Monday, September 20, 2010

The House with Laughing Windows (1976)

The patrons of a small Italian church hire a talented artist to restore a fresco of their patron saint, but in doing so he also uncovers many of the town's dark secrets behind its creation. Pupi Avati's THE HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS is a stylish and tasteful thriller that breaks away from the standard conventions of the Italian Giallo, relying on the suspense and mystery of the intricately designed plot over the shocking gore and violent murders that frequented similar films in the genre. It also avoids the often contrived and convoluted story elements found in many weaker Gialli of the time. Lino Capolicchio is very convincing as the apprehensive lead that is drawn closer to the truth as more of the villagers are found murdered. The twisted religious subtext adds an additional level of fright to the picture that plays on the small town convictions of an isolated community. What sets the film apart more than anything else are the beautifully photographed authentic Northern Italian locales that set a dreary and atmospheric backdrop to the slowly unraveling plot. THE HOUSE WITH THE LAUGHING WINDOWS is one of the stronger entries in the strictly-Italian sub-genre that has been commonly overlooked by Giallo fans.

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked THE HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS, check out:
THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED, DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING, DON'T LOOK NOW.

5 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more with your review, Carl. This has to be one of my all time favourite Italian horror films. I think it's the quietness of it that really unnerves me.

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  2. Never heard of it! Gonna check Netflix. Are you sure you don't secretly work for Netflix??? :)

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  3. terrific, one of the best gialli ever made!

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  4. Wings I owe Netflix my life, this one is selling for over $50 now after the copy I bought for $6 got lost in the mail.. Loved it and I am glad you guys have already found it Maynard and James! Been looking forward to seeing it for years!

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  5. The windows of my apartment wouldn't stop laughing, for awhile there. But some fresh weather-stripping solved that problem.

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