La casa dalle finestre che ridono
House with the Windows That Laugh
Most directors of gialli spend their time so preoccupied with stylistic details that many of the films have an artificiality to them. It is quite difficult to become fully absorbed into the filmic world because the makers of gialli are continually foregrounding the means of its construction. However there are one or two notable exceptions and Pupi Avati’s 1976 gialli The House with Laughing Windows is one such exception. Avati’s movie is the polar opposite to the pretence and formal experimentation of Dario Argento and Mario Bava and manages to get under ones skin in a manner rare for this popular Italian cycle. All the normal devices that are utilised to distance an audience emotionally are almost entirely absent, which makes this an incredibly unsafe viewing experience. The viewing safety of the audience is also undermined by Avati’s determined disavowal of generic convention. There are no black gloved killers here, there are no major set piece murder sequences, and there is very little use of a subjective point of view shot. The filmmakers are instead concerned with the slow and subtle realisation of an unsettling atmosphere of repression and perversity.
Lino Capolicchio as restorer Stefano
The creepy house of the film's title
© Shaun Anderson 2011