Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Tenebrae by Dario Argento has always been one of the few Giallo films I have actually enjoyed.  It has a great story and mystery that anyone can get behind.  Great acting and beautiful directing By Argento make this one of my favorite horror films.  Argento was actually inspired by a series of incidents which saw an insane fan telephone him to criticize him for the damaging psychological effects of his previous work. The telephone calls culminated in death threats.  Argento used this experience, plus the random violence he encountered in LA to write Tenebrae

It centers around Peter Neal an American Horror writer who goes to Italy to promote his latest book entitled Tenebrae.  As he's arriving a young woman gets her throat slashed by a black glove assailant.  This killer sends Neal a letter informing him that his novels are what is inspiring to commit murder. And boy does he, a nice handful or grizzly murders take place which is more than enough to satisfy the gore hounds reading as they are filmed quite grotesquely.  One of the best is the murder by axe.

All of these murders in question revolve around the chapters of Neal's book. Which leads to Neal and his assistant going off in search of the killer themselves.  Its through a series of events we learn that these murders are not at all what they truly appear to be.

Argento is famous for using themes in his films.  I still say that Susperia is a remake of Alice in Wonderland but what do I know.   According to James Gracey, author of a book about Argento's work, Tenebrae"explores some of his most reoccurring themes and preoccupations, such as Freudian psychology, sexual deviancy, repressed trauma, voyeurism, audience spectatorship and the fetishisation of violence and death.

Tis film received many many cuts to avoid is original NC-17 rating. Almost every gore shot had to be trimmed down actually butchered would be a better word. Sure bootlegs were around for years on the underground VHS market, or imported laserdisc for the more hardened film collectors.  Anchor Bay put out a pretty nice transfer to DVD years back but due to the color scheme Argento uses the print really didn't do the film much justice.

Now finally after all these years Synapse has released it on Blu Ray with a brand new transfer that finally does it justice.  Every single color pops just as Argento intended it to.  The Goblin soundtrack is cleaned immaculately and pumps throughout the film adding to the tension.  Plus its loaded with special features.

All-new Synapse Films supervised color correction and restoration of a 1080p scan from the original camera negative, presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1
Dual English and Italian language options with newly-translated English subtitle tracks for both
Audio commentary track featuring film critic and Argento scholar, Maitland McDonagh
Rare high-definition 1080p English sequence insert shots, playable within the film via Seamless Branching
Feature-length documentary, YELLOW FEVER: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GIALLO by High Rising Productions, chronicling the Giallo film genre from its beginnings as early 20th century crime fiction, to its later influences on the modern slasher film genre
Original UNSANE (U.S. version of TENEBRAE) end credits sequence
Alternate opening credits sequence
International theatrical trailer
Japanese SHADOW theatrical trailer

There is a limited edition 3 disc Steelbook set that includes the soundtrack as well as a collectors book.  It had a very limited run and as of this writing is not even listed on the web site.  If your able to I would suggest picking that one up.

There is a reason why this film is so well regarded in the world of not only Italian Horror but all Horror markets.  Its considered Argentos last truly great film.  If your a fan you have to buy this version as its the must see print.  If you have never seen or experienced Tenebrae then its a must purchase.

Overall 4.5 out of 5 Stars!!

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