Pensione paura (1964)





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Another brilliant giallo thriller from director Francesco Barilli, whose Il Profumo della Signora in Nero was one of the genre's most haunting and original films. This Italian-Spanish follow-up is a bit muddled, but no less engrossing. Set in a family hotel in Northern Italy in 1945, the film concerns Rosa (Leonora Fani), who helps her mother run the hotel while awaiting her soldier father's return from the front. In a Barilli film, nothing is as it seems, and before long Mom (who is sleeping with a traitor she's hidden in the attic) gets murdered. Then poor Rosa is raped by two of the guests, who also get murdered, and while she's hiding the bodies she gets forced into an orgy by all the other guests, who then all get shot to death by a strange man. Naturally, Rosa has lost her marbles by this point, so she kills her savior, locks up the hotel, and keeps waiting for Daddy while surrounded by corpses. Like all the best gialli, Pensione Paura completely dispenses with logic early on, elevating weirdness to nearly operatic levels while absorbing the viewer in a thick and spellbinding atmosphere of mounting dread. Francisco Rabal co-stars with Luc Merenda, Lidia Biondi, and Jose Maria Prada. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense , Romance
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American International Picture


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