Despite that lesser known than his contemporaries, Pupi Avati figures among Italian maestros of suspense and stylish horror. Despite a rather goofy denouement this one is definitely catchy and mysteriously enthralling. The savage countryside and religious setting definitely help the purpose.
Released on August 16, 1976, this is, by far, the creepiest giallo. Unlike most giallos released in the 1970s (which are violent, stylish set pieces), the bizarre mystery at the heart of this film lingers in the viewer's subconscious. Perhaps the most deeply disturbing ending of any giallo.
Meravigliosa opera che disturba e inquieta. La storia è costruita molto bene e, con un ritmo rilassato, riesce ad appassionare molto. I personaggi sono ben caratterizzati e il pittore è una figura palpabile, nonostante non appaia quasi mai. La regia è ottima e glaciale, presentando tutto in maniera neutra e spietata. Bellissimo il finale e molto interessante il paese nel mantenere a tutti i costi un segreto scomodo.
Tries for atmospheric dread, but often falls into the dull type of giallos that are padded in plot with no real story, and it's too languid in pace to keep interesting. Since the main actor basically just walks around and investigates, the film lacks emotion and tension, and it's often scareless. Thus, the ominousness doesn't go anywhere until the end that's (finally) horrific and downbeat.
This film traumatized me for reasons that I cannot quite explain when I was a kid. Most giallo fans venerate Argento, but this twisted gem from Pupi Avati about directly speaks to your subconscious. The viewing experience is akin to a slow, inexorable descent into sheer madness. The dreadful mood of this sleepy Italian provincial town will haunt you forever. Argento got nothing on Avati.
Don't know if I'm giving it a 3 or a 4. The music was one of the scariest sounds in the movie and really set the mood, and that was the most important thing. Thinking that the story and the characters weren't that new or original. No jump scares, but you'll get a real uneasy feeling when watching this.
Moody and surreal giallo that mostly eschews gore for a creepy atmosphere. If David Lynch made a giallo, it would be this movie. Don't come to this looking for gruesome kills. But unlike most giallo, the mystery is actually very effective and (mostly) makes sense.
To be honest, it left me a little bit disappointed. Mood is great, directing so so, but intrigue full of loop holes and irritating jumps not saying that there's virtually no nudity and lack of genuine visual bestiality. This is good giallo, but still light years from the best in this genre.
Slow-paced but not in the usual way: director Pupi Avati builds layers of tension and mystery instead of just padding out screentime. Lead actor Lino Capolicchio is a total non-presence onscreen but Francesca Marciano makes up for it by being one of the loveliest actresses I've ever laid eyes on. The ending may amount to a "gotcha!" gag but overall this is a superior Italian horror film. A giallo that isn't a giallo.