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The Tunnel (2011)

  Tags: Andy Rodoreda, Bel Deliá, Carlo Ledesma, found footage, Luke Arnold, pov, Steve Davis, The Tunnel

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 

Rating #: 
Carlo Ledesma
90 minutes
Luke Arnold, Steve Davis, Andy Rodoreda, Bel Deliá

First off I'd like to note that this flick was actually legally released online through BitTorrent back in 2011 by the producers. It was a pretty ballsy move, but it helped spread word of the film through various p2p platforms. The fact that it actually turned out to be a decent flick is even more surprising to me considering it was available for free, but I digress.

I normally avoid found footage films since they all seem the same to me, but I'll give a flick a watch regardless of what sub-genre it is as long as it offers a somewhat unique or creative idea behind it. My interest is especially peaked even more if it's received a lot of positive feedback from critics and viewers. That was the case with The Tunnel, which is a film that has been recommended to me by a number of fans. I finally got around to giving it a look and although the pacing is a little rough for the first half, it really pays off by the end.

The story for The Tunnel focuses on a small news crew, headed by an ambitious journalist that catches wind of a potential government cover up dealing with missing homeless people in the city's abandoned underground tunnels. After being denied official entry into the tunnels, they decide to head down there anyway, hoping that whatever they turn up with will overshadow any issues that may arise due to their unlawful entry. It's not long before the crew discovers first hand why exactly people end up missing.

Unlike most found footage/POV flicks The Tunnel actually revolves around this documentary concept to tell its story. This proves interesting since a couple survivors from the events of the footage are interviewed as the tale unfolds. This works for and against the film since it's something not really done much in the sub-genre, but it also means we know exactly who survives the ordeal. Either way, I personally liked it, because it gave it more of an authentic documentary feel.

As much as I enjoyed the last 30-minutes of the film, it takes a lot of patience getting there, because we're forced to sit through a monotonous 30-minute back-story and history of events that lead up to the point of the crew entering the tunnels. Once inside the tunnels it takes another 15/20 minutes before anything remotely interesting happens. Though, once one of the crew mysteriously disappears things kick into gear and doesn't let up until the last moments.

What I really liked about the movie was how it remained based in reality. There weren't any cheesy CG sequences (not that I noticed anyway) that took us out of the realism it started with and the filmmakers made excellent use of the dark corridors and night vision. We're given some seriously creepy scenes, especially when we catch glimpses of what's really lurking in the tunnels. Luckily we're never fully shown what or who it is that's hunting down the crew, because many genre films fall victim to giving the audience a little more than they need to see.

The acting was also pretty decent and I wasn't nauseated by the shaky handheld camera. Ultimately, aside from the pacing in the beginning and some minor issues with events at the end, it was a surprisingly above average pic from this particular sub-genre.

The Tunnel offers an interesting approach towards the found footage/POV sub-genre, but it's incredibly slow start may turn some people off. If you can stick around long enough then you'll probably find yourself engaged and creeped out at what unfolds in the last 20/30-minutes of the film. Worth a look, but be prepared for some pacing issues early on.

Posted on September 15, 2012 - 7:16pm | FrighT MasteR