Tenebre ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I will always regard Tenebre as Dario Argento's timeless giallo, mostly because it has a premise that remains relevant even 34-years after it was released.

Women are brutally murdered for a majority of the film (in most cases it's shortly after they slight the work of Peter Neal), and keeping this in mind, I still believe that this giallo acts as a cautionary tale for men, especially those who deem themselves highly evolved and educated--the scholarly men who declare that they "are not sexist!" or that they "are catholic but support abortion and divorce," or hell, the killers sit there and pat themselves on the back for acknowledging that being queer is not a mental illness! This is all well and good, but to put it simply, actions speak louder than words.

After this revealing discussion between Peter Neal and the journalist who is also a devoted fan, they explicitly go against everything they claim to stand up for by killing a feminist critic, a bisexual woman, and a divorcee (Neal's ex-wife), but they are destroyed by their own hands, with Neal killing the journalist and accidentally killing himself in the end. Could the significance be any more powerful?

Tenebre is truly perfect, as much as I love most gialli with their throwaway paperback murder mystery plots, this particular giallo has substance with the added bonus of style...SO MUCH STYLE. There are moments where the movie is essentially a music video, Argento was always very aware of where music should be placed in a film as it has always been so complimentary to the corresponding scenes in all of his work. Surely, the fact that the score is incredible doesn't hurt either! In seemingly insignificant moments where an average film may lag, our brains are not allowed to rest because Simonetti's score is keeping us wholly engaged.

Even dubbed, Daria Nicolodi is incredible, I will sing her praise until the end of time, the way she moves and reacts to everything is so natural and breezy that she will steal any scene even if her character is meant to be in the background. There are definitely moments where I had a laugh at Anthony Franciosa who sounded as though he was doing his best Rod Serling impression, but he was also great.

Watching the beautiful blu-ray of Tenebre (released by Synapse) was a perfect way to celebrate Dario Argento's 76th birthday yesterday. Although, I don't really need a special occasion to watch and enjoy this film, because every couple years I watch it and fall in love with another aspect.

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