7.2/10
15,112
147 user 174 critic

Tenebre (1982)

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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Bullmer
...
Anne
...
Detective Germani
Christian Borromeo ...
Gianni
...
Tilde
Veronica Lario ...
Jane McKerrow
Ania Pieroni ...
Elsa Manni
Eva Robins ...
Girl on Beach
Carola Stagnaro ...
Detective Altieri
...
Christiano Berti
Lara Wendel ...
Maria Alboretto
Isabella Amadeo ...
Bullmer's secretary
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:

A Descent Into Madness See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

17 February 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tenebre  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Italian language version of the film the opening narration is performed by director Dario Argento. See more »

Goofs

On the telephone, the killer tells Peter Neal that "you wrote those words, page 46," but in fact the words quoted would have had to be on an odd-numbered page of the book TENEBRAE, given the placement of the text we see in the opening sequence. 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?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in High Tension (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Me Tonight
Performed by Kim Wilde
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Enjoyable murder mystery thriller.

After the opening credits the film starts in New York, as American author Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) cycles to JFK airport. He flies to Rome so he can promote his new murder mystery novel 'tenebrae'. Meanwhile in Rome a woman tries to steal a copy of the book from some shop and is caught. She convinces the security guard to let her off. But someone in the store is watching her and has seen whats happened. Back at her flat she is attacked, pages of the book 'tenebrae' are forced into her mouth and her throat is slashed with a straight razor, just like the one the killer uses in the book. The police head straight for Neal to question him, while there Neal receives a letter and phone call from the killer, from then on Neal is thrown in a complex mystery and plunged into the centre of a number of senseless, violent murders. Written and directed by the overrated Dario Argento this is definitely one of his best films. Stylishly filmed with visually pleasing photography, the stand out sequence being the murder of the two lesbians, the camera starts outside of a window looking in at one of the victims, it then moves up a level to another window, it moves across the side of the house to yet another window in which the second victim can be seen playing a record, then the camera moves up toward the roof, glides along it and back down the opposite side of the house from which it started to rest on the killers gloved hand breaking into the house. All in one smooth flowing shot, very impressive. Add to this lots of close ups, strange angles, free flowing camera movements and a nice color scheme, and we have a very good looking film. Acting is OK, most of the lead characters are a little bit bland. While the film does contain a nice amount of nudity, violence and gore it is perhaps a little more restrained than you might expect, except for a scene towards the end of the film where a woman has her arm chopped off with an axe, how much blood?! Having said that the murders are very well done, and Dario films them with style, like the rest of the film. Script wise, I liked the twists and turns but the reasons for some of them didn't make much sense. And one or two bits stray into silly horror film cliché, like the dog attacking the girl, my least favorite sequence in the film. Overall a very good horror mystery. Make sure you listen and pay attention otherwise you may miss some vital plot points, like it appears some of the people who have reviewed it on the IMDb did. One negative would be that once you have watch tenebrae once I don't think many people would be interested in watching it again, as once all the twists are revealed it loses its mystery and impact a little. Certainly worth a rent, recommended.


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