THE TUNNEL (2011) Review


Available to download free via BitTorrent’s App Studio!
Directed by Carlo Ledesma
Written by Enzo Tedeschi & Julian Harvey
Starring Bel Delia, Andy Rodoreda, Steve Davis, Luke Arnold, & Goran D. Kleut

Find out more about THE TUNNEL here!

Part BLAIR WITCH PROJECT/part 60 MINUTES style interview, THE TUNNEL is an Australian viral film which has recently released news that it’s already premiering on 100+ million screens so far and has become something of a phenomenon this week. I have to say, after taking a gander at the film, it is a pretty outstanding film which takes full advantage of the hand-held camera/found footage phenomena. It seems these days, for these found footage films to make it, there needs to be an interesting take on the film and not just an ominous blurb at the beginning stating that the film was found somewhere. With the rise in reality television and audiences’ addiction to films becoming more real, it’s no wonder films like THE TUNNEL are popping up left and right.

What separates THE TUNNEL from the herd is that it is slickly produced and looks like an interview one might see on 60 MINUTES if found footage such as this was found. From start to finish, this feels like a documentary about a camera crew who ventures into the underground waterway beneath the city of Syndey, Australia. Everything from the title sequence to the narration by the survivors feels real, which just adds to the effectiveness of this film and makes the audience believe that this could have happened.

The actors in THE TUNNEL are fantastic. Bel Delia is a headstrong reporter, in search of the truth behind why the underground waterway wasn’t being used as a source for new, fresh water for a population in a drought crisis and the sudden upsurge in missing homeless people who used the waterway as shelters. Steve Davis (who looks a bit like Hugh Jackman with spikey blonde hair) plays the fun-loving cameraman who is faced with a deadly serious situation. The only problem with staging the film in the interview format is that the audience knows who survives and who doesn’t. This takes away from some of the tension, but the actors do a good job of conveying a sense of dread while leading the audience along the narrative as the found footage is interspersed between the interview clips.

I don’t want to give too much away with THE TUNNEL. I will say that it does use the limited vision of the camera and pitch dark surroundings to its maximum effect, though the ending might leave some a bit frustrated. I was sucked into the story and couldn’t wait to see if and how the reporting team would get out of the predicament they find themselves in, lost in the unending tunnels and stalked by something with deadly intentions. THE TUNNEL is a claustrophobic treat, taking full advantage of the limited range a single camera offers and giving the viewer just enough to tease and frighten without disappointing with the intrusion of some forced narrative or resolution. Though there are many out there to choose from, THE TUNNEL is a great example of presenting the found footage motif in an absolutely thrilling way.

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