Il nascondiglio (2007)

Italian directors in America is one of my favorite subgenres, so imagine my joy at discovered that Pupi Averti made this haunted house giallo in Davenport, IA and the Warner Castle in Orion, IL.

Francesca Sainati (Laura Morante) moved to Iowa 15 years ago to open her own restaurant, but after the suicide death of her husband, she’s struggled at even being able to live a normal life, spending some time in an asylum. Now, as she attempts to open a second business, she learns of a fifty-year-old murder conspiracy.

Beyond its Italian cast — Giovanni Lombardo Radice and Sydne Rome (Some Girls DoThe Pumaman) made the trip to America — this also stars Treat Williams, Burt Young and Rita Tushingham, who played the grandmother in modern giallo Last Night In Soho and was also in Doctor Zhivago). A warning, however. Nearly every line in this movie is whispered, as if this were proto-ASMR. And there are also two orphans that have somehow — and this is a major spoiler, mind you — who stayed alive by drinking rainwater and eating rats within the walls of the decaying mansion where Francesca thinks people are going to come and eat. I mean, half of restaurants go out of business in the first year and she’s going to open hers in a place called Snake Castle?

While not a perfect film, Averti made The House With the Laughing Windows, so I will watch anything that he directs. And hey — it has a score by Riz Ortolani!

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