The Tunnel is an Australian film presented as a documentary. I tend to like documentary and found footage films because when done properly, the audience accepts them as almost real.
In The Tunnel, Natasha, a determined reporter, decides to investigate why the government abruptly abandoned its plan to recycle water trapped in underground springs in old train tunnels beneath New South Wales. Simultaneously, homeless people are disappearing right and left. It does not take a genius to see where this is going.
There is something in the tunnel.
There is some decent character work here, but the real star of The Tunnel is…the tunnel. Sometimes, the location where something is shot overpowers everything else and the same is true here. Urban exploration is intriguing even when there aren’t monsters and that is able to captivate us until the horror starts. I don’t know that it was possible to take a bad shot in these tunnels, and there certainly isn’t one in the film.
The Tunnel is a slow burn. It is nearly half an hour before they even descend, but once there, it is a maze of dessicated railways that became air raid shelters. Beneath that they find where the homeless stayed, but there is no one still alive.
As you can tell, The Tunnel is all about execution. The plot is absurdly simple, but as the spaces get tighter, the light gets lower, and very quiet whispering starts to fade into the track, it doesn’t matter.
I didn’t mention the stars of the film, because they are so natural that they don’t seem to matter. For the most part they don’t seem to be acting. Even the lack of budget only serves to help this film because it focuses on the unseen for the most part. This is not a violent film, and the monster is only barely glimpsed.
But if the idea of being trapped beneath a city, in the dark, with only the dripping water interrupting the silence, with something that you know nothing about stalking you seems like a decent premise for a horror film, then you are in luck.