When down and out guitar player Jack (Richard Gabai) is dumped by his girlfriend, it seems that life couldn’t get any worse. Sifting through some mail he discovers he’s the beneficiary of an estate from a relative he’d never known. Packing up to the Pacific Northwest he accepts the island and estate that’s been left to him under the condition that he can manage a fully functional equestrian camp for children. A large, ominous tomb lies in the middle of the woods and has creatures lurking around every corner. Can Jack manage to fulfill the conditions of the inheritance or will he and his counsellors succumb to the 3 Tunnels 2 Hell?
Directed By: James Becket
Starring: Richard Gabai, Sean Dryke, Ronee Collins, Alisa Schulz, Andrea Jordan,
Aka Serenity Farm
3 Tunnels 2 Hell isn’t the worst independent feature I’ve seen. On paper the plot is very intriguing, the premise evokes all kinds of fear and the possibilities for innovation are endless. Somewhere between brainstorming, paper and execution this production sadly fell a little flat.
Many of the actors and actresses had minimal experience or this was their first performance. Believe me this is more than okay but to fully enjoy this film its best to keep your expectations at a minimum. Some of the dialogue came off as a little contrived and lacked conviction. But for the most part the interaction that takes place between a wide assortment of personalities from the camp counsellors is amusing and entertaining even. We want to see what shenanigans the stoner gets into or if the sexual tension between two counsellors is ever realized or if the rivalries ever reach their boiling points. The subtext or sub-plots if you prefer are almost more interesting than the main story itself, which creates a tremendous breakdown in continuity.
The setting of the woods is an effective choice for all out creep terror. It lacks a little originality but the tomb and corresponding tunnels makes up for that fallacy. It’s unclear what exactly it is that dwells within the concrete confines through much of the movie. A little bit of mystique in this case goes a long way and we anxiously await the mystery to unfold itself.
Distorted imagery through varying cinematography and shooting techniques or perhaps editing gives us a glimpse into the creatures’ point of view. It comes across creepy and nerve wracking as we ponder the entity’s origin. The sound affects however could have conveyed something more cohesive than the sounds of pigs squealing. The noise got irritating after a while and the average viewer may be tempted to reject the sequence before they truly give the plot a chance.
Some truly disturbing gross out moments are delivered and surely will not be for the faint of heart. For a low budget thriller the special effects in this case were well utilized. One can feel their stomach churn and the acid rise in their throats as the true gore feast is unleashed.
For the testosterone fuelled teen out there, you’ll be relieved to see a couple of gratuitous sex scenes. It’s more or less a flash of boob here and there but at least the cast is well above average in terms of physical appeal. The scenes seemed to have been shot simply for subscribing to a specific formula of horror script writing 101. They weren’t necessary but I’m not really complaining.
Into the final act the plot takes an unexpected detour that I commend the writer for hatching a complex yet refreshing route. The ending keeps us guessing and of course leaves things open for a possible sequel. All in all not entirely horrible, but 3 Tunnels 2 Hell leaves the viewer a little disoriented and bewildered.
-Two out of five tombstones.