This week I reached for one of my clamshells, my VHS of Carlo Ausino’s Don’t Look in the Attic from 1982.
Several inheritants of an old mansion in Turin arrive only to realize that it includes a curse that has plagued their family for generations.
No matter how deep I dig into the annals of Italian film I can usually count on them to at least be interesting, but sadly Don’t Look in the Attic was the exception to this rule. This movie was dull as dirt. That said, I must concede that it was not helped by the hilarious dubbing that had characters speaking at what seemed like one-point-five speed. It gave me a wave of nostalgia from when I was renting bootlegs in the late nineties.
Seriously though, was there ever a lot of talking in this movie. I swear it was an hour before the protagonist Martha (Beba Loncar) even looked in the attic. I couldn’t understand what the hell she was doing there in the first place, as the movie previously had her dead mother calling to her from the other side “Don’t go to Turin! Don’t go to the villa!” Then cut to the next scene where Martha's mumbling “I wonder what she was trying to tell me… One ticket to Turin please!”
Again, full disclosure, this was another title that I found myself fighting sleep in the middle of. Maybe it's this long stretch of humidity we’ve been having lately. Yeah, that’s the ticket! Don’t Look in the Attic was not a total wash, as it did have two redeeming qualities.
First, everyone who ever rented a movie in the eighties knows that the coverbox was often a ruse to get your dollars, but surprisingly Ausino actually delivered the action on his - and in the opening sequence, no less. Second, the cinematography was decent, helped largely by the eerie mansion location. Though to be fair, a filmmaker friend of mine once made the valid point that you could point the camera anywhere in Italy and it'd look like the best movie ever made.
Don’t Look in the Attic was not a high point in the history of Italian horror, but I guess they can’t all be-llissima. At least I got to cross another film off my “Don’t!” list.