Sunday, August 2, 2015

#1,812. The Tunnel (2011) - Spotlight on Australia

Directed By: Carlo Ledesma

Starring: Bel Deliá, Andy Rodoreda, Steve Davis

Tag line: "The light runs out"

Trivia: This movie won the award for Best Special Effects at 2011's Screamfest

A call comes in to an emergency dispatcher. The woman on the other end shouts that her friend has been attacked, and is in desperate need of help. The dispatcher tries to calm the woman, but to no avail. What’s more, she is calling from the platform of a busy train station, resulting in all sorts of background noise.

The frantic caller does manage to relay some general information, but before she can go into any detail as to their exact whereabouts, the phone goes silent.

This is our introduction to director Carlo Ledesma’s 2011 horror / thriller The Tunnel, and before the movie is over, we’ll have witnessed the events that led up to this call, some of which are terrifying.

Australian News reporter Natasha Warner (Bel Deliá) believes she has stumbled onto the story of a lifetime. It all stems from an announcement made weeks earlier by the government of New South Wales, that officials in Sydney were attempting to ease the current drought by bringing water up from a network of underground tunnels.

But before it even begins, the entire program is dropped, without any explanation.

Hoping to make a name for herself, Natasha, along with producer Pete Ferguson (Andy Rodoreda), Cameraman Steve Miller (Steve Davis), and sound engineer Jim “Tangles” Williams (Luke Arnold), heads underground, searching for clues that might shed some light on this mystery. X They find the answers they are looking for. Or, more precisely, the “answers” find them!

Shot in abandoned railway tunnels that run under Sydney, The Tunnel is part found footage (video shot by the crew is combined with surveillance images captured by Sydney’s vast network of roadside cameras) and part mockumentary (the story is told by a pair of survivors who, over the course of an interview, recount the ordeal that nearly cost them their lives). Though not quite as frightening as the Paris Catacombs in As Above, So Below, these tunnels are very creepy. Aside from being run-down, they’re extremely dark (the only available light is from the crew’s camera. When the battery runs out, the four can’t see a thing until a new one is installed).

What Natasha and the others don’t know, but soon discover, is that something is down there with them, and by the time they figure it out, it’s too late. We do occasionally get a glimpse of what is stalking them, but it’s the film's ominous tone, as well as the setting and the performances, that delivers the scares.

The money needed to produce The Tunnel was raised by way of a unique online campaign (its producers sold each of the movie’s digital frames for $1 apiece), and while they fell short of their ultimate goal (hoping for $135,000, they only managed to get $36,000), the creative minds behind this movie made the most of what they had, and in the process turned out one very nifty horror film.


James Robert Smith said...

Looks interesting. I'll have to see if I can find it on streaming video tonight.

James Robert Smith said...

Well, I watched it. It was pretty good! Hard to believe they produced that for $30K!! Good sense of tension which I suppose was at least partly resulted from not having the budget to show the monster very much.

Also: Bel Delia--what a pretty woman!