Tenebre sees Dario Argento back to his bonkers giallo best. Inspired to write the film after he found his own stalker threatening to kill him, it is easily the director’s most personal work and arguably his most accessible.
Flying to Rome to promote his latest book, author Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) discovers that he has inspired a serial killer. With the police baffled, Neal realises he could become an even bigger star if he unravels the mystery.
These days it’s hard to look at Tenebre’s plot as anything other than a gore-filled Murder She Wrote, the writer becoming increasingly interested in his own sense of self-importance. That said, it’s considerably less insane than much of Argento’s output despite some overtly sexual imagery that seems to be there for little more than titillation.
Filled with indelible imagery, not least of all a girl seeing her assailant through a slash in her shirt, and some stunning camera work, Tenebre is a remarkably tight, and restrained, giallo which could easily act as a gateway to this most bizarre of sub-genres.