Tenebrae Movie Review


AKA: Unsane, Tenebre
Terror Beyond Belief
Tenebrae Picture


Anthony Franciosa, Christian Borromeo, Mirella D'Angelo .., Veronica Lario

Ania Pieroni, Eva Robins, Carola Stagnaro, John Steiner, Lara Wendel, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi, Giuliano Gemma, Isabella Amadeo, Mirella Banti Update Cast

Rewind Archive
Tenebrae featured on the infamous 'Police 55' list, which meant that the film was ceased and banned when the UK authorities cracked down, on what they called 'video nasties' in the early 80's.

A cut version of the film is now available in the UK again.

More Trivia from Tenebrae


For Dario Argento, Tenebrae was a return to the 'Giallo'. Five years had passed since the release of Profondo Rosso, during this time he brought us the supernatural shock-vehicles:- Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980).

Like so many of Argento's films, Tenebrae revolves around a writer. He is Peter Neal (Franciosa), an American who writes violent suspense thrillers. Just before he arrives in Rome to promote the book, a beautiful women is killed, the pages of the book stuffed into her mouth. This is the first of many violent and brilliant set-peices of the film. The killer soon contacts Neal, claiming that he finds inspiration in his books.

Set in Rome, Tenebrae has a strange architectural landscape its imaginary geography is pieced together out of fragments of the city that most of us would be unfamiliar with. Ultra-modern decor fills the interiors of hard edged buildings and empty locations are present, this not being the image of Rome that most people are familiar with. The films imagery is shaped by the washed out stark lighting by Luciano Tovoli.

Incessantly sexualised and violent, the films strengths lie in the visuals, subtle colour shades and dreamy flashbacks... the killers identity seems to be connected in a series of sequences where a young man is seen to be humiliated by a beautiful young woman in harsh red shoes on a white beach, pastel blue ocean as a backdrop to the erotic and disturbing events taking place.

Argento as auteur is a wonderful place if you can only share this reality. With good performances from Franciosa, Saxon and most enjoyably John Steiner as the journalist Christano Berti, this is a deranged dream of a thriller where madness and irrationality form its inspiration.

The Region 1 DVD release has the full version, a relief after the film was cut and banned on video in some countries. At last we can enjoy the film the maestro himself approved.

Author: Nik AllenUpdate This Review


A violent and wonderful slice of cult 80's Euro-horror. Essential!

Dramatic, uncommercial Euro-horror!
Too violent for many.

Rewind Rating


The Movie Data

Key Crew

Director: Dario Argento
Writer: Dario Argento
Producers: Claudio Argento, Salvatore Argento
Locations Manager:

Update The Crew


Release Date: Unknown
MPAA Rating: R
Studio: Sigma Cinematografica Roma
Production: Sigma Cinematografica Roma
Genre: Horror / Occult

Update The Data

The Movie Trailer
Jump To: Music & Soundtrack Vibes
1982 Sigma Cinematografica Roma
V4_27 Powered by Rewind C21 CMS