Tenebrae (Blu-ray)


TenebraeStarring Anthony Franciosa, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi, John Steiner

Directed by Dario Argento

Distributed by Synapse Films

After the commercial failure of 1980’s Inferno, Dario Argento briefly abandoned the supernatural territory he mastered with the likes of Suspiria and returned to his giallo roots with his 1982 masterpiece Tenebrae. American author Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) arrives in Rome to promote his latest murder-mystery novel and finds himself surrounded my a series of mass murders inspired by his novel and in typical giallo fashion, red herrings and plot twists unravel across Argento’s bloody cinematic canvas. Beneath the surface Tenebrae is one of Argento’s most complex works thematically, exploring Freudian psychology, dualism and a bold metafictional approach that responds to criticism of his previous work.

Argento wanted to contrast the dark subject matter and symbolic title with as much bright light as possible and told cinematographer Luciano Tovoli to deliver a look that was cold and semi-futuristic. Thanks to Synapse films’ outstanding color correction and restoration it has never been more apparent how crucial Argento’s visual choices are in making Tenebrae work on such an engaging level. Tenebrae’s visual aesthetic is reminiscent of Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession which benefited strongly to create mood through lighting and inspired camera work. The set pieces that feature in this film are magnified by creative and influential film techniques, particularly the infamous Louma crane tracking shot that fans of Tenebrae are certainly familiar with.

As pointed out in the amazing feature length documentary included on this disc Yellow Fever: The Rise and Fall of the Giallo, music is eighty percent of what makes these films work. The score by Simonetti, Pignatelli & Morante of Goblin is pure bliss and in this instance proves that theory to be true. I couldn’t be more pleased with the amount of love that went into releasing this landmark film in Dario’s career that set the bar high and influenced everyone from Brian De Palma to Kenneth Branagh on Dead Again. Synapse films have truly outdone themselves with this magnificent release and if this is any indication of how Suspiria and Phenomena are going to turn out, it’s time to start getting very excited.

Special Features:

  • All-new Synapse Films supervised color correction and restoration of a 1080p scan from the original camera negative, presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1
  • Dual English and Italian language options with newly-translated English subtitle tracks for both
  • Audio commentary track featuring film critic and Argento scholar, Maitland McDonagh
  • Rare high-definition 1080p English sequence insert shots, playable within the film via Seamless Branching
  • Feature-length documentary, YELLOW FEVER: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GIALLO by Rising Productions, chronicling the Giallo film genre from its beginnings as early 20th century crime fiction, to its later influences on the modern slasher film genre
  • Original UNSANE (U.S. version of TENEBRAE) end credits sequence
  • Alternate opening credits sequence
  • Theatrical trailers

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User Rating 3.4 (15 votes)


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