Director Lamberto Bava eschews complex mystery in favor of elaborate stalk-and-slash sequences, with only partial success in La Casa Con la Scala Nel Buio. One scene with a cringing woman screaming in terror as the killer pokes a tiny utility knife through some uncooperative chicken wire provokes more laughter than fear, but there is a bloody bathroom murder that provides some shocks. In the end, Bava's stylish direction (itself owing more than a little to his mentor Dario Argento), cannot compensate for a weak screenplay by Dardano Sacchetti and Elisa Livia Briganti. Michele Soavi, who serves as assistant director and plays Occhipinti's effeminate landlord here, would do much better directing his own genre entry, the effective Deliria.
by Robert Firsching review