A competently crafted found-footage horror narrated in faux-documentary style, The Tunnel utilizes its narrow spaces, dark alleys & underground setting effectively and manages to be legitimately tense, thrilling & terrifying at times yet is undone by an ending that fails to conclude the entire journey on a fulfilling note.

The story concerns a journalist & her crew whose investigation into a government cover-up leads them to the underground networks of abandoned railway tunnels in Sydney. But what began as their search for the truth soon turns into a fight for survival when they discover that something sinister is lurking in those dark corners.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Directed by Carlos Ledesma, the film employs the less is more approach and lets our imagination run wild by tapping into our fear of the unknown. Its attack on the viewers’ psyche is unrelenting once the shit hits the fan even though the initial setup & conclusion don’t pack the desired punch when compared to the strong bits it features in the middle.

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Another aspect that benefits the film is its excellent camerawork, something that’s often a hit or miss in this subgenre. Although there are moments of pitch black darkness, shaky cam & disorienting footage, all resulting in lack of clarity, much of it is handled with flair and elevates the mystery, suspense & our heart rate with surprising ease.

Even the jump scares are aptly timed in this found-footage horror, and the chaos & terror that erupts from it further amplifies its frightening aura. What works against the film however are shortcomings of its own makings, for it gives away the characters’ fates during the first act. Also, the malevolent presence we briefly get a glimpse of remains a mystery as no explanation is provided.

On an overall scale, The Tunnel makes smart use of its underground locations & claustrophobic atmosphere to instill a disquieting chill into its frames and is amongst the better examples of found-footage horror. Had it provided a resolution as good as its best bits, this Aussie chiller would’ve attained an even higher position than where it stands now. Made available for free on BitTorrent by the filmmakers themselves, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a go.


The Tunnel Trailer

The Tunnel Links – IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes 

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