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The Tunnel - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Teo-neol 3D

South Korea 2014

Genre:
Horror

Director:
Park Gyoo-taek

Cast:
Jeong Yoo-mi
Yeon Woo-jin
Song Jae-rim
Jeong Si-yeon
Son Byeong-ho
Lee Si-won


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The Tunnel

The Tunnel - Film Screenshot 1

Story: A few years ago two workers died in a collapsed mine. The area around the mine has been remade into a luxury resort which is owned by the father of spoiled teenager Gi-cheol (Song Jae-rim). Together with his friends Se-hee (Jeong Si-yeon) and Yoo-kyeong (Lee Si-won) he fetches the girl Eun-joo (Jeong Yoo-mi) who is friends with the other girls of the group. They go to a party in the abandoned mine, which is soon disturbed by the appearance of a homeless guy, who tells the teenagers that they are all going to die. After all, the mine is cursed. Moreover, security guard Dong-joon (Yeon Woo-jin) acts odd towards Eun-joo. When the obtrusive homeless guy attacks the teenagers they kill him in an act of self-defense and decide to hide the body in the mine. However, suddenly they find themselves trapped in the mine by someone and a masked man chases after them. Maybe the homeless guy isn't that dead after all? And why does Eun-joo seem to be less frightened than the rest? There is also the question hanging in the room how the security guard is involved in all of this since he apparently knows Eun-joo. Ultimately, the teenagers have to fight getting out of the mine alive.

Tunnel 3D - Film Screenshot 2 Tunnel 3D - Film Screenshot 3
Tunnel 3D - Film Screenshot 4

Review: "Tunnel 3D" shouldn't be mistaken with the recent disaster movie having Ha Jeong-woo in the lead role. Otherwise disappointment in this horror film will be even greater. Even though, this almost isn't possible since I actually was quite aware of what I was getting myself into and despite that I rate "Tunnel 3D" one of the worst Korean movies I have ever watched. That's not necessarily because the movie is boring since you can actually attest the flick a decent pacing. It's more than anything else the completely laughable screenplay, incredibly shallow characters and last but not least the fact that the film can't even give you the creeps which all make the movie fail. If there is one thing which horror movies normally achieve easily then it's creating a dense atmosphere. "Tunnel 3D" doesn't manage to do so, though, and this despite a premise revolving around a dark tunnel. Does it get any easier than this?

Port of Call - Film Screenshot 5

Things are even bad from the getgo since the movie makes use of any horror film cliché. The protagonists are rich, spoiled teenagers, who want to spend a nice day at a remote cabin in the woods, sorry, an abandoned mine, I should say. Then we have a murder taking place just right out of the book of "I Know What You Did Last Summer". But the teenagers' conscience doesn't get any time to come knocking since the first one of them is already killed off after a short time by someone or something. And naturally the survivors are locked up in the mine. Every one of them starts to act more and more strange, but considering the diminishing oxygen level this isn't really a surprise. What's surprising, however, is that director Park Gyoo-taek doesn't aim for a psychological thriller, because the claustrophobia and paranoia going hand in hand with being locked in a mine are actually a given.

Port of Call - Film Screenshot 6

But nothing of the kind. We don't even get your mandatory, cheap scream moments that make you jump out of your seat. The only more fantastic moment in the entire movie actually being somewhat decent is when one of the female teenagers turns up in a dream with empty eye sockets. Yep, there isn't really anything more to talk about. No horror also means that there is no suspense either. The only question in the room is who will bite the dust next. And even that is nothing we are really interested in as the different individuals are written so poorly, that we don't care for them at all. Eun-joo, played by Jeong Yoo-mi (who can be seen in a supporting role in "Someone Behind You") is supposed to be the heroine and also undergoes a change of character which the screenplay tries to explain.

Port of Call - Film Screenshot 7

And the screenplay attempts to explain a lot, which just happens to make the movie even worse. That the search for survivors in the collapsed mine is discontinued is justified by the fact that finding more bodies would mean that there would have to be more compensation paid to the victims' families. But if they aren't found the families would get nothing?! And what if survivors would be found? Why would anyone have to pay compensation in that case? And why exactly is the director constantly trying to stress that the plot actually centers around keeping the memory of the buried victims alive? Is this some sort of attempt of giving the movie more weight? Considering the amateurish rest this just seems ridiculous! Eun-joo's transformation isn't comprehensible in any way either. The flashbacks also don't change that fact. When taking a look at the bad screenplay it also doesn't come as a surprise that the actors and actresses deliver everything but convincing performances. Son Byeong-ho ("I Am a Dad") in a supporting role isn't an exception either.

Port of Call - Film Screenshot 8 Port of Call - Film Screenshot 9

Port of Call - Film Screenshot 10

It needs to be pointed out that you actually need to hang on long enough for the "horror elements" to hit the screen. After all, the introduction consists of a series of mundane stuff which reaches its climax in the actresses entering the stage in swim suits or bikinis. Yeah, well - if that's the best the film has to offer... The rest, especially the camera work and the directing, ultimately looks extremely amateurish. In the end, it doesn't really show good taste or professionality to make the actors/actresses scream right into the camera. And the action scenes consist of awkward scuffles. At least a few of the special effects are easy on the eyes. How the 3D effects actually look is something I can't judge since I only watched the 2D-version. But even those effects can't possibly enhance the movie by a lot. Ultimately, you have to continuously facepalm when it comes to the extremely poor script. The technical adaptation is also bad and there aren't even real horror elements. Just steer clear of this film.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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