Tenebre (1982)

X  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  17 February 1984 (USA)
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Reviews: 144 user | 154 critic

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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Part three of the "Three Mothers" trilogy which takes place in Rome and has to do with Mater Lachrymarum (The Third Mother).

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Asia Argento, Cristian Solimeno, Adam James


Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Borromeo ...
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
Daria Nicolodi ...
Giuliano Gemma ...
Detective Germani
Isabella Amadeo ...
Bullmer's secretary
Mirella Banti ...
Ennio Girolami ...
Department Store Manager (as Enio Girolami)


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


A Descent Into Madness See more »


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Release Date:

17 February 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tenebre  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (edited)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Christopher Walken was considered for the lead role. See more »


Just before Elsa is killed, the attacker shoves several individual wads of paper into her mouth. But as she dies, she spits it out and the pages are now wadded together in one giant ball. See more »


[First lines]
Narrator: "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 guilt, not anxiety or fear, but freedom. Any humiliation which stood in his way could be swept aside by the simple act of annihilation: Murder."
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Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Body Double (1984) See more »


Take Me Tonight
Performed by Kim Wilde
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Easily Argento's most violent giallo.
7 March 2001 | by (Chyby, Poland) – See all my reviews

"Tenebre" stars Anthony Franciosa as a novelist Peter Neal who finds himself embroiled in a series of grisly murders,as one of his readers starts to imitate the killings in his latest novel Tenebrae.This Dario Argento's bloody thriller is full of startling plot twists and shocking bursts of gory violence.Plenty of serious shocks and a wonderful musical score by Goblin as well as incredibly gory finale that is among Argento's greatest sequences.As usual,there are some stylish killings,particularly a gruesome arm chopping near the end-definitely one of the bloodiest murder scenes I have ever seen.Argento uses some of the most vivid colors imaginable and like his 1977 effort "Suspiria",he uses these colors to enhance the atmosphere of the film.I'll end this review by saying that "Tenebre" is indeed excellent,thrilling,scary,well-acted and anything else I can think of-simply amazing if I have to say the least!Highly recommended.

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