Tenebrae is a film by the Italian Director Dario Argento. I am obviously talking about it because it is on the DPP72 list of banned films but unlike some of the films on the list in my opinion this is not a film thrown together just for shock and awe, I actually believe that Dario Argento is a great writer and director, I could easily write a post about him even if this film wasn't on the DPP72. In fact I wrote about him a few years ago when talking about one of my favourite horror films Demoni which was part written by him. If you didn't read that post and would like to read it you can follow the link below.
Tenebrae is what I would describe as a stalk and slash thriller an interesting one at that. It stars Anthony Franciosa as a an American novelist who goes to Rome to promote his new detective novel. Once there he finds himself embroiled in a series of grizzly murders, as one of his readers starts to imitate the killings from his book. The author is then bombarded with threats as well as pictures from the murders, murders which include amongst other things stabbings, garrotings and razor slashings. I find this deeply interesting maybe its because of the fact that I am an author myself or because of my interest in the whole Video Nasties thing but it basically feels like it is dealing with the idea of whether or not the creator of a piece of fiction has any responsibility for what someone may or may not do because of what he views or what he hears or reads. I think horror works at its best when it plays on peoples very deepest fears. Now I know that not everyone is a writer but all of us are in one way or another creators we all create ideas and we push these out in to the world be they in the form of a piece of work or in the way in which we present ourselves in the things we say, our thoughts and feelings constantly seep out of us and everyone will at some time worry that these will get us in to trouble or cause someone else to say or do something that we don't agree with that something terrible will grow from the seeds we have planted. To me this film is a manifestation of that very fear and that's what I feel all great horrors are, they are films which bring a fear to life in an interesting way, and that is something I feel Argentino is a Master of.
Some people have claimed that Tenebrae is a sexist film and I do agree that the killings in the film are almost all inherently sexual. The authors book within the film is all about “human perversion and its effects on society,”. The murders in the film are largely erotocised, two women are killed in a state of undress, another being force fed as she’s throttled and while I do not wish to spoil everything lets just say that it is penetrating in more than one way.
I would give this film a very strong 9 out of 10, I can not get across my appreciation for this director or for this film any more than I have without fear of spoiling it. I think that this film is and was a piece of art it was wrong that this was banned it was not a case of violence for violences sake or gore for the sake of gore it is a deep story which happens to contain violence , as far as I am concerned this is a piece of art in much the same way the works of Shakespeare is, if you need to see a good horror film then watch this it might be on the DPP72 but it is not one of the films which tried to use gore to cover up a none existent plot, to try and push a hastily put together piece of rubbish into profits it doesn't really deserve, it is an actual brilliant film expertly crafted which deserves every bit of attention it has and could get.