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No consensus yet.
All Critics (2)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (0)
certainly a gripping giallo, but also an intelligent allegory of post-war Italy's struggles to emerge from the Fascist outrages of its recent past.
"The House with Laughing Windows" is a relentlessly depressing and, I found, a deeply disappointing 'giallo'. It deserves praise for avoiding those superfluous, atmosphere-sapping attempts at comedy that mar even the best examples of the genre - Dario Argento's "Deep Red" included - but, in all honesty, the plotting is as audaciously daft as ever. Fatally, the central mystery is not as absorbing as it should be, and the film is neither stylishly directed nor especially technically competent. It also contains a couple of the most risible love scenes I think I've ever seen. The atmosphere is unusually oppressive but, rather irritatingly, it's largely achieved via faintly sinister members of the supporting cast, who constantly drift in and out but never stick around long enough to be characterised. The glut of unanswered questions, and the unfair way in which the killer's identity is concealed - a common fault of gialli - are also annoying. We see little of the murders, probably for the very good reason that, retrospectively, it's impossible to imagine the victims being overpowered in the first place. The movie is mostly just Lino Capolicchio, walking around looking puzzled and miserable. Considering its strong reputation among exploitation aficionados, this is perhaps the most disappointing movie I've seen this year.
Nicely shot...well acted...great loactions...interesting story.
But it suffered greatly from very poor editing, which made the story feel disjointed and slightly confusing at times.
I don't think I'll throw my hat in the ring and claim this to be one of the top ten giallos of all time. Far from it actually. I found this one to be utterly confusing with so much poor plotting and a ridiculous amount of red herrings that I was left a bit dumbfounded at the end. With a little bit of thought, I understood everything, but it still left so many questions unanswered. The atmospherics and the build are reasonably good, but the plot is a bit lost. So many twists and turns aren't always necessary, in my opinion. It has some merit, perhaps more than its worth, but I wouldn't recommend it for most horror fans. They might be overly befuddled.
Suspenseful and intriguing. Certainly not your typical giallo.
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