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Tenebrae (1982)

Tenebre (original title)
Trailer
3:13 | Trailer
An American writer in Rome is stalked by a serial killer bent on harassing him while killing all people associated with his work on his latest book.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writers:

Dario Argento (screenplay), Dario Argento (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Franciosa ... Peter Neal
John Saxon ... Bullmer
Daria Nicolodi ... Anne
Giuliano Gemma ... Detective Germani
Christian Borromeo ... Gianni
Mirella D'Angelo ... Tilde
Veronica Lario ... Jane McKerrow
Ania Pieroni ... Elsa Manni
Eva Robins ... Girl on Beach
Carola Stagnaro Carola Stagnaro ... Detective Altieri
John Steiner ... Christiano Berti
Lara Wendel ... Maria Alboretto
Isabella Amadeo Isabella Amadeo ... Bullmer's secretary
Mirella Banti Mirella Banti ... Marion
Ennio Girolami ... Department Store Manager (as Enio Girolami)
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Storyline

With Argento's trademark visual style, linked with one of his more coherent plots, Tenebrae follows a writer who arrives to Rome only to find somebody is using his novels as the inspiration (and, occasionally, the means) of committing murder. As the death toll mounts the police are ever baffled, and the writer becomes more closely linked to the case than is comfortable. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...Terror Beyond Belief See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dario Argento: [Window] Murder victim crashes through a window. See more »

Goofs

There are several differences between Peter Neal's apartment window's interior and exterior shots. From the interior there are concrete columns on the outside to the left and right. Also there is a painted strip along the bottom, and a low lying shelf. From the exterior there is no concrete, no paint, and Peter can be seen resting his elbow on a shelf at window height. See more »

Quotes

Peter Neal: Let me ask you something? If someone is killed with a Smith & Wesson revolver... Do you go and interview the president of Smith & Wesson?
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Crazy Credits

Anne's screams continue even as the ending credits roll. See more »

Alternate Versions

For its UK cinema release 4 secs were cut from the scene where Jane's arm is sliced off with an axe, removing shots of the blood spray from the bloody stump. The film was then listed as an official Video Nasty and remained unreleased on video until 1999 when the film received the same cuts (now totalling 5 secs). The cuts were fully waived for the 2003 DVD release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scream (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Me Tonight
Performed by Kim Wilde
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User Reviews

 
Violent Argento with highs and lows
29 July 2004 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

I really like Argento-horror and Tenebrae sure ranks as my second favorite film of his. But, by no means I can refer to his films as being genre-masterpieces. They merely are top-notch entertainment for the more demanding horror fans. Yet, Dario's films always show a lot of directorial style and compelling suspense. Argento films somewhat float between classics and oblivion. With Tenebrae, Argento once again proves himself to be a master of suspense. A master of plotting, however, he is not. The film tells the story of a successful American horror author who comes to Rome to promote his latest work: A semi-perverted and anti-feminist horror novel called…duh…Tenebrae. Along with the writer's arrival in Rome, a sadistic killing spree terrorizes the city. In order to practice his filthy hobby, the killer closely follows the writer's new book line by line. Roman police forces lack complete professionalism as usual and our Yank starts his own little investigation.

I'll be the first to admit that Tenebrae contains genuinely creepy moments. Like, for example, when a young girl is accidentally trapped within the killer's mansion after being chased by an aggressive dog. That particular sequence is a pure piece of Argento-brilliance. Almost ten minutes of scares and a swirling camera style, guided by compelling music. But, as opposed to outstanding sequences like this, there are too many uninspired, rubbish sequences in which Argento desperately tries to keep the killer's identity hidden. Not highly efficient and exaggeratedly gross. The film is a bit long and a scene cut here or there would have been appropriate. I guess Argento saved up all the 'cutting' exclusively for the victims in his script. Another slight disappointment in Tenebrae (although this may be very personal) is that John Saxon is dreadfully underused. Saxon is one of the most charismatic B-actors ever, but he barely has any screen time. What the hell is that about, Dario? But, for the gorehounds among us, Tenebrae easily is one of Argento's sickest, most violent films. Slit throats…blood-colored walls…axe dismemberments and some other filthy tricks. By the end of the film, the entire cast is neatly exterminated. Very convenient, no?

At the beginning of this review, I mentioned that Tenebrae is my second favorite Argento film. This film is only outshined by (Terror at the) Opera! That particular sickie is less hyped than the rest of Argento's repertoire, but a lot more slick, clever and shocking.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

17 February 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tenebre See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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