Giallo plays a large role in Splatter Time Fun Fest 2012!
Written By: Elisa Briganti & Dardano Sacchetti
Directed By: Lamberto Bava
It’s a shame that Lamberto Bava’s 1983 giallo peters out instead of ending with a bang. Signore Bava’s film builds and builds to an ending that is ultimately unsatisfying. The pieces were put in place for the ending very early on in La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio. It just so happens that those pieces were never tangible enough for me to care about the ending when it did finally reveal all. The ending also suffers from the Psycho problem of having a final two minute long sequence that serves as a pure exposition dump. Just like in Psycho, the info dump is not needed in La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio and it makes an unsatisfying reveal into an unsatisfying ending.
There are a few inventive kills in La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio. I don’t mean inventive in the way that the victims meet their end. Rather, I am referring to the way that Signore Bava frames his kills. They are artistic and very gialli in the way that they are put on screen. Signore Bava also implements sound very nicely. There is one kill in particular where the grisly sounds of a hand sliding through a knife help add to the mood of the scene.
It is in mood where La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio most succeeds. The combination of a mounting, and pulsing, score with an overall sense of dread and eeriness within the script creates a palpable mood. I love horror movies where I can feel the tension, where the tension is almost too much for me to bear. La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio was great at implementing such tension and it flourished when playing with tension.
La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio is baggy at times. There are moments where the mounting tension is halted because of the momentum of the film coming to a stop. I’m not sure what could have been done to keep the momentum rolling and the tension building. However, the film does manage to overcome its few missteps and remain a well done giallo.
I’m certainly looking forward to checking out more films from Lamberto Bava. La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio has enough good qualities to pique my interest in the rest of his work. At the same time I realize that La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio could have been better and certainly falls short when compared to the best of giallo. As a portal into the works of a well known giallo director La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio is a good primer, if ultimately lacking in its final moments.