Tun­nel vi­sion pays off

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - TIM MARTAIN www. thetun­nel­movie. net

PART Blair Witch Pro­ject and part 28 Days Later, Aus­tralian hor­ror film The Tun­nel is an out­stand­ing ex­am­ple of its genre.

If you haven’t had a chance to check it out al­ready, ABC iView will help you with that, with The Tun­nel show­ing on iView for a month start­ing from to­day.

Filmed in Syd­ney on a shoe­string bud­get, this found-footage hor­ror flick is also note­wor­thy for its un­usual fund­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion model.

In­stead of fight­ing a los­ing battle against in­ter­net piracy and tor­rent­ing, the film­mak­ers de­cided to use it to their ad­van­tage by pro­duc­ing a movie de­signed specif­i­cally to be re­leased on­line, free to down­load for any­one.

In the ab­sence of tra­di­tional box of­fice tak­ings to fund the film, they in­stead sold frames of the fin­ished film for $ 1 each.

They only raised about a third of their $ 135,000 tar­get but, true to their word, they re­leased the fin­ished film on­line for free, a suc­cess­ful proof-of-con­cept.

If you have an in­ter­net con­nec­tion and a love of hor­ror and haven’t seen this cracker of a shocker yet, I urge you to do so.

Mak­ing a movie on a tiny bud­get can be a hin­drance for film­mak­ers but it also forces them to rely on story-telling and acting skills be­cause they don’t have the daz­zle of spe­cial ef­fects to fall back on to im­press their au­di­ence.

The Tun­nel ’ s pro­duc­ers, Enzo Tedeschi and Ju­lian Harvey ( right), and di­rec­tor Carlo Ledesma have turned un­der­stated psy­cho­log­i­cal hor­ror into a ter­ri­fy­ing work of art.

The plot: In 2007 the NSW Gov­ern­ment sud­denly scrapped a plan to use the wa­ter in the dis­used train tun­nels be­neath Syd­ney’s CBD. A year later, chas­ing ru­mours of a gov­ern­ment cover-up and ur­ban le­gends sur­round­ing the sud­den back­flip, in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Natasha Warner leads a crew of four into the un­der­ground labyrinth to un­cover the truth.

But what they dis­cover is worse than they could have pos­si­bly imag­ined.

The Tun­nel has its mi­nor flaws, some dis­tract­ingly fake-look­ing blood, for one, but this is only nit-pick­ing.

The ex­cel­lent acting per­for­mances re­ally sell the raw fear and creep­ing in­san­ity as the news crew fum­bles through the pitch black tun­nels.

And it fol­lows the num­ber one rule of hor­ror – don’t show your cards too early. The au­di­ence is teased with fleet­ing glimpses of the threat lurk­ing in the shad­ows and its first real ap­pear­ance is played so well it is a thing of hor­ror po­etry.

If movies such as Blair Witch Pro­ject and Para­nor­mal Ac­tiv­ity do it for you, The Tun­nel is one not to be missed. And you can still buy a few frames. The Tun­nel is avail­able free on www. abc. net. au/ iview from to­day

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