With Argento’s trademark visual style, linked with one of his more coherent plots, Tenebrae follows a writer who arrives to Rome only to find somebody is using his novels as the inspiration (and, occasionally, the means) of committing murder. As the death toll mounts the police are ever baffled, and the writer becomes more closely linked to the case than is comfortable.
David Carroll <[email protected]>
User Reviews: With its leather-gloved killer, amazing score, spectacular and innovative camera-work, and wonderfully gory murders, Tenebre delivers everything you could ask for in a giallo. Like many Italian murder mysteries, the story takes some swallowing, but if you can accept the convoluted plot, there’s plenty of fun to be had.
Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) is a best-selling novelist who becomes involved in real life murder mystery when the victims of a razor-wielding killer are found with pages from his latest book stuffed in their mouths.
One of director Dario Argento’s best movies, Tenebre is packed to the rafters with the kind of stuff that make good giallos such a trip to watch. As pretty girls are stalked and killed by a raspy-voiced maniac, the director offers genuine clues and red herrings aplenty, allowing the audience to have fun trying to figure out who the killer is. The movie’s stunning cinematography is accompanied by one of Goblin’s greatest scores, transforming what may have been mundane moments in the hands of a lesser director into pure works of art (in one amazing scene the camera simply prowls slowly around the outside of a building, but with Argento in control, it is simply breathtaking!).
Murder has never been so stylish, and even the most grisly deaths are stunningly captured. A particularly memorable moment has a young girl stumble into the house of the killer, before being chased through a garden; this scene is shot from the axe-wielding maniac’s point of view, and is incredibly effective.
Fans of gore are also catered for with several gruesome murders, the best of which involves bucket-loads of arterial spray decorating most of a wall. Juicy!
Argento reveals the identity of the killer in a suitably silly finale (all gialli have them), before offing the murderer in a fittingly gruesome manner.
Check out Tenebre and witness one of the great works from one of Italian horror’s finest.