La casa dalle finestre che ridono (1976)

35mm film, colour, 1.85:1
mono, Italian

An Italian horror film directed by Pupi Avati. Actress Taryn Power was initially announced as appearing in the film but was replaced by Francesca Marciano.

Plot Summary

Stefano is hired to restore a fresco depicting the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian on the wall of a church in a remote a rural Italian village. But he learns that the fresco's painter was a madman who, with his two insane sisters, had tortured people to death as inspiration for his work. Villagers are soon being murdered and Stefano suspects that someone wants him to stop his work at any cost.


A film by: Pupi Avati
© [not given on screen]
Produced by: Gianni Minervini and Antonio Avati for A.M.A. Film s.r.l.
Screenplay: Pupi Avati, Antonio Avati, Gianni Cavina, Maurizio Costanzo
Story: Pupi Avati and Antonio Avati
Director of Photography: Pasquale Rachini
Editor: Giuseppe Baghdighian
Music: Amedeo Tommasi
Sound: Enrico Blasi
Costume Designer: Luciana Morosetti
Make-up: Giovanni Amadei
Hairdresser: Francesco Musicó
Special Effects: Giovanni Corridori
Art Director: Luciana Morosetti

Lino Capolicchio [Stefano]
Francesca Marciano [Francesca]
Gianni Cavina [Coppola]
Giulio Pizzirani [Antonio Mazza]
Bob Tonelli [Solmi]
Vanna Busoni [Laura Legnani]
Pietro Brambilla [Lidio]
Ferdinando Orlandi [Marshall]
Andrea Matteuzzi [Poppi]
Ines Ciaschetti [teacher]
Pina Borione
Flavia Giorgio
Arrigo Lucchini
Carla Astolfi
Luciano Bianchi
Tonino Corazzari
Libero Grandi

Alternative Titles

The House with Laughing Windows – USA
House with the Windows That Laugh
La Maison aux fenêtres qui rient – France
La Porte de l'enfer – France (video)

Extracts included in
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror (2021)



  • Cinematografia ITA vol.43 no.7/8 (August/September 1976) pp.5-6 – review
  • Continental Film Review vol.24 no.3 (January 1977) pp.30-31 – review
  • Empire no.209 (November 2006) p.180 – DVD review (Kim Newman's DVD DTV Dungeon by Kim Newman)
  • Rivista del Cinematografo vol.50 no.1-2 (January-February 1977) pp.41-42 – review
  • Sight & Sound vol.16 no.11 (November 2006) p.89 – DVD review (The House with Laughing Windows by Matthew Leyland)
  • Total Film no.160 (November 2009) p.72 – illustrated note (as part of The Future 100 edited by Jonathan Dean)


  • 100 Cult Films by Ernest Mathijs & Xavier Mendik pp.115-116 – review by XM [Xavier Mendik]
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.309-310 – credits, review
  • The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in Film by Matt Glasby p.17 – review
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.346-48, 352, 400, 401
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.240-241
  • Unsung Horrors by Eric McNaughton & Darrell Buxton (eds) p.301 – illustrated review (by JM Cozzoli)

Other sources

  • BFI Southbank Programme October-November 2019 – illustrated note