Tenebre (Uncut version) Review
Written by: azathoth
One of Dario Argento's finest giallos. Sherlock Holmes even gets quoted towards the end! Anthony Franciosa plays Peter Neal, the author of "Tenebrea".
After showing a small passage of a book titled "Tenebrae" by one Peter Neal before the credits, the movie then cuts to the American author flying to Italy to promote his newest best selling book. Several murders occur, some before he arrives and some afterwards, each with pages of his new book shoved in the victim's mouth. The murderer also leaves notes for Peter in his hotel room.
The first victim is a nice, shoplifting young girl. After being accosted by the store's security and let go after she makes promises of certain 'favors', she gets nicely stalked by a filthy bum on the way home, but makes her escape into her rather huge apartment. For now.
Several odd characters are introduced. Including cops who "only drink on duty". Besides having book pages stuffed in her mouth, strange notes left in his hotel room, the shoplifting girl was also killed in the same fashion as one of the murders portrayed in Neal's book. And then some freaky phone calls at Neal's apartment begin.
Cue up some whacky memory sequences. Who, why, what do they mean?
More ladies are killed and clues begin to add up. Suspects are investigated. There is great scene with a dog climbing a 6 foot tall fence to chase a girl down. (No, the dog is not the murderer, though I wouldn't mind him protecting my home.) I have to mention that there are several very nice POV chase shots (like those in "Evil Dead", but without the motorcycle sound).
A bit more of the strange memories. Don't worry, they are eventually somewhat explained. The killer is eventually tracked down in a nice and surprising conclusion. Aside- I knew there was a reason I hate modern art.
Lots of violence in the film. Not very graphic until the end scenes, but effective throughout. Bunches of nudity. A rather mysonginistic movie. Besides the women being chopped up, they are also demeaned by several of the male characters. Good sound. Excellent visuals, including one of the most famous long roll shots; a crane shot starts at the ground floor then go up, around, and over the house, finally coming back to the ground floor in a continuous 3 minute shot. Music is great, creating a disturbing tension. The plot twists around like a pretzel, with an odd but satisfying conclusion. The movie is paced methodically and would benefit with some faster pacing, but does not really lag very much. The acting and dialogue could have been better, but nothing worth complaining about.
A must see if you are an Argento or a giallo fan. Even if you are not, this is still a great view. Definite rental, recommended buy. Not so good for parties.