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Tenebrae DVD

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After several excursions into supernatural horror, Dario Argento returned to the homicidal frenzy that made his reputation with this mystery that plays more like a grown-up slasher movie than a detective thriller. Anthony Franciosa stars as Peter Neal, a best-selling horror novelist whose promotional tour in Italy takes a terrible turn when a mysterious killer recreates the brutal murders from his book with real-life victims. The first to die are so-called "deviants", Neal's own friends and finally there comes a promise that the author himself is next on the list. Columbo it ain't, but Argento has always been more concerned with style than story and his execution of the crimes is pure cinematic bravura. From the simple beauty of a straight razor shattering a light bulb (the camera catches the red-hot filament slowly blacking out) to an ambitious crane shot that creeps up and over the sides of a house under siege in a voyeuristic survey that would make Hitchcock proud, Argento turns the art of murder into a stylish spectacle. He even lets his kinkier side show with flashbacks of an adolescent boy and a teasing dominatrix in red stiletto heels that become a key motif of the film. The objects of Argento's homicidal tendencies are traditionally lovely, scantily clad Italian beauties, and with self-deprecating humour he even inserts a scene in which Neal is taken to task for the misogynist violence of his stories--an accusation Argento himself has weathered for years. --Sean Axmaker

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  • Average Rating for Tenebrae [1983] - 4 out of 5


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  • Tenebrae [1983]
    Michele Smith

    Italian horror director Dario Argento does not fail to please with "Tenebrae" another of his 'giallo' masterpieces.

    Allegorically speaking as the title suggests, 'Tenebrae' (darkness/shadows), gives the audience an insight through the eyes of the psychopath; the clever use of the point-of-view shot from the killer"s perspective, involves the audience in the murderous assaults taking place on the screen.

    "Peter Neal" an American writer goes to Italy in order to promote his new book "Tenebrae" and whilst there finds that a psychotic is murdering people (mostly attractive Italian women) and is leaving passages from his novel at the scene of the crime; thus implicating the author somehow.

    The author then starts to investigate the matter himself with an interesting twist at the end. "Tenebrae" is not for the squeamish and whilst the storyline is occasionally somewhat fractured, the spectacle more than makes up for this, coupled with an excellent original score by Goblin (favoured by the director and used in a number of his films) which adds to and builds on the tension, this film will certainly satisfy your more gore hungry viewer.

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