The House with Laughing Windows

The House with Laughing Windows ★★★★★

This extraordinary Giallo begins with a disturbing montage; torture bathed in sepia, overlaid with creeping piano and a rasping voiceover speaking about colours and purification. We then make a jarring switch to broad daylight where we are introduced a young art restorer and the fresco he has been hired to fix. The partly exposed painting depicting a suffering Saint with certain details hidden; teasing a hidden menace always bubbling beneath the surface. The House of the Laughing Windows is not typical for the genre. It's a real slow burn and there's no high body count or gory death scenes. What we do get is an intricately plotted mystery, augmented by an intensely oppressive atmosphere. Pupi Avati makes best use of the isolated rural setting and small cast of odd side characters to give the film a real unhinged feel, which bodes well with the ominous soundtrack. The mystery moves slowly, but every scene feels important - even though its never really clear where its all going, right up until the final terrifying reveal. This is a film that really worms its way in, with the conclusion ensuring it stays there.

Block or Report

Slig001 liked these reviews