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The Tunnel (2011): Movie Review

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When the water solution project of the government was left forgotten and homeless people taking refuge in the underground tunnels started going missing, a journalist felt it in her hands to uncover the truth. With the assistance of her crew, they will cover the story behind the underground tunnel of Sydney. She wanted it, but she has brought her crew in an unauthorized coverage down in doom when something's about to take them for a meal.

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Review:

I'm just so disappointed... that I could never say a bad thing about this film.

It is clear that so much research is put into it. The choice of setting was perfect. I don't know which came first. The story or the setting? Was the setting for this film chosen for the story? Or rather, a fiction was made for such an elaborate place and hence, this film.

In any case, it's better than any of the films I know adapting the shaky camera method. A movie I know which try hard to captivate what this film has done (but never executed perfectly) is Europa Report by Magnet, which is sponsored by NASA. They had all kinds of astounding visuals but the way they made the film is amateurish next to this one.

Because this film tries to look as realistic as possible in a journalist's perspective, it was done in a perfect documentary style, that Europa Report seemingly copied. You know the drill. An interview with the crew somewhere at the beginning (news crew for The Tunnel, space crew for Europa Report), a background into what is being covered, travails along the journey, problems met beginning at the first victim and then all-out horror.

With the ornateness of the setting, watching this film somehow reminded me of the film Catacombs (2006). Catacombs was like a walkthrough of French history concerning Paris. I learned from that movie that the Catacombs was built hundreds of years ago because the French government feared that their center of trade is teeming with too much people, they might not have space for burial in the future. Imagine Paris resting above a huge casket! Creepy!

Just like Catacombs, I learned history from this film. That particular underground tunnel in Sidney was originally built to be a subway station before WWII. During the WWII, it was used as air raid shelter for the soldiers. It was reused and fashioned for training for the SAS. Since then, it had been used for various purposes. In the end, the currently used subway station is built above it.

Whatever the reason why a new train tunnel was built above, here's my theory: the Aussies must have overconsumed water in the past (considering that most of Australia is a desert) that they left some place under land submergence. Huge sink holes must have been produced then that the tunnel inadvertently went deeper. Hence, the lake underground.

Obviously, the setting of the film was perfect. When I saw the underground tunnel for the first time, I was awed. It was massive! I would be happy to take a tour there when I get the chance. If I were to choose only one thing between the two in Australia: sky diving or tunneling, now I'd always be undecided.


I love the complexity of the tunnel. It was a labyrinth. I'd love to get lost in there (if there's anything that would make me feel lost; I think I still have an uncanny sense of direction). Even the recesses are intricate. You could put so many usage into any of them. Even one was made into a bell room. According to the film, the bell was used to warn soldiers of the enemy's incoming strikes.

That bell's sound could have been attractively defeaning have the character struck harder. If I were there in her place, no matter how reckless I might appear, I would strike that bell hard at least three times in succession. Ooops sorry, I was forgotting about the welfare of the soundman. The point to me is, others won't matter when my mucking about is concerned. Yeah, yeah I know.

When the news team had to go down a very narrow opening with a rusted staircase, somehow I felt fortunate with my very small size. Climbing up and down that stair would be no sweat. Perhaps, I'd even fit into any crevice, perfect for hiding!

Reading synopses of this film online, I thought that this one involved a troll. But when complications happened in one of the intricate recesses, my curiosity peeked. The movie was more of a ghost story than a post-chernobyl genesis (if you catch my drift). I couldn't expound my feelings more when the characters started running in such narrow complex passageways, fleeing from horror. The complexity of the passages made the movie all the more awe-inspiring. I was (again) reminded of the film, Grave Encounters.

The setting for Grave Encounters was also superb. It's stupendous size and refined architecture made them perfect for the story. There are so much that can be done in those buildings! Unfortunately, the movie wasn't that good. Well it's good but just not enough.

Whatever their version of ghost/beast/orwhatever for this film really made my flesh crawl (albeit a bit). The scare factor was effective. The setting and cinematography are one thing. The characters quite another. All four members of the crew are just actors. But their acting is so convincing that they could easily pass for real news crew. This is one of the few films that flawlessly nailed the documentary-type shaky camera method.

I'd love to complain how women are portrayed as typically weak with all that nervous habit of screaming and crying and stuff. But I was so deeply awed (because I'm such a horror person) with this movie that I'd rather not expound on that. There's just quite a thing I'd shamefully [just why?] admit. I love Tangles. <3
100%87%6/10

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