The House of the Laughing Windows 1976

The House of the Laughing Windows 1976

Directed by: Pupi Avati

Actors: Lino Capolicchio, Francesca Marciano, Gianni Cavina

Country: Italy

Also known as: La casa dalle finestre che ridono, House with the Windows That Laugh, A casa das janelas sorridentes, Das Haus der lachenden Fenster, La maison aux fenêtres qui rient, La porte de l’enfer, A nevető ablakos ház, La casa de las ventanas malditas, Het huis met de lachende vensters

Description:For 76 years the film is very high quality. Italian language conjures up thoughts of Argento films, although in this picture has nothing to do with his work. Very sparse musical processing, as I thought. And the storyline itself is so obvious in their development, that the movie is good. Because everything is already clear who would die there and who the murderer is.

But what I was surprised and impressed with is the house. The same house with laughing Windows. And obsessed with the agony of voice murmured about current through the veins of paint…

I cannot really be objective when writing about this movie. It’s my favourite giallo. Although I guess nowadays it’s tied at the top quite unsurpsingly with Mario Bava’s Blood & Black Lace (1964) and Dario Argento’s Deep Red (1978). I simply cannot tell which of these genre masterpieces is my true favourite, but perhaps this movie had the biggest impact on me on the first viewing of the three.

Pupi Avati isn’t really regarded as a genre director. He’s considered leaning more towards the arthouse cinema, but like so many other Italian directors in the 70’s he couldn’t keep his hands way from the thriller genre. Most of his better known movies share a cruel and painful atmosphere and House with Laughing Windows is no exception. His lack of experience with genre films guarantees an unique giallo experience, only rivalled by Aldo Lado and his two gialli (Short Night of the Glass Dolls & Who Saw Her Die?). Avati doesn’t focus on the death scenes, violence or sleaze. Instead he creates an unique atmosphere using imagery of rural Italy, strong performances of the actors, heavy symbolism and a solid script.

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