Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tenebrae (1982)

Well, I was supposed to get Demons 2 next, but it went into "short wait" at the last minute, so Netflix jumped ahead and shipped Tenebrae. I've gotta say: I'm glad they did. This wasn't very horrific--until the bloody ending--but actually more of a "who-did-it?" mystery. Cheers to Argento for a good piece of writing that made great use of red herrings, and kept me guessing until the last ten minutes.

That's not to say that it isn't dated, cheesy at times, and that it doesn't have much in the way of gore until the end, but the movie as a whole is pretty darn good. It actually reminded me a lot of a Richard Laymon novel. Which one? Well, all of them, really! Laymon is constantly throwing red herrings into the mix and killing cute, likeable little characters we have come to love relatively quickly. Similarly, Argento lured my favorite character--the hotel owner's daughter I believe (Maria?)--right into the belly of the beast. Tragic moment!

Famous writer's new bestseller unleashes a vicious serial killer who selects victims and leaves notes based on the writer's book. It's a plot we've seen/read before, but Argento's directing makes it enjoyable to watch. For the most part, the acting was solid. The detective and the literary agent were my favorite characters, based on acting. Both had uniqe personalities and looked comfortable as their characters on the screen.

So, overall, Tenebrae didn't blow my mind, but it was a pleasure to watch; good serial killer mystery. I'm looking forward to continuing with Argento giallos, including Inferno, Deep Red, and Opera. Oh yeah, and of course, Demons 2 and the like, once they start shipping.

Review Soundtrack:
Dave Matthews Band - "Too Much"
Primus - "John the Fisherman"
Sky Eats Airplane - "The Artificial"

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  1. I thoroughly enjoy Tenebrae, it ranks among my top 3 for Argento. The red herrings are pretty unforseeable, and the continued mix of the electronic score mixed with brutal violence and a constant sense of unease sets the film apart in the genre. Expect a similar structure in Deep Red, interested in finding out which of the two you prefer!

  2. dragonmanes - In that case, I'm looking forward to Deep Red. Hopefully it will arrive over the next few days as I'm making April "slasher franchise month!"

  3. Gotta agree with Dragonmanes on this one, it's top 3 Argento for me I reckon. Glad you are digging him anyways!

  4. Johnny 666 - So far, I've enjoyed every Argento film I've seen (except for Phantom of the Opera)!

    Welcome to the site, by the way.