Five scary Italian horror movies to watch at Halloween

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Five scary Italian horror movies to watch at Halloween
Photo: Corie Howell/Flickr

Italian cinema is famous around the world - but there's much more to it than La Dolce Vita. This Halloween, why not try out a classic Italian horror film?


The 'giallo' genre incorporates elements of horror, murder mystery, supernatural and psychological thriller, and most are underscored by chilling soundtracks. Italian directors inspired successive generations of international film-makers, so you may well spot a few familiar tropes.

Here are a few suggestions for creepiest Italian horror films to watch this Halloween - if you think your nerves can stand it.

Blood and Black Lace (1964)

Often cited as one of the most influential 'slasher' films, Blood and Black Lace was filmed in Rome, directed by Mario Bava. Fashion models are killed, one by one, by a mysterious masked figure who seems willing to go to any lengths to get his hands on a diary which reveals secrets and scandals from the world of fashion.


Suspira (1977)
Jessica Harper is a ballet student who transfers to a prestigious dance academy in Germany - but all is not as it seems. Suspiria is the first of a supernatural horror trilogy directed by Dario Argento, and has been praised for its creepy soundtrack (by Goblin, an Italian progressive rock group) and use of bright colours. And good news if you enjoy it: there's a remake set for release in 2017.
Cemetery Man (1994)

This adaptation of a 1991 novel (written by the author of Dylan Dog) was directed by Michele Soavi. It takes place in a cemetery, where the caretaker must defend himself from the dead when they return as zombies. The caretaker's name, Dellamorte, is a play on the Italian 'della morte' meaning 'of death'.
Deep Red (1975)
Deep Red - another film by Dario Argento - tells the story of a reporter and a musician investigating a series of murders, all carried out by a dark figure wearing black leather gloves. Argento reportedly chose to shoot the film in Turin because at the time, the city was home to more practising Satanists than any other in Europe, excluding Lyon in France.
The House with Laughing Windows (1976)
Filmed in Ferrara, this movie follows the fate of Stefano, a young man who is sent to restore a controversial mural at a small town church. Its painter, Buono Legnani, is surrounded in mystery; he was known for painting people who were close to death, and his own body has never been found.


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