Blu-Ray Rating: *****

Reviewed by: James Gracey

Read James Gracey's film review of Tenebrae

Arrow Video has really delivered the goods with the release of Tenebrae. Not only are fans treated to a stunning brand new HD restoration of the film, but they also get an introduction by Daria Nicolodi; audio commentary with Argento experts, journalists and writers Kim Newman and Alan Jones and a second audio commentary track with Argento expert Thomas Rostock.

Jones and Newman’s track is bursting with all sorts of exclusive insights as the two chat freely and openly about the film – Jones providing behind the scenes anecdotes and facts, and Newman providing an accessible critique. Rostock’s commentary unfolds as an entirely different beast: a hardcore dissection of the film and a highly detailed and academic analysis. For anyone who takes their Argento films seriously, the abundance of information, readings and thoughts on the subtextuality shimmering beneath the surface of Argento’s masterful and cosmopolitan giallo, this track really is a must.

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Elsewhere, Screaming Queen! Daria Nicolodi remembers Tenebrae boasts an interview with the ever-candid and revealing Nicolodi – Argento’s former partner and muse. Reflecting on her role in Tenebrae – which she describes as "bland" – Nicolodi reminisces on working with the other cast and crew and the problems the film had with censors upon its release. She also discusses some of the more memorable technical aspects of the film, such as how its unique look was obtained and its special effects realised. Never one to not speak her mind, the relaxed and informative actress also reflects upon Argento’s former ‘rock star’ status in Italy and how she was "coerced" into playing such a small role in this collaboration.

The Unsane World of Tenebrae – an interview with Dario Argento features the director discussing the origins of the film and how it was received in Italy when released back in the early Eighties. He freely discusses how he’d deliberately moved away from the giallo into fantasy horror when the cinemas became saturated with gialli after his trailblazing debut, The Bird With The Crystal Plumage. Argento appears in fine form and even makes a few jokes while reflecting on his work and the allegations of misogyny it was usually greeted with.

A Composition for Carnage – Claudio Simonetti on Tenebrae features the composer discussing his work throughout the years with Argento and the influence of dance and electronic music on the score for Tenebrae. He also chats about censorship and violence in cinema and culture.

If all of that isn’t enough, the disc also includes footage of a Goblin concert in Glasgow (in which they perform tracks from Tenebrae and Phenomena), an exclusive collector’s booklet featuring brand new writing on Tenebra by Alan Jones, author of “Profondo Argento; four sleeve art options with original and newly commissioned artwork; double-sided fold-out poster; original trailer; English and Italian mono audio options; optional English subtitles.

Reviewed on: 28 Jul 2011
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Region: 0

Ratio: 1.85:1

Sound: LPCM mono English & Italian audio with optional English subtitles for English and Italian audio

Extras: Poster, collector's booklet, introduction, audio commentaries, Screaming Queen! Daria Nicolodi remembers Tenebrae, , The Unsane World of Tenebrae, A Composition for Carnage – Claudio Simonetti on Tenebrae, Goblin: Tenebrae and Phenomena Live from the Glasgow Arches, trailer

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