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The Tunnel
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The Tunnel More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Intense & Disturbing

9/10
Author: (dhalfen@earthlink.net) from Baltimore, MD, United States
21 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Tunnel" is my current title-holder in the "found footage" genre for one significant reason: the location. The Sydney Underground is rendered as a labyrinthine abyss of darkness and danger. When we first enter, we think, "Oh, this isn't so bad, the place is just FULL of light..." But things turn dark pretty quickly, and the map procured by Peter (our crew's producer) seems to show FAR less of the underground than the crew encounters. (Shades of "The Descent" and its unmapped cave?)

Of course, the first third of the film necessarily serves as the "setup," where we are introduced to the underground's history, meet the main characters (as well as their dramas), and quickly learn that "all is not well" with a certain water-recycling project that seems to have been shelved by the local authorities in a most peculiar fashion.

(We are even treated to a fictional "YouTube" video that drives the "peculiarity" home in a downright unsettling manner.)

I have read more than a few complaints about this "setup" being too long and boring, but, for me, it's "just right." One special nod must be made to James Caitlin as "Trevor," a homeless man who once lived in the tunnels. His reactions to a few questions (which he answers in terms of facial expression and body language, NOT words!) are absolutely priceless off-kilter acting; the rest of the film would be ten times weaker without his bombshell performance, placed "just so" in the opening course of events. (:thumbsup:)

Then, once we go underground (after a rather amusing failure of a first attempt!), we REALLY go underground.

Anyone who's seen "Marebito" or "The Descent" can appreciate the thrill of plumbing subterranean depths and encountering various terrors, but where those movies take the "third person" perspective, the "first person" nature of this film makes the sense of dread (or, ultimately, abject horror) all-the-more palpable from minute to minute. And while the scenery alone is enough to drive those of weaker mental constitutions mad, a _genuine_ reason to be afraid happens to call the place "home, sweet home."

The sights you'll (barely) see in the course of our 4-member crew's subterranean trek would make for a Halloween tour par excellence, but the audio guy (Tangles) is the one who first displays severe misgivings about their expedition -- because he can "hear things" that are absolutely out-of-place.

And as the crew wander (or, eventually, RUN!!!) through this underground world, one cannot help but wonder: WHO designs such a place??? I cannot imagine European dungeons as torturously-twisted upon themselves as this "off the map" Sydney Underground. Yet, sure enough, this place exists, and it's _amazing_. Unbeknownst to the architects, they designed one of the greatest "haunted house" in all of cinematic history.

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9 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Tried to be different but fulfilled every cliché imaginable

2/10
Author: Norm_uk from Brit Expat in Abu Dhabi
13 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's always easy to critique low-budget productions but this film failed not on it's production values (which were excellent), but rather on it's premise. Who in their right mind would go into abandoned tunnels without proper equipment, knives and without letting others know where you were going after hearing reports of youths and homeless people going missing? The interview with homeless man should have sent alarm bells ringing in the protagonists thick skulls - but even that did not deter them from proceeding under-equipped and unarmed into the darkness... On top of this the parallels between the Blair Witch and The Tunnel are hard to avoid bringing up - they are literally thrown in your face.

Overall a lazy, clichéd effort with a silly plot. This could have been better with more back story, some better explanation of the creature and less homage to 1990s handy-cam horrors.

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20 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Doesn't live up to the hype

5/10
Author: Jack Sparrow
19 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is largely in the style of other "found footage" films like Blair Witch Project, or Paranormal Activity. The claim to fame here is that this was the first film to be released simultaneously on torrent, DVD, and in (a very limited number of) theaters. Supporters also had the option of "buying" a frame of the movie for a dollar which I did just to support the film makers and their choice of in effect giving the movie away for free on the net. I think that was a very cool and brave decision on the part of the producers.

There are a few problems with the film which I think make it harder for the view to suspend disbelief (and therefore get really scared) in comparison to other films like Blair Witch or Paranormal Activity.

The first and most important is that much of the story is told through interviews with the characters which were done after their fateful trip into the tunnels. The problem is that you can deduce right away who survived the trip and who didn't, since the story is basically being told by the survivors. While it somewhat sets up the story, it takes away from the immediate visceral first person crap-your-pants-cause-you're-actually-there experience that make good found footage films effective and instead makes it more like watching an episode of 60 Minutes.

Other "found footage" is supposedly taken from security cameras or a internet videos, but they don't really look like security camera or internet videos which makes the viewer feel more like they are watching a movie than something that really happened.

The acting by the lead actress is a bit flat. The best acting in the film is done by Steve Davis who has worked as a camera man for over 20 years (and who in this film plays a camera man so you get a sense that he's just being himself).

The setup for them going into the tunnel was a bit clunky and unnecessary - There was a government scheme to "recycle water" by using old tunnels under the city, which was "mysteriously" canceled years ago and government officials aren't talking about it, and homeless people are (perhaps) disappearing in the tunnels, but the government for some reason won't admit that homeless people even live there, and now this is somehow a make or break story for a young TV journalist, so they have to explore the tunnels to find out what's going on. Huh?

Compare that to :

-There's a witch that lives in a forest and a bunch of kids are going to there to film a documentary about it - Blair Witch

-There's a ghost in my house and I'm going to try to film it - Paranormal Activity

-We're filming a party and a monster attacks the city and we just keep filming as we flee for our lives - Cloverfield

So maybe because I wasn't really buying it up to that point, when they actually went into the tunnel I didn't find it that scary. There were a few jolting moments but overall, not that exciting.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Liked it....

6/10
Author: nightwatch4773 from Canada
19 February 2013

Another Shaky hand held camera found footage horror film but this time from down under. Although this film doesn't really open up new ideas, I have to stay I did enjoy this slow chilling burner of a film. Some moments are hair raising but the problem is there aren't enough scary moments for me to give this higher than a 6. Still very enjoyable with actors that are likable. Overall I would recommend The tunnel but I would say check out Evil Things, Home Movie and Rec first these films offer a larger spectrum of frights and may be more appealing to the gore hounds as well. Nonetheless you could do a lot worse than the Tunnel and this film down under is a perfect example that the Australia's have learnt a thing or two over the years in regards to found footage horror.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The Descent/Blair Witch Project

7/10
Author: Mesy09 from Australia
5 June 2011

Overall I really enjoyed this movie. A fair bit as well. Visually stunning locations. Creativity was there. Sound was amazing but make sure you listen with either headphones on or have surround sound because it helps. The plot is good, could of been done better but it is still good as it keeps you wanting to know more, therefore keeps you hooked into the movie which is a big thing now days.

At some stages it could of been done a tad better but for the amount of money that they spent on the film it is definitely a movie to see. Some people might believe that the hand-held camera angle is dead after Quarantine and Paranormal Activity. But this revives it. It certainly puts Australian independent films on the map with this.

Guaranteed to get a fright from! 7/10

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant!

10/10
Author: T-Moor from Uzbekistan
22 July 2011

Just finished watching this fantastic horror flick and registered on IMDb especially to say that this movie worth seeing and considering it's a free download movie it simply blows your mind. It's a way better than tons of those commercial horror movies, this one is just great!

I watched both parts of Paranormal Activity and The Tunnel is much more better, especially the way and place it got filmed. You just keep waiting for monsters to jump at you from a dark corner of the tunnel, but I just say no more and let you enjoy this piece of art!

Don't wait, download and watch this movie, but don't forget to turn your lights off to get the real atmosphere!

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Better than most scary movies out there

10/10
Author: crystalarreola13 from United States
12 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILER!!!!!! Alright so I deeply hate documentary styled horror movies. I think they are tacky and don't scare me one bit. But I loved this film. Considering that it was made on a very small budget makes it even better. I adored the character development and how you really connected with them before any of the horror happened. It really takes me back to the older horror movies that created exposition before just killing people off. The music and also lack there of created a terrifying atmosphere that had me hiding behind my blanket. But one of the most amazing things is that you don't even see the creature until later on. Most of this is left to your imagination and the acting was very convincing. I do have the small problem of the interview before and during the investigation. It made me already know who was going to die and took me out of it a bit. But from the very beginning this movie is not like The Blair Witch or Paranormal Activity. It is NOT meant to make money or feed off of the whole "THIS IS REALLY REAL!!!" You go into it knowing it is just a film (like all movies) But by the end you really wonder...what is lurking in the dark?

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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Made me a fan again of Aussie Horror/Scifi

10/10
Author: giggedyguy from United States
29 December 2011

Acting was so perfect it felt like a real documentary. I've seen a few diamonds in the rough come through Vodo, but this one is a solid gem. The acting was so fluid and natural that I had to keep reminding myself that it was a work of fiction.

The first 40 minutes were about characters rather than the actual plot of the film. It mostly explained how the journalists ended up going into the tunnels, but once they get there it starts getting pretty entertaining. Several funny moments, moments that make you like the characters more and more. Then hell starts to descend on them from within the tunnels, culminating into unrelenting dread from beginning to the end.

Enjoy!

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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One of the best from Australia (or anywhere else).

8/10
Author: moustasch1 from United States
26 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm really sick of those shaky camera films. You know the ones I'm talking about. Blair Witch was a crappy film but, at the time, the whole point-of-view/actors filming thing was new and that set the movie apart from others. Since then there's been a lot more, each getting worse as they go along. Cloverfield, Diary of the Dead, and other "documentary" film style movies. have all been done this way and, while some might have a decent story line, the whole "amateur" film-maker thing is just annoying.

And then there's this film out of Australia. "The Tunnel" is one of the best horror films I've seen in a while. The story, while not exactly new, is told in a way that makes it interesting and really creepy at the same time. Yes, it has the actors filming their story by themselves, but it's inter-cut with "filmed" pieces so it doesn't make you feel like you've been on a roller coaster for an hour and a half.

The movie uses subway tunnels underneath Sydney as it's main location, and if you've ever been in a subway at night you know how dismal it can be. Throw in a mostly unseen adversary, small amounts of blood and gore (Really small. Just a scene or two.), some really good actors, and a premise that could possibly happen and you come away with a great movie. The darkness of the tunnels and the feeling of being absolutely alone give this movie more thrills then just about anything else that's come along recently.

Horror films don't have to have a ton of gore and gallons of blood in them to be good. As much as I like films like that I still go back and watch Hitchcock and the old Universal and Hammer classic monsters for good stories and genuine thrills. The Tunnel may not go down in film history on a par with those but you could do a heck of a lot worse with all of the junk horror movies coming out recently that rely on a minimal story with nothing more the fake guts, fake blood and naked (fake boobs) babes.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Breath taking story....

10/10
Author: (sllave@seznam.cz) from Czech Republic
19 September 2011

This documentary scary movie (or found footage movie as you wish) is so scary if you realize that movie is based on the true story and 95% of footage is authentic. Many people would say that is a fake, but think about it. What movie studio would sign under it if they really don't find out how it really was. This is the one of the best "found footage" I have ever seen. I can't realize how it would be if I saw this movie and know that the enter to that tunnel is somewhere near of my home. Well I suppose that I never go to live to the Sydney ;). To sum up I truly recommend this movie to everyone who likes found footage like Blair witch, Paranormal Activity and so on.

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