TENEBRAE (1982) Reviews plus 4K Arrow and Synapse release details

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TenebraeDario Argento‘s 1982 Giallo murder mystery classic – is being released on 4K Ultra HD, via simultaneous releases from Arrow Video (July 18, UK) and Synapse Films (July 26, USA).

The three-disc 4K UHD + Blu-ray 6,000 piece Limited Edition boxed set pays tribute to the 40th anniversary of Tenebrae. There’s also Limited Edition 2,000 unit original Italian art “variant” cover version being issued by Synapse.


The releases include pristine restorations, brand-new extras including commentaries and featurettes, limited edition packaging with reversible sleeves, illustrated collector’s booklets, fold-out double-sided posters, lobby card reproduction art cards and special editions with collectable O-cards.

Disc 1 (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) – Original version:

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

Disc 2 (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray) – Unsane version – limited edition exclusive:
UHD Blu-ray™ presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible) in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio
The re-edited 90-minute US version, specially recreated for this release from the new 4K restoration of the full-length 101-minute version, exclusive to UHD
Two audio options: a recreation of the original theatrical experience, complete with jump cuts and sudden audio shifts, and a new, more seamless edit created for this release, both in restored DTS-HD MA lossless English mono
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Original “Take Me Tonight” stereo EP recording, performed by Kim Wilde

Disc 3 (Blu-ray) – Original version:
High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio
All the same content as Disc 1


Here is our previous coverage of the film from way back in June 2012:

Tenebrae is a 1982 Italian Giallo horror-thriller film written and directed by Dario Argento (Opera; Phenomena; Suspiria; Deep Red; The Bird with the Crystal Plumage).

The movie stars Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, Christian Borromeo and John Steiner.

Regarding the film’s focus on modern architecture, Dario Argento said: “Tenebre isn’t based in the present but about five years in the future. It was never meant to be a story about something that is happening now and it doesn’t contain one shot of typical tourist Rome.”

“The impulse had become irresistible. There was only one answer to the fury that tortured him. And so he committed his first act of murder. He had broken the most deep-rooted taboo and found not anxiety, not fear, but freedom. Every humiliation which stood in his way could be swept aside by the simple act of annihilation – murder.”

Visiting Rome on a promotional tour for his new novel, writer Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) is pulled into a murder mystery as someone familiar with his work begins a series of killings.

While the police look into the crimes, Neal investigates on his own, aided by his beautiful assistant, Anne (Daria Nicolodi), and a tenacious young local named Gianni (Christian Borromeo). As the murderer brutally dispatches of other victims, Neal gets closer to discovering the psychopath’s identity…

Reviews [may contain spoilers]:
“The truly impressive achievement of this movie is that it is not just a collection of outrageous set pieces, tied together by an off-the-wall plot; it is a compact, tightly structured unit that attacks the viewer’s comfort zone with all the precision of a deftly wielded scalpel.” Cinefantastique

“Wonderfully shot throughout and full of excellent and artistic set-piece murders, the surreal and scary flashbacks are all accompanied by a terrific score from long time Argento collaborators Goblin, credited here as Simonetti-Morante-Pignatelli. Tenebrae is a master class in giallo mixing violent murders and a solid story with an inventiveness and artistic flair.” Love Horror

” …Tenebrae is written around each set-piece, and trying to make logical sense of the plot and the contrivances required of it is like following a ball of wool after it has been unravelled by a kitten, particularly the end double revelation of multiple killers. This is either something accepts or rejects as part and parcel of any Dario Argento film and as such Tenebrae is enjoyable enough on its own terms.” Moria

Tenebre is a riveting defense of auteur theory, ripe with self-reflexive discourse and various moral conflicts. It’s both a riveting horror film and an architect’s worst nightmare.” Slant

Tenebre is one of Dario Argento’s three strongest films and also one of his most fun to watch. It’s a ride of atmospheres, taking you from the silliness of the quarreling lesbians, to the starkness of Jane’s brutal murder […] to the rawness of the climactic ending.” The Terror Trap

“By the end, the entire cast save one has undergone savage cutting, something which would have benefited the film itself, which is unpleasant even by contemporary horror standards. It does confirm Argento’s dedication to the technicalities of constructing images – Grand Guignol for L’Uomo Vogue, perhaps…” Time Out London

“You get a decent story and above-average cinematography along with all of the other things that make giallos great including inventive death scenes, beautiful women, red herrings, nudity, black gloves (Argento’s hands), great music and an amputation that you’ll never forget. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with this one.” The Video Graveyard

YouTube reviews:

Arrow Video trailer [1440p]:

Cast and characters:
Anthony Franciosa … Peter Neal
Christian Borromeo … Gianni
Mirella D’Angelo … Tilde
Veronica Lario … Jane McKerrow
Ania Pieroni … Elsa Manni
Eva Robins … Girl on Beach
Carola Stagnaro … Detective Altieri
John Steiner … Christiano Berti
Lara Wendel … Maria Alboretto
John Saxon … Bullmer
Daria Nicolodi … Anne
Giuliano Gemma … Detective Germani
Isabella Amadeo … Bullmer’s secretary
Mirella Banti … Marion
Ennio Girolami … Department Store Manager
Monica Maisani
Marino Masé … John
Fulvio Mingozzi … Alboretto, the porter
Giampaolo Saccarola … Coroner
Ippolita Santarelli … Prostitute
Lamberto Bava … Elevator Repairman #1
Michele Soavi … Maria’s Boyfriend/Man Walking with Girl on Beach

Technical details:
1 hour 41 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
Audio: Mono | Stereo (Japan theatrical release)

Original Italian title:
Tenebre “Shadow”

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