5 days ago
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Tunnels Down Under
Australia is hurting for water, more so the city of Sydney is. Knowing of an untapped water reserve in some long ago abandoned train tunnels, the government decides to find a way to get to that water and use it. TV reporter Natasha Warner (Bel Deliá) has learned that the government has shut down its plans, but is refusing to say why. Deciding to get to the truth of the matter, she leads her team into the tunnels in hopes of finding out what is down there. Knowing that homeless people have been using the tunnels, she tries to interview one, only for him to flip out when asked why some of friends of disappeared in the tunnels. We will soon find out what is down there...sorta.
I had watched the trailer for The Tunnel on another movie that I had watched. It looked interesting so I decided to add it to my queue and bumped it up. While The Tunnel seems to get compared to many other found footage type films, the one that it reminded me of the most was Lake Mungo, which is one of my more recent favorite films. The plot is completely different from Lake Mungo, but the style is the same. The Tunnel plays out like a documentary. It starts out with interviews talking about the back story, how they found out about what the government might be up to and how they got into the tunnels. It was a little slow through here, but once they get into the tunnels, it picks up. I liked the documentary feel, mostly because it made it a bit more realistic to me. However, it does present some problems with this kind of style. Even though there is a disclaimer at the start saying that not everyone involved wanted to be interviewed, it was still pretty much a spoiler of who was coming out the tunnels alive, and who wasn't. I guess why it worked so well for Lake Mungo was because we knew that basic idea going in, a daughter haunting her family. Nothing all that evil about it or anything, but was still creepy as hell. With The Tunnels we are to assume that not everyone makes it out alive just because of the sound bite from the very start of the film.
As I said, things pick up some once the crew finds themselves in the tunnels. I thought it would have been better if the documentary style had been dropped at this point, and just allowed what happens to play out. Instead we find that the style is still there, although not as often. There are voice overs explaining actions, or cutting back to the interviews for a short time. This was the biggest complaint that I could find for The Tunnel. I didn't mind it so much, but some felt that it broke up the action that was going on, and eventually took them out of the story completely.
There wasn't much for effects. The creature, or person, whatever it was...is never shown for very long. I personally didn't think it was a person, like so many believe. There is one scene that discredits it being a person, but I don't think most people noticed since it is a quick shot. Unless you pause it, I liked that we never get a lingering shot on whatever it is. It added to the mystery of it, and I never really knew what it would do next. The acting as pretty good. I enjoyed Bel Deliá in the lead role. I didn't really care for the fact that writers Enzo Tedeschi and Julian Harvey turned her into a mess for a short while, I guess I couldn't really blame the woman for that considering what was going on. The rest of her crew are Andy Rodoreda, Steve Davis and Luke Arnold.
Maybe it was my love for Lake Mungo that made The Tunnel so enjoyable for me. I almost wish that more found footage type films would go with this style. The interviews made it feel more real. I know that is what the found footage genre is going for, a real event where what was filmed was discovered. I realize that not every movie will have everyone alive at the end, but being as it is found footage, the chances are pretty good that is what happened. With the interviews, when done right at least, they could keep you guessing as to who lives and who doesn't. The Tunnel missed the mark there, but it was still a good film. Not near as great as Lake Mungo, but I still loved it all the same. Hopefully this one will find its way to instant watch, but for now you can find it on DVD. Apparently it was offered as a free download at one point. I don't know if it still is, but I might be checking into that soon enough. If you can get by the flaws, you should have a good time with this one. I know I sure did.
4 out of 5 I'm not afraid of any tunnels!