Playing out like a documentary, The Tunnel is an Australian found-footage horror movie directed by Carlo Ledesma. It stars Bel Deliá, Andy Rodoreda, Steve Davis, Luke Arnold and unsurprisingly is set in the abandoned railway tunnels of Sydney, Australia.
A found footage horror set in disused underground tunnels is hardly cause for excitement. However, The Tunnel sets its story up really well.
Through news reports and documentaries it is revealed that the New South Wales State government has found a way to combat water shortages. They plan to recycle huge expanses of water that is trapped below in a network of abandoned train tunnels. Other than some up uproar regarding the relocation of the homeless that sleep in these tunnels, the plan seems like a good one.
Then quietly and suddenly the government changes its mind and doesn’t reveal why. This, alongside reports of homeless people going missing in the tunnels gains the interest of a journalist, Natasha (Bel Deliá).
She believes the government found something down there and is determined to find out what. Along with her producer Peter (Andy Rodoreda), cameraman Steven (Steve Davis) and audio engineer Tangles (Luke Arnold), she decides to head into the tunnels.
What they find is miles of dark and dirty tunnels, abandoned shelters and a huge lake of water. It seems like a dead end…until they start to hear noises.
The Tunnel is a good movie. Let’s get that clear right from the start. The premise is clever, the logic is sound and it builds up the tension well. The documentary-style is also praise worthy. Grounding it in reality as we often cut from the action to the surviving characters taking about their experience.
The cast are strong and never seem to make frustrating or idiotic decisions, even the constant camera carrying is explained and makes sense.
Of course that does bring us to the films biggest and most annoying flaw. It’s a found footage horror. Picture the things that make found footage such a chore to watch and then amplify them with darkness…that’s The Tunnel. It’s a dark movie and while effort is made to light as much as possible with night vision and torches, it doesn’t stop many parts being unwatchable. Especially in the latter, more frantic parts of the movie.
However, most of this can be forgiven because The Tunnel does almost everything so very well. It’s a mysterious story and by the end, a lot of answers remain. While it would have been nice to know more about the ‘thing’ they run into down there, the chance to make up your own mind adds some extra creepiness to things.
The Tunnel is well worth a watch even if, like us, you’re well past the found footage fad.
The Final Score - 7.5/10