Tenebre (Unsane) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tenebre (Unsane) Reviews

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October 4, 2014
A Murder affects not only its Victims but its Witnesses too... Another Hypnotic Slasher--An effective exercise in designer violence and slick style... Fabulous, Ultra-Stylish, Blood-Spattered!!
September 30, 2014
An inspired Argento shoots one of his best (splattery) thrillers.
It's hard to explain the fascination that this and other Argento's movies inspire: he spends most of the time showing flowing taps, light bulbs and barking dogs; the dialogues are mindless and the storyline hardly coherent. Yet somehow he makes it. Characteristic of Tenebre, compared to the rest of his production, is the predominance of white and light (which is supposed to contrast with the dark interior of a psychopath's mind).
Extra reasons to watch it: good soundtrack by Simonetti-Morante-Pignatelli (ie Goblin, albeit unofficially), Daria Nicolodi is sweet and sexy as ever and Berlusconi's wife gets her hand chopped and dies!
June 5, 2014
After the commercial and critical flop of 'Inferno', Argento returned to his 'giallo' staple with his most personal and overtly sexual film, 'Tenebre'. Its up there with 'The Bird with the Crystal Plumage' and 'Deep Red' as one of the best giallos ever made by Argento.
May 26, 2014

When one thinks of the horror genre, one of the frontrunners of pulpy horror films is Dario Argento. Argento, in a way, reinvented the way horror is approached. Gore is in excess in some of his films. His two greatest achievements, Profondo Rosso (Deep Red) and Suspiria, had took the horror genre by storm. And even though he was famous for his giallo films, he took a break after creating Deep Red. Focusing much more on supernatural horror with Suspiria and Inferno, many feared he had lost his way. Then, he came back to the giallo genre and released Tenebre, which is a cult classic.

Novelist Peter Neal heads to Rome in order to promote his new book, Tenebre. All is sound until someone is murdered. And when the killer is revealed to be an obsessed fan of Neal, Inspector Germani looks for Neal's help in tracking down the killer. The case then devolves into the surreal and brutal when more murders pop up and Neal's life is threatened. I can say that the basic premise is familiar, but Argento adds some great mystery to the film that helps keep you hooked.

First, I would like to start off with what I liked about this film. The music is easily the best part of this film. Electric, fast paced, and strangely haunting, it sets the film up really nicely. The gore effects are top notch as well. There is a moment when a character's arm is chopped off, and I couldn't help but be amazed by the effects done. It goes to show that practical effects are much more outstanding than CGI. Another thing I must note, is the cinematography. Yes, it's very abstract, with many strange camera jerks and a unique reliance on tracking shots and moving cameras. I read up on how they preformed this one scene involving the use of a crane to capture the entire home in one take, and I must say that they did a fine job of that. And finally, the part I'm sure most folks wanted, the kills are awesome. It was Argento's goriest film at the time, and I can see why. Blood gushes, throats are slit, and it's just awesome!

Now, while Tenebre's technical standings are on point, the film's narrative collapses. The plot was highly engaging and I found myself to be lost in the mystery and predicting the killer. And, without spoiling the twist, I was wrong, but it was the most illogical thing to happen. It denoted things that happened earlier in the film, and didn't really make sense. And the narrative wasn't the only fault. The acting left much to be desired. All the women actresses (this is ironic since the film has a sort of feminist agenda to it) were all godawful. The men weren't good, either. BUT John Saxon came in as Neal's publicist and he stole the show in every scene. Unfortunately, he was the only bright spot in terms of acting.

Overall, Tenebre is not an awful film. In fact, I liked it more than Suspiria, which is shocking cause Suspiria is supposed to be Argento's classic. However, Tenebre is no match to Profondo Rosso, in terms of narrative structure or style. The gore is relentless, and the acting is atrocious, save for Saxon. The plot twist was nowhere near as brilliant as Profondo Rosso's and actually ruined the film. Yeah, the ending went extremely cheesy, campy, and downright silly. However, I'm willing to be more lenient cause it did it's job to perfection!

March 14, 2014
After the commercial and critical flop of 'Inferno', Argento returned to his 'giallo' staple with his most personal and overtly sexual film, 'Tenebre'. Its up there with 'The Bird with the Crystal Plumage' and 'Deep Red' as one of the best giallos Argento ever made.
½ March 9, 2014
Argento's 1982 return to the Giallo genre. A real stylish classic that has aged very well.
February 19, 2014
This was my first Dario Argento film, and I loved every minute of it.
Still brilliant now, although not as good as Suspiria, but definitely one of his best.
January 25, 2014
Classic Argento giallo complete with insane disco music and mind boggling plot twists. Some stylistic notes such as epic crane panning shots elevate this film to the level of high art despite it's lurid themes and the trashy characters that populate it.
January 2, 2014
Not long after the arrival of a writer promoting his latest release in Rome, a killer starts to mimic the evil deeds that take place on his book. Argento's return to the giallo after more supernatural turns confirms him as a master of suspense, with his trademark wonderful sylised methods that flatters the seemingly simple premise, blood flowing in copious amounts and a shocking resolution.
November 25, 2013
A film that has a mixture of greatness and then mediocrity. Giuliano Gemma is one bad actor and it spoils it when he's in the film. I liked the pace of the film and the little twists that come with it just a bit attention to the script and choice of actor and it would of been a classic, though still good cult viewing.
November 12, 2013
Argento is truly in a class of his own and I don't mean he's ranking with the best. Having seen four of his movies now, he has a very defined style which encompasses gorgeous and exquisitely wrought visual composition and candy-colored gore as well as a flamboyant, campy, lurid storytelling style. The stories of these things are serviceable but not high quality, as they're ridden with cliches and risible turns of plot. Perhaps this is deliberate, since the giallo in form is an adaptation of the worst kind of tripe. However, the combination is a certain kind of pleasure, something that seems inherently Old World Latin. A novela with buckets of grue! I really liked this one over Deep Red, which strikes me as more ridiculous than this, though it had one of the best scores of any horror movie ever. But despite its shortcomings, Tenebre's combination of gruesome violence and kinky sexuality, psychedelic aestheticist style and pulpy, soap opera logic, is a unique experience.
Super Reviewer
½ November 10, 2013
Interesting, but a bit underwhelming.
October 13, 2013
It was very slow, and although it had many deaths. They weren't as impressive or original as Argento's other films.
½ September 7, 2013
This 1982 offering from Dario Argento sees him return to giallo with an excellent take on the genre that was to truly make its mark with influences on future releases. Charting a crime novelists book being used as inspiration for real life murders, this has some great twists, flashback scenes, bloody gore (including a brutal last 30 minutes) & some excellent cinematography - the crane shot being the obvious. It slightly drags its feet after a fine opening but more than compensates with its particularly fine, well devised & twisted finale. Certainly not his finest work but even average Argento is a lot better than most.
August 14, 2013
Argento's often underappreciated and arguably best giallo; every aspect is well utilised here. A great, memorable score provided by three members of Goblin (who worked on the groundbreaking score for Suspiria); the cinematography, bleached daylight white and moody dark of night by Luciano Tovoli; and the masterful shots and camera work of Argento--panning out of an apartment window then across and up the building to the upper window as its two inhabitants are murdered. Being made in the early 1980s, the film's final twist avoided being a cliche and even then, it's a double-edged sword which keeps you guessing right until the very end. The dream sequences are disturbing, but it amounts to a feeling of deliberate work and you realise everything's right where it should be.
July 14, 2013
Mahtavien aksenttejen paraati
½ July 13, 2013
A suspenseful slasher horror with real flair in the direction, unlike the soulless pulp we see in this genre today.
½ May 18, 2013
A decent (but unremarkable) giallo from director Dario Argento. It comes nowhere near the surreal, dreamlike heights of something like SUSPIRIA, but Argento does manage to include many of his trademark murder sequences, and the idea of a mystery/horror novelist getting tangled up in a real-life mystery is a fun concept (though certainly not a new one, even in 1982). On a purely technical note, I do have to single out the dubbing of the Italian actors, which is hilariously bad, which may or may not be a good thing depending on who you are.
½ April 26, 2013
Yet another superb slasher from the Italian Hitchcock which pulses with a pressing tension and style simply not presented by directors of the modern day.
April 13, 2013
Starting off with the sample from one of my favorite songs; Phantom by Justice, is a great way to start a movie. The band Goblin worked on the soundtrack for Suspiria and Romero's Dawn of the Dead as well. Great direction, terrible effects. A slow, dated relic with a fantastic and classic ending.
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