Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

REVIEW: The Tunnel

The Tunnel **½

Set in the abandoned railway tunnels below Sydney, The Tunnel is a low-budget good-looking ‘horror’ flick which ultimately fails to deliver any real scares.

The concept behind the production is great: raise $135,000 to make a film by selling each frame for $1, then release the film on the web for free via BitTorrent. Check it out here

A news crew, chasing a story about homeless people going missing in Sydney’s tunnels, decide to go down there to investigate for themselves. Once in the tunnels, all the footage is from the news camera and a (waterproof) night vision camera. And of course, the crew soon discovers that they are not alone…

But if you’re going to make a movie for next to nothing, then something has to give. The acting is excellent – all the leads are convincing and the friendships feel genuine. The dialogue is good and the two camera thing works well. Ultimately, however, the movie isn’t very scary. In fact, it’s a bit boring. It takes at least 30 minutes before we even go in the tunnels, and once in there it’s not particularly frightening. There was one great scene when the female lead is on her own with the night vision camera and also a gruesome head-being-torn-off scene. Other than that, it’s really just a lot of talking and interviews and running around lost. It’s hard to build any real tension when you keep cutting back to serious people in an interview.

I don’t know if they’re planning a sequel, which might explain why we never see the creature, or whatever it is that’s down there. There was no real resolution, which made the whole experience feel, in the words of one of the characters, a bit pointless.

Anyways, I hope the movie does well. It looks great visually and has a gorgeous score by Paul Dawkins (from Split Dogs). I just wish they’d had a bit of extra cash to cut out some of the plodding interview stuff and throw in some real scares. And I don’t even like scary movies!

By guest reviewer: Livid Lili

Was it good: 3 stars

Was it fun: 2 stars

I liked it more. 3½ stars from me.