Review: The Tunnel (2011)

the tunnel

The New South Whales State government needs to find a way to cater for the severe water shortage they are experiencing, and decide to go with the plans of recycling millions of litres of waters under the city, from the abandoned train tunnels. Initially the project garners a lot of interest, but soon, very quietly, all the plans slip away, and it becomes something of a pipe dream. Journalist Natasha (Bel Deliá) starts to wonder how something that was potentially an amazing solution rapidly got so hushed up and swept under the carpet. She starts investigating, and soon decides that it must be a cover up. She manages to convince her boss to get camera operator Steve Miller (Steve Davis), audio engineer Jim “Tangles” Williams (Luke Arnold), and producer Peter Ferguson (Andy Rodoreda) together as her crew to investigate the story.

Together the group goes into the tunnels, after being rebuffed by an initial security guard and having to find another way in, but what they do now know is that Natasha is on her own mission now, and acting without the consent of their superiors. Natasha has her own agenda at play, wanting to crack the big story, save and make her career, and is completely inconsiderate as to the rest. However, taking the crew down into the tunnels to investigate the disappearances of some homeless men as well as the secrets that seem to surround the tunnels and their abandonment, leads to more questions, severe terror, and big mistakes being made.

Why did the government desert plans to use the train network beneath Sydney to help with the water shortage? Why did Natasha’s boss refuse to get too involved with her plans, attempting to get her to let the story just be? Why was everyone reluctant to help her, ultimately firmly turning her away from the tunnels, denying permits, etc? What is in the tunnels? Why do the homeless disappear when going down there?

GRADE 7I feel like it’s been this excessively long mission of found footage films recently haha! But I figured I would continue in the Monday fashion! Both Eric at The IPC and Tim at Beer Movie liked The Tunnel quite a bit, so I figured I would look into it. Admittedly, I see it has garnered some really low scores, and I am not precisely sure why. I actually rather enjoyed this one. It has a really slow start, like it captured absolutely zero attention from me, and I would have turned it off except that I had already started it and needed a short movie to watch (I was supposed to be studying, but my brain was so tired of absorbing factual information). This one happened to tick all the boxes: it was short and I did not need to think too much or anything. Anyhow, the premise kicks off, the implementation, really slow. I am listening to all this water talk and tunnel talk thinking “really, what the hell, you are going to go digging for something like that?”. Natasha was really a bit of a nut, and was incredibly selfish. Tangles and Steve entertained me, just before everything got more serious and cracked. I liked the way the found footage was shot, very clean on the one, though jerky, and on the other purely in a night vision style. Granted, there were a few times where the film tried to get too clever or too creepy for its own good and had some things fall really flat due to the unbelievable foundation of it, but overall I cannot say that this is a dreadful found footage film. Things were not explored too in depth, which is cool. I don’t want an in depth break down of whatever the hell was down there. However, the movie did not wrap itself up very cleanly, which was a pity. Of all the found footage I have watched recently, this was the one that I enjoyed.