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Thursday, June 23, 2011

[7.50/10] The Tunnel (2011)


The Tunnel (2011)

Full review: This ambitious Australian project, called "The Tunnel" is the probably first ever movie in cinematic history, that was 100% legally released through BitTorrent, and of course for free. Another interesting fact is, that you can buy one (or more) frame from the movie, only for $1 AUD. So, go visit the official website, buy a frame for yourself, download the movie, and watch it! Shot in a moc-doc style, "The Tunnel" revolves around a News crew, who get more than they bargain for, when they head into the catacombs under Sydney, Australia, to investigate a government cover-up. In the same fashion as "The Blair Witch Project", "The Tunnel" leaves almost everything to imagination, as it doesn't use buckets of gore, creepy images or cheap scares to frighten us, but instead, it relies on the unpredictability and the mystery behind the story, and mostly, the fear of the unknown. On one hand, this is a clever strategy, as you know that, 'scary' is what you CAN'T see, but on the other hand, it's rather disappointing, since the director does not provide us with a single decent shot of the mysterious creature throughout the entire film. There's only one shot that lasts for about a second, and from what we can see, the creature is not nearly as frightening as Niña Medeiros from "[Rec]", for instance. Despite that, and the fact that the climax is almost non-existent, "The Tunnel" is still a constantly-tense and thoroughly effective moc-doc, filled with thrills, chills, many jump-of-your-seat-moments, eerie sound effects and ominous visuals. The underground settings are as atmospheric as they're appropriate - the abandoned tunnels beneath Sydney are dark, creepy and pretty claustrophobic, and knowing that there's no way out, will surely make you feel uncomfortable. Carlo Ledesma's direction is taut, solid and competent, featuring great angles and tons of shaky, yet well-handled camera movements, accompanied with crisp editing. Another strength of the film is the great acting by the largely unknown Australian cast. Bel Delia gives a genuine and very believable performance as the bold and brave journalist, Natasha. She conveys real fear and panic through her body language and facial expressions with such an ease, it's fascinating. Steve Davis delivers the second-pest performance as the charismatic cameraman, who also narrates the story, along with Natasha, and who's involved with the cinematography as well. The supporting performances are great, with Luke Arnold being the most memorable as the sympathetic Tangles.

Overall summary: Atmospheric, incredibly tense and utterly claustrophobic, "The Tunnel" may not be the scariest 'found footage' horror movie you'll ever see, or as innovative as its online campaign, but it's certainly one of the most finely-crafted and realistic mock-docs ever made, despite the lack of an actual climax.

14 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So it just ends? I wonder if you can buy that one frame of the monster?

Nebular said...

Alex, by climax I didn't mean an ending, but a culmination. ;)

You have to be very lucky to buy that monster frame. :) I believe it's been already bought.

HorrO said...

First, good work letting us know some interesting facts about the movie, and that we can buy a frame of the film. That is going an extra step for us readers! As far as the review, I think you nailed it. "Tension" is a good word to describe the movie. I was tense the entire time. I also thought it was suspenseful enough considering you knew who was going to live. It did start off a little slow with too much set up. Also, sometimes the back and forth of the cameras got to me. I wasn't sure what angle we were watching it from. But like you, my biggest complaint was not seeing the creature. Just one good look and I would have been happy. Actually I lie, one good look at it while killing and I would have been happy. Thanks for letting me know you posted the review. Great review my friend!

Melissa Bradley said...

Engaging review, you make me really want to see this even though I am not into moc docs with no good f/x.

Finally saw [REC] Wow! Scared the crap out of me because of course I watched it alone in the dark. I kept wanting to close my eyes, but I couldn't I had to keep watching. Holy hell was that a great film.

Maynard Morrissey said...

well, you know my rating - I fookin' loved it! :)

Ricky said...

I like the sound of this.

Nebular said...

Ricky, the sound of it is chilling ;)

Nebular said...

HorrO, I found its campaign quite unique, so I decided to let you all guys know about those facts. Still haven't bought a frame myself, but I intend to do it in the near future, in order to support its creators. They truly deserve it. The shaky camera technique didn't bother me at all. In fact, I thought it was rather good, compared to some other POV horror flicks. I was entertained even by its slow parts - they said lots of interesting things. Don't even want to talk about the creature, cause I'm so angry they didn't show it properly to us.
You're welcome, buddy ;) And I'm glad you enjoyed my review.

Nebular said...

Mel, thanks! :) Hon, I didn't say it has bad special effects. In fact it looked pretty slick, considering its low budget.

You saw it? YAY! Finally! Now you know why [REC] is my all-time favorite horror flick! :) The final sequence was so terrifying, my heart was pumping hard, and I could barely breath. For me, it was the PERFECT horror movie! Why don't you write a review for it, hon?

Nebular said...

Maynard, I know, I know... your review made me so excited, I watched it the same night I read your thoughts. And it was worth it. ;)

Maynard Morrissey said...

Glad that you liked it.

btw: did you buy any frames? I bought myself 6.

Nebular said...

Maynard, I certainly did. :)

No, I didn't, but I intend to do it pretty soon. Do you know exactly which frames you 'own' now?

HorrO said...

The shaky camera thing didn't bother me. It was actually the switching from one camera to the next. It was a good idea, and made the movie unique with the interview parts. It was just a little too much back and forth for me at times. I usually understand set ups, but sometimes they drive me crazy. I just want the movie to get to the good parts (impatient). Sorry to bring up the creature. I'm with you 100%!

Nebular said...

HorrO, I fully understand what you're talking about. I agree that made the movie unique, but at the same time, it also made it predictable, as from the very beginning we knew who's NOT gonna die. Thanks, buddy, glad you agree.