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The House With Laughing Windows

The House with Laughing Windows is a 1976 Italian giallo film co-written and directed by Pupi Avati. The film was shot in Lido degli Scacchi in the Ferrara province of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy.

Plot

Stefano (Lino Capolicchio) arrives in a village of the Valli di Comacchio area where he has been employed to restore a fresco depicting what appears to be the martyring of Saint Sebastian, which has been painted on a rotting wall of the local church by a mysterious, long-dead artist named Legnani. While temporarily taking up residence in the house that had been previously owned by the two sisters of the deceased painter, Stefano begins a romance with a new, beautiful schoolteacher, Francesca (Francesca Marciano), meanwhile learning from various townspeople that the painter had been a madman who had derived his art from real life. Specifically, Stefano learns that the artist — assisted by his two equally-insane sisters — had been a killer who brutally tortured people to death as inspiration for his horrific paintings — a practice that had likely been used for the very painting he is in process of restoring. As Stefano is discouraged for his task throughout the town, some of the villagers are brutally killed — including his employer — and he comes to suspect that their murderer is trying to deter him from discovering the full truth behind the artist and his ominous legacy within the sleepy community.