The Tunnel delivers some scares in the pitch black dark.
The Tunnel is an Australian mockumentary with a very realistic set-up. It’s almost like you are watching a real documentary even with interviews of the two survivors of a horrific ordeal. This set-up however means that it takes some time to get to the real horror part of the film and the buildup can be a little slow.
But once in the tunnels the scary part begins. Trusting on creepy sound effects, a dark claustrophobic place, realistic characters and an overall eerie feeling, the film doesn’t have to show off a scary creature to make it a terrifying experience.
Natasha is a journalist who tries to uncover the story of the tunnels underneath Sydney. These tunnels, now an abandoned old metro system, were once used as air raid shelters, and now are going to be used as a water reservoir. But when homeless people allegedly living in the tunnels, go missing, the government plans are put to a stop, with no apparent reason.
Natasha goes searching for the truth with cameraman Steve, sound operator Tangles and producer Pete, without permission and without telling her crew her personal reasons. But this vast system of tunnels hides a dark and terrible secret.
Why you should watch it
If you’re a fan of found footage and mockumentary horror films this one is definitely worth checking out. Although it takes a long time to get into the tunnels, and to get to the good stuff, one third of the film in fact, it serves as an adequate way to make it as realistic as possible.
The focus lies with the characters, their personalities, their relationships with each other, and with their motivations. While Natasha is a journalist who desperately tries to prove herself one last time, Steve and Tangles are two grown man acting like children, and Pete serves as the grounded one.
The film goes through great lengths to make the plot and their actions plausible. Steve and Natasha are being interviewed after the whole ordeal so it gives away that they at least survived. Their confessions are sometimes a bit dramatic, but it makes their actions and motivations believable, while they’re trying to explain themselves why they did what they did. In doing so the film avoids being a mere popcorn horror.
Special kudos for Steve who is a real life cameraman, who is filming most part of the movie, and does an excellent job at both filming and acting at the same time.
Though we don’t see much of the creatures in the tunnels, the film makes use of the desolated images of the creepy tunnels, the eerie sound effects and the panic of the characters to make a scary movie. By putting the realism first, using cliches in the right way, showing images from CCTV camera’s, a normal camera with big light, and a small camera with night vision, this film turns out as a very realistic and creepy little mockumentary.
My favorite part
The film has a great buildup. It begins with a strange sound, we don’t even get to hear until later, a claustrophobic feel, Tangles who goes missing, blood spatters all over the walls, a strange room with a bloodied chair, and slowly builds up towards real fear and panic.
This accumulates in the scenes where Natasha finds herself alone, with only her night vision and ends in a terrifying struggle. We get to see a glimpse of the creature, but the focus on the fear is key, and makes it more scary than a full image of the creature can ever be. Fear is internal and this film tries to prove this and succeeds sufficiently to elicit some scares.
Scare factor: ★★☆☆☆
Cast and crew
The Tunnel is directed by Carlo Ledesma and written by Enzo Tedeschi and Julian Harvey. It stars Bel Deliá (Natasha), Andy Rodoreda (Peter), Steve Davis (Steve) and Luke Arnold (Tangles).
Duration: 90 minutes. Music: Paul Willam Dawkins. Cinematography: Steve Davis. Edited by: Julian Harvey, Enzo Tedeschi. Produced by: Julian Harvey, Enzo Tedeschi. Production companies: Distracted Media, Zapruder’s Other Films, Dlshs. Distributed by: Transmission Films, Blackrock Films.