Tenebrae

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In the early 1980s, Dario Argento, Italy’s legendary master of horror, returned to the giallo thriller genre in which he originally made his name for his most blood-drenched and self-reflexive offering to date: Tenebrae. A razor-wielding psychopath is stalking the thriller writer Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa), in Rome to promote his latest work, Tenebrae. But the author isn’t the obsessive killer’s only target: the beautiful women who surround him are doomed as, one by one, they fall victim to the murderer’s slashing blade. (Arrow Films)

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J*A*S*M 

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English The last of the better known Argento’s Giallo that I hadn’t seen, and I can’t say I’m particularly thrilled –  though after my previous experiences, I wasn’t expecting much. I’ll say it again: Argento does have interesting ideas (mainly technically and artistically speaking), but he’s not that good as a director and the performances of the actors under his baton are amazing sometimes; Tenebrae is a typical example of this. At least there’s an above average number of murders, so there is something to look at and the film is not as boring as some of its predecessors... The climax is quite spectacular and improves the overall impression, but three stars is the most I’m willing to award. ()

Lima 

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English A very well crafted thriller. The story follows a classic, well-trodden template where the killer murders according to a book he is a fan of, so, nothing new. There’s also the final “surprising” twist, which at least for me was a bit predictable. What’s interesting, though, is the very stylish murder scenes, Argento uses a garish red-white contrast in each of them. White dresses, white walls (the scene when a severed hand scratches the entire pure white wall with an arcing motion is one of the most unforgettable), a white kitchen, a white sheet on a victim's body, and everywhere the red colour of blood fits like a glove. But I can’t say I was scared. Tenebrae is not a horror film, but rather a crime drama in which the murders are depicted in a slightly harsher way than is usual in this genre, which, of course, it’s to be expected from Argento. ()

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POMO 

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English In the context of Dario Argento’s filmography, this giallo flick has the most in common with Deep Red – i.e. bloody murders in widescreen. Overall, however, Tenebre is an average film, half a star weaker than the aforementioned classic. The mystery and atmosphere are weaker and even the camerawork is merely utilitatarian rather than  exhilarating. The level of gore escalates with each murder, culminating in a scene at the end for which you don’t regret even a second spent with the preceding weak sauce. Mandatory viewing for fans of the subgenre. ()

Matty 

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English When he isn’t playing with crayons, making fun of feminists or staging one of his many baroquely spectacular murders, Dario Argento is constructing and deconstructing a detective story, simply and predictably, yet also entertainingly all the way to the bloody climax with a very unusual demonstration of how to paint a room red. 70% ()

kaylin 

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English Some of the special effects and the ending are a bit rough, but what must be acknowledged about the film is its absolutely great music, for which the band Goblin is responsible, with whom Dario often collaborated. But to be more precise, the music was recorded by only three members of this band, which is otherwise a four-piece. They are listed on the soundtrack as Simonetti-Morante-Pignatelli, not Goblin. But it is their music that elevates the film a little more. ()

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