THE TUNNEL (2011) Review

Directed by: Carlo Ledesma
Starring: Bel Delia, Andy Rodoreda, Steve Davis, Luke Arnold

This movie went viral after it's unconventional release and money raising efforts. Money for the film was actually raised through fans being able to buy frames of the film for $1 each. The film itself was released as a legal download via torrent site Bittorrent along with the physical dvd. With a budget of around $140,000 The Tunnel was filmed in just 14 days.

The Tunnel is a new entry into the handheld / found footage genre so If you're not into those kind of movies you probably won't like it, but I do urge you to see it anyway. It is a little different from most of the others though as it is shown in a documentary style using 'real' footage interspersed with interviews from the survivors. The film is based on a real story, but It's hard to say just how much is real and how much is fiction. 
And I have to admit that when I first watched the trailer I was expecting this to suck, but I was pleasantly surprised.

In 2007 the NSW (New South Wales) government came up with a plan to utilize Sydney's disused, underground tunnels for a water storage/recycling facility. After some controversy about the plan displacing the homeless who lived in the tunnels, it is suddenly scrapped. This part is actually true. There really is a huge maze of underground tunnels beneath Sydney and the government did want to use the water below because at the time Sydney's water supply was at an all-time low.

Suspicious of the sudden government backflip, Natasha Warner (played by Bel Delia) investigated and found a strange and frightening story. The homeless living in the underground network were disappearing without a trace. She decides to lead a team of four down into the tunnels to find out exactly what is happening. Before long they discover that there is something down there, something responsible for the missing people. And now it's after them...

This part is pretty unbelievable but compared to similar films (Paranormal Activity, Blair Witch Project, Rec) it is probably one of the most plausible stories. The movies feels so real though, thanks to some great acting from the little known cast and the atmosphere created by the handheld cameras. The 'creature' (you never get so have a really good look at it of course) is pretty creepy too. This movie actually had me on the edge of my seat quite a bit, and even though there were some stupid moments there weren't enough to ruin it for me.

If you liked Rec, Paranormal Activity, the Blair Witch Project or similar films then I'm sure you will love this. In my opinion it is definitely the most realistic of them all. And as a low budget film shot in just 14 days the quality is amazing. It isn't really breaking any new ground in the genre but it is a very tense watch.

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