Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Year Released: 1982, 2023 Synapse Films 4k
Runtime: 1h 41m
Director(s): Dario Argento
Writer(s): Dario Argento
Cast: Anthony Franciosa, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi, Giuliano Gemma, Christian Borromeo, Mirella D’Angelo, Veronica Lario, Ania Pieroni
Where To Watch: available September 26, 2023; pre-order now here www.synapsefilms.com, www.mvdshop.com, or www.amazon.com
RAVING REVIEW: There was a time when I thought I wasn’t a fan of Dario Argento’s films! Come to find out, I just wasn’t a fan of SUSPIRIA (his highest-rated overall movie). I haven’t seen everything he’s done, but of the seven others I’ve seen, I’ve loved them all. Dario Argento has a knack for keeping us on our toes in cinema. And back in 1982, he whipped up TENEBRAE – a delectable mix of mystery, horror, and some good old Italian cinematic flair. Imagine landing in Rome to launch your novel, only to find life imitating art in the most twisted ways. That’s the whirlwind journey that Peter Neal, brought to vibrant life by Anthony Franciosa, is on.
The grandeur of Rome, a city that whispers tales from history, becomes a canvas for Argento but in the opposite of how you’d expect. You’d think the city’s dark stories would unfold under the moonlit night. But, surprise! Our maestro chooses the sunlit avenues to tackle a different take on Giallo (all of this with all the blood that Rome could spare). This is where fiction is chasing Neal, making him (and us) question where the boundaries lie.
TENEBRAE showcases a festival of colors, which is ironic since tenebrae means darkness in English. The radiant blue skies are the perfect canvas for this dark tale, while red becomes the paint color of choice in crucial moments. Argento’s brilliance isn’t just in the story he spins but in the visual palette, he chooses to tell it in—his approach to cinematography stamps a seal of his forward-thinking approach to filmmaking.
At times, some decisions of our characters might make you scratch your head in wonder. That element of whimsy, borderline surreal at times, has the audience teetering on the brink of confusion. But fear not, for our actors are here to save the day! Franciosa’s portrayal of Peter Neal is quite the treat, and John Saxon, as Bullmer, Neal’s agent, is an unsung hero (it always amuses me when I see Saxon in things that aren’t A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. I grew up with him in that role and for a long time only knew him for that!) Daria Nicolodi? She’s the cherry on this cinematic cake as the effervescent Anne.
Dipping his toes into the historical undercurrents, Argento weaves in elements of malice, symbolized by a haunting fascist-era setting in TENEBRAE. It’s subtle but there, adding layers to the film’s texture. Sitting pretty in Argento’s Hall of Fame, TENEBRAE sets a bar others might find hard to leap over. It’s a great entry point for newbies to the genre and a title that longtime fans will love. The paradox of its title is a testament to Argento’s knack for playing with our minds. Some scenes playfully tease, while others give it to you straight – there’s no holding back with Argento.
To round it off, dive into TENEBRAE, not just as a film but as a journey – through Rome, Argento’s lens, and a web of mysteries that’ll keep you guessing. It’s the kind of cinematic adventure that lingers, ensuring its echoes are heard long after the final scream…
– 4K UHD (2160p) & Blu-ray (1080p) Combo Pack
– 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray™ presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible) in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio
– Original Italian and English front and end titles and insert shots
– Restored original DTS-HD MA lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks
– English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
– Audio commentary by authors and critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
– Audio commentary by Argento expert Thomas Rostock
– Audio commentary by Maitland McDonagh, author of Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento
– Yellow Fever: The Rise and Fall of the Giallo, a feature-length documentary charting the genre from its beginnings to its influence on the modern slasher film, featuring interviews with Dario Argento, Umberto Lenzi, Luigi Cozzi, and more
– Being the Villain, a newly edited archival interview with actor John Steiner
– Out of the Shadows, an archival interview with Maitland McDonagh
– Voices of the Unsane, an archival featurette containing interviews with writer/director Dario Argento, actresses Daria Nicolodi and Eva Robins, cinematographer Luciano Tovoli, composer Claudio Simonetti and assistant director Lamberto Bava
– Screaming Queen, an archival interview with Daria Nicolodi
– The Unsane World of Tenebrae, an archival interview with Dario Argento
– A Composition for Carnage, an archival interview with Claudio Simonetti
– Archival introduction by Daria Nicolodi
– International theatrical trailer
– Japanese “Shadow” theatrical trailer
– Alternate opening credits sequence
– “Unsane” end credits sequence
– Image galleries
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[photo courtesy of SYNAPSE FILMS, MVD ENTERTAINMENT]
MY SAG-AFTRA/WGA STRIKE STATEMENT:
As an advocate for creators, actors, and writers, I firmly stand with SAG-AFTRA and the WGA in their current strike. The entertainment industry is built on these individuals’ extraordinary talents, and their contributions must be appropriately recognized and rewarded. They deserve fair compensation, sensible work hours, and respect for their creative rights. I believe in the power of unity and collective action, and I’m steadfast in my support for their fight for better working conditions and fair remuneration. Together, we can shape a more equitable future in the entertainment world.
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