Blu-ray Review: Tenebrae (1982)

Tenebrae BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Dario Argento

Starring: Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, Christian Borromeo, John Saxon, Mirella D’Angelo, Eva Robins

In Tenebrae, an American writer named Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) is on a book tour in Rome to promote his latest novel, but Neal is being stalked by an obsessed fan who murders women in similar ways to the murders in his book. As the body count rises the police are seemingly at a loss as to working out who is committing the gruesome crimes, and Peter Neal finds out that reality and fiction aren’t always two separate things.

Definitely up there with director Dario Argento’s best work, Tenebrae is surprisingly straightforward when put up against most of his other output and showcases many of the inventive filmmaking techniques that Argento’s reputation was built on, like the impressive crane shot around a potential victim’s home that apparently took three days to shoot. The rich colour schemes that Argento’s earlier films like Suspiria seemed to revel in are replaced with a blander, paler look that only serves to highlight the effects of the violence that the director inflicts with a savage glee in a film that could be considered one of Argento’s most personal. And what Italian horror/giallo film would be complete without a good dose of gratuitous nudity to go along with the spraying blood and leather-gloved foul play?

Packed with some wonderful extras the new HD transfer of the film looks stunning and comes in equally stunning Steelbook packaging that features the iconic original poster art. It’s safe to say that Tenebrae is one of the classic giallo movies and is probably the last Dario Argento film to be considered a masterpiece, and even if you already own it on Blu-ray this magnificent limited edition package is worth shelling out for again simply for looking so damn good just sitting on your shelf.

Tenebrae

Special Features: Limited Edition SteelBook packaging featuring original artwork, audio commentary with authors and critics Kim Newman and Alan Jones, audio commentary with Argento expert Thomas Rostock, introduction by star Daria Nicolodi, The Unsane World of Tenebrae interview with director Dario Argento, Screaming Queen! featurette, A Composition for Carnage interview with composer Claudio Simonetti, Goblin perform Tenebrae and Phenomena live from the Glasgow Arches, new interview with author Maitland McDonagh, original trailer, exclusive collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by Alan Jones, an interview with cinematographer Luciano Tovoli and an appreciation of the film by director Peter Strickland, illustrated with original posters and lobby cards.

UK Release Date: 16th December 2013

Arrow Films – Website

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