AKA The House of the Laughing Windows
DIRECTED BY: Pupi Avati
FEATURING: Lino Capolicchio, Francesca Marciano, Gianni Cavina, Giulio Pizzirani, Tonino Corazzari
PLOT: An art historian becomes embroiled in a sick mystery when he arrives in a rural village to restore a religious painting.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: Giallo films always tend to be a little bent when compared to U.S. horror movies. Despite the strange characters, unsettling tone and death-fetish subject matter, La casa dalle finestre che ridono is not weird by Euro-thriller standards. In fact, it plays out like a conventional mystery,
COMMENTS: Producers of Italian Euro-thrillers have rarely constrained themselves by strictly adhering to regimented structure, timing and consistency. La casa dalle finestre che ridono, aka The House With Laughing Windows, like Suspiria or Baba Yaga is an exception. It retains the feel of a giallo film, yet stands up to conventional Hollywood standards. This makes it a candidate for conventional thriller audiences. The House With Laughing Windows is more of a mystery than a horror movie, yet still qualifies for the “shocker” designation. As a puzzler, it is not exactly up to Agatha Christie standards of construction, but what it lacks in precision, it makes up for in color and atmosphere. There are a couple of slow spots, but overall this gory film demands attention with its curious plot, steady, brooding pace, and consistently suspenseful, creepy feel.
Stefano (Capolicchio) is an art historian and restoration specialist who is summoned to an eerie parish to complete a long unfinished fresco in an equally eerie church. The painting was supposedly never completed, but closer examination reveals that certain parts were intentionally obfuscated by being painted over. The seeds of Stefano’s undoing lie in his urge to uncover what lies beneath.
The grim fresco depicts the violent torture death of Saint Sebastiano. It is the work of Continue reading CAPSULE: THE HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS [LA CASA DALLE FINISTRE CHE RIDONO] (1976)