The House with Laughing Windows (1976) Pupi Avati

The House with Laughing Windows (1976)
aka La casa dalle finestre che ridono
Genre: Horror | Mystery | Thriller
Country: Italy | Director: Pupi Avati
Language: Italian | Subtitles: English (idx/sub files)
Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1 | Length: 106mn
Dvdrip H264 Mkv - 720x384 - 29.970fps - 1.47gb

Stefano, a young restorer is commissioned to save a fresco representing the suffering of St. Sebastiano. The fresco painter was Legnani, and the fresco is his last work. Legnani apparently was mentally disturbed. He was used to paint people close to die or in agony. These facts together with the strange atmosphere that surround this village near Ferrara, in the north of Italy, contribute to put Stefano in a nightmare reality. Soon reality will change into horror.

The film is not a categorical giallo as it is often suggested as being, but rather it's more of a entry into the Gothic horror canon, with a incredibly strong sense of mystery that keeps the viewer intrigued even when the pacing becomes sluggish. The film is not exploitative (as most giallo films are) but mature, intelligent, and effective. Indeed, there is no nudity and little violence is present as the picture's primary focus is its complex, labyrinthine mystery that truly surprises the viewer with its unexpected turns of the plot. The film is also heavy on atmosphere, artfully directed by the award-winning Pupi Avati (of "The Story of Boys and Girls" and "Incantato" fame), which really intensifies the mystery, making it not only it spellbinding by also horrific and terrifying at times(especially near the end). The debits I perceive is that the narrative is a tad drawn out and some of the characters aren't as developed as one would hope, but the mystery is so good that it's easily to look past all these minor quibbles. Highly recommended to those who liked slow-burning Gothic mysteries such as "Don't look Now".

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