Tunnel vision pays off
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