Director – Dario Argento
Cast – Anthony Franciosa, Christian Borrormeo, Mirella D’Angelo, Veronica Lario, Ania Pieroni, Eva Robin’s, Carola Stagnaro
Release Year – 1982
Reviewed by John of the Dead
The maestro of Italian horror does it again. After destroying the Italian horror scene with Deep Red, Suspiria, and Inferno, Dario Argento once again wowed audiences with a perfectly executed film. This time relying on the giallo genre these Italians created, Argento gives us a film with numerous twists accompanied by bloody goodness. Your mother/grandmother might think she can do “the twist” :cue in 50s dance music: but no one/nothing does the twist like Dario Argento’s “Tenebre”.
“Tenebre” follows Peter Neal, a mystery-crime fiction writer with a new book out titled…”Tenebrae”(Italian spelling of “Tenebre”). Mr. Neal is on the Rome leg of his book tour and his stay is immediately tainted when someone begins killing in the same nature as the killer in his new book. After each kill Mr. Neal gets a letter sent to him, with clues to why the murder was committed. When the murders begin to include people close to him, Mr. Neal is on the run for his life. Can the world famous mystery-crime writer figure out who the killer is before he suffers his own demise?
This film has to be my favorite giallo thus far. I love the giallo genre, and believe it to be one of the most interesting genres in film. These flicks always keep you engaged with their plot twists and mystery plots, and the addition of awesome gore never hurts. Dario Argento’s direction in this film is mind bogglingly amazing. His perfect pacing makes this film a fun watch, and who can forget his cinematography? Wow, just wow. Before there was the amazing camera work of Sam Raimi there was the amazing camera work of Dario Argento. This being a Dario film…there is plenty of gore thrown in. We don’t see much of it till the end of the film, but it is definitely worth the wait and actually improves the film in my opinion given the deaths slowly escalate in gratuity.
I really liked the story for this flick, but when do I NOT love a mystery story? Heh. We’ve seen this plot before, where someone recreates murders from an author’s book, but the twists thrown into this film make it an interesting and creative watch. Some of the twists were pretty damn creative, and shows Dario’s love for playing with his audience’s emotions. I can say this though, I did guess the main twist! I won’t say it is predictable, because it is not, but nonetheless I guessed it. Booyah!
I have no complaints for this film and feel it to be one of the greatest, if not THE greatest giallo of all time. Dario does it again, and shows why he was such a driving force in the horror realm during the 70s and 80s.
Overall, this is an amazing film that I recommend to all horror fans. If you are new to the giallo scene then check this out, you will not be disappointed.