Tenebrae

Production Year: 1982
Release Date: 12/16/2013
Studio: Arrow Video

From 1970 to 1990 Dario Argento was at the top of his game unleashing classics such as Suspiria, Deep Red, Inferno, and Tenebrae.  A maestro of Italian horror, no one was creating films quite like Argento's; he was in a complete league of his own.


After working on Suspiria and Inferno, two films based in a supernatural world, the auteur wanted to head back to his giallo roots.  The result was Tenebrae - a classic, bloody murder mystery. In the film author Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) has just arrived in Rome to promote his new book "Tenebre," in doing so he inadvertently becomes embroiled in a deviant murder's game.  The gloved killer, inspired directly from the authors' new book, begins murdering people he deems to be "filthy."


The killer occasionally leaves the author a mysterious letter making it clear his devious intentions.  With the help of his associate (Anne; Daria Nicolodi) Peter decides to solve the case himself, but in doing so he could possibly put himself and those he's closest to in imminent danger.  This is a film that will keep you guessing until it's final shocking moments, in Tenebrae everyone is a suspect.


If you've ever heard someone refer to something as "classic Argento" it's generally regarding the string of films the director did during the mid 70's and 80's.  During that period he created some truly influential horror films that would forever brand him a master of his craft.  Tenebrae is no different, while some of the stylish lighting and whimsical set designs from past films like Inferno and Suspiria are gone, Tenebrae remains to be one of the directors best and sharpest efforts, a true "must see" for fans of the Giallo genre.


While I do not have Arrow Video's original Tenebrae release, going off some of the not-so-positive reviews the original release received I can attest that things have improved substantially.  I can see no instance of DNR or edge enhancement.  The film has a natural grain that gives way to a lot of detail, even in some of the darker shots.   


The uncompressed 2.0 mono tracks (both English and Italian are available) are on par with the visuals.  Simonetti's score takes center stage but never does it interfere with any of the dialogue.  I'm more than pleased with the overall outcome of this release, I just wish some of the extras, especially the concert footage, could have gotten the HD treatment.


Audio Commentary - Authors and critics Kim Newman and Alan Jones

Audio Commentary - Argento expert Thomas Rostock

Introduction by Daria Nicolodi (0:11 SD) 

The Unsane World of Tenebrae (15:13 SD) - Dario Argento on Tenebrae! Dario discusses his infulences behind the film, and how a part of the plot was inspired by real life opinions on the director's work. 

Out of the Shadows: A Discussion with Maitland McDonagh (12:20 HD) - A conversation with the author of Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds. She discusses Tenebrae, and why Argento decided to do another Gallio after the filming of Suspiria and Inferno. 

A Composition for Carnage; Claudio Simonetti on Tenebrae (10:04 SD) - Simonetti recants on Tenebrae's soundtrack, the influences, and how it differed from his past compositions.

Screaming Queen! Daria Nicolodi Remembers Tenebrae (16:04 SD) - Daria Nicolodi discusses her work with Argento along with her thoughts on Tenebre

Goblin; Live at The Arches, Glasgow (16:38 SD) - Goblin perform Tenebrae and Phenomena at The Arches. This was filmed on 02/25/2011 and did a great job reminding me just how lucky I am to have had the chance to see this group preform live when they were in Austin, TX. 

Theatrical Trailer (3:14 SD)



Tenebrae is a great flick, while it's not as aesthetically pleasing as some of Argento's other films it's certainly a solid Gialli.  With over an hour of special features, a great transfer, and a very slick lookin' steelbook this new release is definitely purchase worthy 

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