In 2011 a little known company, Distracted Media put out a movie called "The Tunnel". This film was a mock documentary about a lournalist and her crew searching the abandoned tunnels deep beneath Sydney, Australia. They want to find out why the Government gave up on their idea of recycling water from these tunnels, and the cover-up of what was actually happening to the homeless who were making their homes in these tunnels.
I love mock documentary style film making, especially when it's done properly and this movie is no exception. Right from the start it really feels like an actual docmentary about this news team and their quest for answers. The movie immediately grabbed my attention and it held it through the entire running time. I was glued to the screen trying to figure out what was actually going on and what was in these tunnels.
Directed by Carlos Ledesma, a brilliant young director from Australia knows how to work the cameras. He definitely has directing chops and even though this is his first feature, you can tell he's very comfortable behind the lense. He knows how to take fake material and make you, the viewer beleive what you are watching on screen actually did happen. In the tunnel scenes he directs with such power and verocity that you feel the the tension as it builds as the crew gets lost in these dark tunnels, running from something they can't explain. He also knows how to slow the pace down with the interview sections of the documentary. This is how he conveys to the audience the emotions the crew were going through. I'm definitely on board with his next picture. Carlos Ledesma is one director to keep on your radar.
Bel Delia plays the part of Natasha Warner, a headstrong journalist who wants nothing more but to explore those tunnels and find out what it is the Government is covering up. She takes her team consisting of herself, Peter, Steve the cameraman and Tangles the sound engineer. A top notch performance from this lady, who is relatively new with some short films under belt. She felt so natural especially in the scenes that called for raw emotion. Her acting never felt staged or put on and she brought humanity to a character who some could think was a ruthless backstabber.
Steve Davis played Steve Miller the camera man. This is his first acting job and he is also superb. Another great performance in this film. He too seems right at home infront of the camera and is so natural. He brings a playful side to the character Steve Miller but later on that playful side goes away and his serious side appears. He shows a great range of emotion and makes the character very believable.
Andy Rodoreda is Peter Ferguson another journalist who Natasha brings along for exploration. He is the more level headed on in the group and the more cautious one as well. Andy comes from shows like "Home and Away" and "Stingers" and is no stranger to being infront of the camera. He does a great job being the Jiminy Cricket style character of the bunch. Another great performance in this wonderful film.
Rounding out the group is the sound engineer Jim Williams, also known as Tangles. He is played perfectly by Luke Arnold of "The Elepahnt Princess" and "The Pacific" series. I loved the sense of humor brought to this character by Luke. He definitely has a good screen presence and lights up the screen in every scene he is in.
The one thing I loved about the acting in this film is how natural everything felt. Nothing felt staged or fake. The actors did a wonderful in their performances in this movie. Everyone in this cast was strong and carried their own throughout the picture.
This film is a kind of slow burn. It takes a while to get into the tunnel, but that is because of the setup this story needs. This is supposed to be a documentary and not a full on horror film. As we make our way into the tunnel and things start to slowly go wrong things start to get creepy. This film definitely plays on your senses and gives you that closed in feeling when the crew is going through the dark tunnels.
The sound design in this film is amazing and plays well on a sound system. I loved the parts where things go silent and all you hear are creeping sounds behind your sneaking up on you while you are in complete darkness. Definitely not a movie for the easily scared.
This is one movie where you want to grab a big bucket of pop corn, turn out the lights and crank up the sound. I have no problem recommending this movie to anyone, especially horror fans. Now it's not a gore fest horror but there are some gruesome scenes in the movie.
I give this movie 4.5 stars out of 5. A definite watch. It's a very well made movie for an independant low budget film. I love what was done with this film and how it was crafted. This is right up on my list with V/H/S. Don't be scared, check it out. Till next time my friends.