't feature any stylistic giallo trademark like imaginative camerawork or a dazzling soundtrack. Margaret Bradley is a young woman just released from prison and, just like many girls before her, the friendly and caring parole officer Alice Songbird sends her to the boarding house of the elderly Mrs. Grant where she can quietly build up her life again. During the pre-opening credits scene (basically the only good part of the entire film) we already witnessed how the tenants of this house are kidnapped, tortured, killed and thrown off a cliff. After some strange occurrences, Margaret hooks up with a handsome young stranger who's looking for his sister that went missing. The biggest default of "The Girl in Room 2A" is the miserable script. Everything that happens seems so random and meaningless. Who are these cult members? Why and to whom are they sacrificing the girls? The answers are quite simple, in fact: William Rose is a completely untalented writer/director and his entire repertoire proves that he isn't interested in atmosphere, tension-building or consistent storytelling. He likes to film young girls in various states of nakedness and suffering. And then still he's not very good at it, since ravishing cult sirens like Rosalba Neri and Karin Schubert are dramatically wasted. There are a few notably grisly death sequences, but (again) popping up randomly. Perhaps in the hands of a REAL contemporary Italian giallo-director, this could potentially have been a modest classic. In the hands of this guy, it's nothing but a daft and forgettable non-giallo.
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Not quite daft enough
Bezenby13 January 2018
This one drags until thankfully the stupidity of it all overwhelms the drudgery. A young girl, just paroled from prison, is sent to a boarding house by parole officer Rosalba Neri. Now we all know that something is wrong with this house, as we've just witnessed a girl being ceremoniously killed by a sadistic cult led by someone who is a big fan of the 1965 Italian film Bloody Pit of Horror. Our girl Margaret isn't too slow on the uptake either, spotting quickly a huge bloodstain on the floor of her room that keeps reappearing, sussing rapidly that the landlady is a bit of a loon, and reckoning that the landlady's son Frank is a nutter. An encounter with a man investigating the apparent suicide of his sister, a previous tenant of Room 2A, further confirms her suspicions. This leads to a long investigation/romance that goes on and on.

However, it's also about this time that the film's daftness begins to rise, what with the terrible acting of the nurse in a loony bin, choppy editing, and a flashback sequence where women are whipped in a Jess Franco fashion. The director also thinks it's a great idea to include upbeat jazz music at the most inappropriate of moments, like when the hero is thrown into the back of a car with a snake in a suitcase (a really crap way to kill someone, seeing how they just murdered everyone else without leaving anything to chance).

The gore increases around this point too, as does the introduction of two muscle men who take on the cult. You also get an explanation as to how that bloodstain keeps appearing on the floor of room 2A, and I use 'how' on purpose because you'll be asking 'why' even after you find out what's happening. There's also the mystery of who is in the red mask if you still care about that by the end of the film.

Not much Rosalba in this one either. This is a hugely stupid film but sometimes we need a bit of that in our lives too.
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Slow but good
SIXGUNFUN12 May 2005
well now this was not bad but not good... it started off with this girl living in this mysterious house and some really bad death scenes and a killer with a red mask. i remember being about 7 or 8 and seeing a few of the scenes really late on TV one night.. but it was all kind of hard to recall. how ever the thing that saves this little film is the over all creepy way it unfolds its self . it kind of feels like a they were rushed to finish it. anyways ...its kind of hard to get a hold of a copy of it so if you see it maybe it will be worth $$$ to the right horror film buff worth a rent but maybe not worth buying .. only for die hard horror film fans of the 70's
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Odd Little Movie
Squonkamatic29 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Here maybe is proof positive that nobody understood the sex slasher thriller quite like the Italians. American William Rose wrote & directed this atypical little Giallo production right there in Italy with actual Italians, and while entertaining enough for fans of low budget European made horror it never quite comes alive in spite of some nifty locations and a great cast. Even the usually reliable Berto Pisano's musical is kind of just there, and if nothing else you can almost always count on some decent music when watching Italian genre cinema. Strange.

Daniela Giordano plays the young waif recently released from a women's jail for a crime she didn't commit who finds herself wrapped up in a web of intrigue involving a cult of devil worshipers (?) who target girls just like her, all of which ended up staying in room 2a of a boarding house from hell. And all of which either ended up insane or dead after being subjected to some really cruel forms of ceremonial torture that gives the film its reputation amongst connoisseurs of Euro Trash.

Giordano is a feast for the eyes just sitting there at a bus stop but the show is stolen by beefy Samson Peplum actor Brad Harris as a big palooka Yankee living in southern Italy for reasons that are never explained. Harris offers the film's hero a beer at one point and you just have to laugh. He and his 6' 3" 275lb buddy Willie from Brooklyn ride around in Harris' little Volkswagen Beetle looking for action, and the film's standout moment for me was seeing these three huge guys spill out of such a tiny car when running to the rescue with the hero in the big climax.

Which is surprisingly anti-climactic and involves a literal cliffhanger that has the most inappropriate dramatic music tacked onto it until BLACK EMANUELLE GOES EAST. It's more fun watching Harris & Willie batter down the iron door to the castle, and if anything director Rose missed an opportunity to better contrast this doofus Stan Wojohowitz-like American presence with the Italian culture they seem so out of place in. They are so huge every scene with Harris feels claustrophobic as he squeezes through doors or tries not to demolish the furniture by just leaning on it during conversation scenes.

There's some good bits to the film too, like Spaghetti Western actor Frank Latimore as a tortured cult associate driven mad by realizing he literally sold his soul, a welcome nude scene by Ms. Giordano, various torture sequences and a couple of potent gore effects. But when compared to the usual flair of Italian Giallo fare its all pretty artless & matter of fact. Not that there's anything wrong with that mind you, it's just a cheap little Italian B movie, and it's always life affirming seeing Brad Harris take two guys & crack their heads together like a pair of coconuts. Now that's the stuff!

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Surprise find - decent Giallo
dipdatta15 March 2018
I thought I have seen most of giallos (Yes, I am big time giallo fan & watching them for last 5 years) but every once a while, I get a little surprise. This was one of them. Its about a secret cult & how they kidnap & torture pretty young woman. This is not of the class of Suspiria - but its pretty decent. Girls are pretty, atmosphere/setup was good & plot had some suspense. Murders are little tamed in comparison to typical giallos, but not half bad. Overall, a pretty enjoyable movie.
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a bit dull and surely not a giallo
trashgang4 April 2012
Still no proper release this is just one to hunt down for the geeks of Italian horror. It's made in the heydays of the giallo's but I won't say that this is a giallo. There's to much ,so-called, supernatural going on. Once Margaret Bradley (Daniela Giordano) is released from prison and stays at room 2A after her release she's seeing things that aren't for real like for example that's she is locked into a prison.

Also strange is that William Rose, the director, made an Italian flick. He was better known for exploitation like Rent-A-Girl (1965). The Girl In Room 2A was the last one he directed. The direction was okay but what a weird editing it had. There were a lot of jumps made by editing towards the story.

The flick itself started of rather nasty with a naked girl being impaled with a stick by a hooded killer. Even their the bad editing is shown were suddenly she's killed and next shot she's being thrown from a cliff. It never becomes really bloody it even becomes a bit dull after the opening credits. But still I kept watching what would happen. It's easy to see who the hooded killer is so there isn't that much mystery added to this flick.

For the collectors it does have some value due the actors being involved like Brad Harris who went further to Hercules (1983) or our main lead Daniela Giordano who appeared one year later in Inquisicion directed by cult actor Paul Naschy. But most will be disappointed by the short role Rosalba Neri had here in this flick, she appeared in a lot of B-flicks (Lady Frankenstein 1971).

Not exactly my cup of tea but somehow I kept watching this dull flick with not that much of blood and some cheesy torturing, of course being Italian, it do has a lot of overdubs and nudity.

Gore 1/5 Nudity 1,5/5 Effects 1,5/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0/5
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the dud in Room 2a
Prof-Hieronymos-Grost20 November 2007
Casa della paura, La aka The Girl in Room 2a, (1973) William L. Rose A sadistic cult that preys on vulnerable women, uses a local women's prison as a place to get these unfortunates into their lodging house, where they commence mind games while using hallucinogens to prepare their victims for their fate. Margaret Bradley is one such girl just released penniless from her imprisonment,so she takes up an offer to stay at the Grant's lodging house where she can stay for free until she finds some finance, almost immediately though she becomes suspicious of her hosts strange behaviour and the nocturnal events that keep her awake. She finds a friend in a stranger who is looking into the disappearance of his sister who also stayed at the Grants house, together they commit to finding out the truth.

The film starts promisingly with a kidnap and torture of a young girl who is then impaled on a spike by a crimson hooded killer, who does show up on occasion throughout the film, but there is very little in the way of spectacular giallo killings after that, the story kept me interested, but overall its not a Giallo I'd recommend, the visuals are uninspired, the score is at times laughably unsuitable but the biggest crime of all is the under use of Rosalba Neri who is restricted to about 3 minutes screen time, the identity of the Hooded killer is also rather obvious. 5/10
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Sort of giallo-ish.
BA_Harrison30 May 2018
Daniela Giordano plays recently released jailbird Margaret Bradley, whose parole officer Alicia (Rosalba Neri) sends her to the house of Mrs. Grant (Giovanna Galletti). Soon after moving in, Margaret becomes convinced that something strange is afoot, and her suspicions are compounded when she is approached by Jack Whitman (John Scanlon), who is investigating the disappearance of his sister, a previous guest at the house.

The Girl in Room 2A kicks off in fine giallo style, with the bloody murder of a topless woman during the opening credits, the victim impaled, her body thrown over the edge of a cliff; however, giallo fans are bound to be disappointed by director William Rose's lack of style (all of his previous films were pure sexploitation; I'm thinking he should have stuck with what he knew best), the low body count and a plot that strays a long way from the conventions of the genre.

Regular bouts of female nudity and some gratuitous sleaze (girls are tied up and flogged by a maniac in a red hood and cape) help prevent the viewer from dozing off, but remaining invested in the film is a struggle, the pedestrian direction, lack of gore, and dreary pace all taking their toll. The film ends with the revelation that the women are being killed by a sect who seek to 'cleanse' the wicked, and shows the masked killer to be none other than... well, that would be telling, but suffice to say it's suitably silly.

5 out of 10, minus one point for the inexplicable scene that shows a machine pumping blood through the floorboards of Margaret's room - what the hell was that all about?
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