Death Tunnel Review
Written by: mvario
First off, Death Tunnel should probably be called Death Hospital, as the tunnel only makes a brief appearance at the end. The basic story for Death Tunnel has been done many times before; Hell Night, Blood Sisters, The Hazing, and Boo! all immediately come to mind, especially the recent flick Boo! which is also set in an abandoned hospital. But of course the difference is in execution. Death Tunnel goes the "serious" route with a visual style simial to FeardotCom. Think TCM 2003 meets The Grudge with a leitmotif of rust. But it doesn't stop there.
I'm seen a review of that talks about all the editing work as if it's a good thing. It's not. This has more quick cuts, flash cuts, flashed images, speed-ups, slow-downs, jerk zooms, and every other music video editing trick jammed into it then I've ever seen crammed into one movie before. If you're prone to headaches or at risk for epilepsy you might want to avoid this one. Not content with going for the record for trendy editing flash, this film also has more jump-scares in a single film then I've seen before. Yup, this film is more about style than anything else. This is a prime example of style over substance. Since this film is all about "the look" the story is kept to the bare-bones minimum.
We are introduced to student characters just long enough to get their stereotype labels right when they are taken to spend the night at the haunted hospital. Of course the folks who've taken them there have rigged some scares not knowing that it's really haunted. Soon the real ghosts come out to play and folks start dying. What little backstory there is is introduced piecemeal as sepia-toned flash-flashbacks. As well as all the editing tricks most of the film is shot darkly and undersaturated with blue lighting. The production values are decent, though most of the settings have your typical rust-themed abandoned factory/lab/hospital look, including flickering lights and dusty jars with fetuses and body parts. I was suprised not to see hanging chains.
The actors did well with what they were given to work with, which wasn't much. Not only was character development eliminated so was any sort of basic character backstory. Dialog was also limited, mostly to screaming and crying. Special thanks to the lovely Kristin Novak who gave us the only non-ghostly nudity, though only briefly. This was less a haunted building movie than an exercise in the latest MTV editing tricks with a whole lot of jump-scares thrown in. Unfortunately it was at the expense of story, dialog, and characters. If you're really into the modern "look" of horror you might find something here, but otherwise this story has been done better many times before. 5/10, a little gore, a little nudity.