Tenebrae (Synapse Films) 4K Blu-ray Review + Packaging Shots

One of the last great Argento films gets the 4K treatment from Synapse Films

Studio: Synapse Films
Release Date: October 28th, 1982 (theatrical) / August 2nd, 2022 (4K blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 41 minutes 3 seconds (original version) / 1 hour 30 minutes 22 seconds (Unsane)
Region Code: FREE
Picture: 2160p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (4K blu-ray) / 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (2K blu-ray)
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 / Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 
Subtitles: English
Slipcover: Yes (hard box)
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Anthony Franciosa, Giuliano Gemma, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi, Christian Borromeo
Written by Dario Argento
Directed by Dario Argento
Rating: R (graphic violence and gore, some language and brief nudity) 




What's It About?

American mystery author Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa, Death Wish II) comes to Rome to promote his newest novel, Tenebrae. A razor-wielding psychopath is on the loose, taunting Neal and murdering those around him in gruesome fashion just like the character in his novel. As the mystery surrounding the killings spirals out of control, Neal investigates the crimes on his own, leading to a mind-bending, genre-twisting conclusion that will leave you breathless!


Presented in the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and featuring a brand new restoration from the original camera negative, TENEBRAE looks amazing. Detail is high throughout even in medium shots. Film grain is fine and managed very well. Blacks are deep and rich. The HDR gives us vibrant colors and great shadow detail. 

The English track is clean and clear. Dialogue comes through crystal clear and the awesome score from three of the guys from Goblin sounds sooooo good.


Disc 1: 4K Presentation of the Theatrical Version

Audio Commentaries:

-Alan Jones and Kim Newman
-Maitland McDonagh
-Thomas Rostock

Yellow Fever: The Rise and Fall of the Giallo (1h 29m 24s, HD, 1.78:1) Full length documentary charting the genre from its beginnings to its influence on the modern slasher film, featuring interviews with Dario Argento, Umberto Lenzi, Luigi Cozzi and more.
Being the Villain (16m 22, HD, 1.78:1) Newly edited, career-spanning archival interview with actor John Steiner
Alternate Opening Credits Sequence (2m 14s, HD, 1.85:1) Rare version of the film's opening scene., featuring alternative footage.
"Unsane" End Credits Sequence (1m 51s, HD, 1.85:1) The closing credits as presented in the alternative US cut of the film, featuring the Kim Wilde song "Take Me Tonight"

Archival Featurettes:

Voices of the Unsane (17m 16s, HD, 1.78:1) Archival featurette containing interviews with writer/director Dario Argento, actresses Daria Nicolodi and Eva Robbins, cinematographer Luciano Tovoli, composer Claudio Simonetti, and assistant Lamberto Bava.
Out of the Shadows (12m 20s, HD, 1.78:1) Archival interview with Maitland McDonagh, author of Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento
Introduction by Daria Nicolodi (13s, HD, 1.78:1)
Screaming Queen (16m 6s, HD, 1.78:1) Archival interview with actress Daria Nicolodi
The Unsane World of Tenebrae (15m 14s, HD, 1.78:1) Archival interview with writer/director Dario Argento
A Composition of Carnage (10m 5s, HD, 1.78:1) Archival interview with composer Claudio Simonetti

Promotional Materials:

International Theatrical Trailer (3m 14s, HD, 1.85:1)
Japanese Theatrical Trailer (2m 9s, SD, 1.85:1)
Italian Promotional Materials (10 images)
German Promotional Materials (39 images)
Spanish Promotional Materials (8 images)
Japanese Promotional Materials (17 images)
US Promotional Materials (4 images)
Miscellaneous Images (9 images)

Disc 2: 4K Presentation of the US Version (Unsane)

Disc 3: HD Presentation of the Theatrical Version of the Film

The same special features that appear on the 4K disc appear on this disc as well.

The special features are all very good. The YELLOW FEVER doc is a must for those who are new to the world of giallo as well as those who have spent a lot of time with them. The interviews are all great too, but for my money, the best feature on the disc (besides YELLOW FEVER) is the interview with Maitland McDonagh, who gives us a breakdown of the film and what Argento was trying to say.

This edition of TENEBRAE is brought to us by the fine folks over at Synapse Films. They have given us tons of great blu-rays including STREET TRASH (which is getting a 4K blu-ray release sometime soon), SUSPIRIA, THE KINDRED and so many other great films. Like their 4K blu-ray release of PHENOMENA, this release was a co-production with Arrow Video. This means that the discs are identical, but the packaging is different. 

The packaging here is really nice. We get a nice hard box like Arrow Video uses for their Limited Editions. The artwork is done by Wes Benscoter, who has done artwork that was used for Arrow Video's CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD blu-ray and Scorpion Releasing's THE CHURCH blu-ray. The artwork depics one of the more famous murders from the film. Inside the box we get a Criterion style blu-ray case that features reversible artwork, with the Wes Benscoter artwork on one side and the film's original theatrical poster on the other. In the blu-ray case we have six postcards and three discs (1 UHD and 2 Blu-rays). Finishing out the package is a 60-page booklet featuring writing on the film by filmmaker Peter Strickland and Argento biographer Alan Jones, an interview with cinematographer Luciano Tovoli and a new, in-depth analysis of the film by critic Ashley Lane

           All three discs are REGION FREE


For many, TENEBRAE is the last great film that Dario Argento made. It is a well made thriller with some really great kills and there is some really nice filmmaking going on here. If you haven't seen the film, you owe it to yourself to seek it out.

In all my years of collecting, I have yet to come across a disc from Synapse that wasn't great and TENEBRAE is no different. This disc is a must for giallo and Argento fans alike. The picture and audio are reference quality and the special features are worth the time. This release will probably end up on my year end list.


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