Natasha (Bel Belia) has carefully assembled her team, which consists of Peter (Andy Rodoreda), Steve (Steve Miller) and Tangles (Luke Arnold). This group of journalists are investigating several government cover-ups relating to water, homelessness, history, and disappearing people. Their investigation takes them down into the train tunnels under Sydney, all without the proper authority or approval. Equipped with only cameras and other audio-related equipment, the team’s goal is to be underground for a short period, find answers, and head straight back up to the surface before anyone notices.
As they get deeper underground, several unsettling discoveries are made, including strange noises and bodies. Suspicion among the group grows as they suspect they are not the only ones wandering around in the dark. Tension and heart rates begin to rise, and the horror begins as an unknown stalker is found lurking around with a desire to kill. No matter what happens next, viewers are about to go on a scary ride which they’ll never forget! Can this team escape the underground Tunnel and make it to the surface alive?
For those who are not aware, The Tunnel has been made in the style of a documentary (also known as a mockumentary). The filming style is described as found footage and makes heavy use of handheld cameras throughout. There are many unknowns and mysteries throughout the story, but from the very opening, it is obvious that something tragic has occurred, and the survivors barely made it out alive. The opening alone interested me as I wanted to seek out what horrors could have occurred while the team was underground.
There are plenty of positives here. Firstly, the film feels real and convincing as a documentary. While watching, I questioned if what I was watching was based on real events or just made up to make me think it was real. This was reinforced with the cuts back and forth to interviews with the crew between unsettling moments. Honestly, I enjoyed watching this feature and not knowing all the truths that added to the level of creepiness and suspense. Leading performances are great and convincing. As for any negatives, I can’t say I have a lot other than wanting more answers within certain areas of the plot or hoping to have seen more reveals surrounding the lurking and deadly stalker. Still, naturally, these kinds of mysteries and unknown elements only build tension.
Concerning the filming style and use of handheld cameras, I understand this isn’t for everyone, and I’m not a big fan myself. But thankfully, The Tunnel has a prime focus on delivering a visually pleasing experience, which, again, feels real. What gains bigger praise from me is the audio track, which is a knock-out. While our leads travel around dark and mysterious tunnels, the audio track comes to life, and at multiple times, I had a large smile on my face during suspenseful moments.
Overall, when it comes to Australian horror movies, I’ll be direct and say you should see The Tunnel if you’ve never experienced it. To my surprise, the film is quite an entertaining mockumentary that felt highly convincing on many levels. Performances are great, and the found-footage aspect is fun and feels believable. What’s even better is the audio track which successfully builds great moments of tension and suspense. The Tunnel (2011) is now celebrating its 10th anniversary at Monster Fest 2021. For more information and session times, please visit https://www.monsterfest.com.au/australia/