Re-Watch: The Tunnel (2011)

The Tunnel
Director: Carlo Ledesma
Writer: Enzo Tedeschi, Julian Harvey
Cast: Bel Deliá, Andy Rodoreda, Steve Davis, Luke Arnold
Seen on: 10.5.2022
[Here’s my first review.]

Content Note: misogyny

Plot:
Something is going on in the tunnels below Sydney, and ambitious reporter Natasha (Bel Deliá) is sure that the government is covering something up. She convinces her colleagues Peter (Andy Rodoreda), Steve (Steve Davis) and Tangles (Luke Arnold) to go investigating with her. But even with their suspicions, they never could have guessed what is actually happening.

The Tunnel is a mockumentary/found footage movie which is generally not so much my thing. But it was rather well-made and definitely shot in interesting locations, making it easier to forgive the often rather simple story. But then again, I realized only after having written this review that I had already seen the film, so obviously it’s not one to burn itself into your memory.

The film poster showing a close-up of Natasha (Bel Deliá) as she screams, the image made up of finely printed names.

Often with found footage films, you have to wonder why people would keep filming that shit. With The Tunnel, I never asked myself that question. It seemed perfectly reasonable here for the reporters to keep using their camera(s), and not just because they were reporters. The film nicely plays with the possibilities of having professional equipment, most notably in a scene where the sound just diverges.

I’m not sure that I needed the framing device of having a documentary about what happened in the tunnels, it seemed mostly filler material to get the movie to feature length. Fair enough, I guess, but yet another indicator for me that the writing was pretty thin. There were several moments where I could predict the lines the characters would say next [and I don’t think this has anything to do with me having already seen the film as I couldn’t remember that part in the first place], and the characters were generally rather flat, I thought. Also, there is a certain misogyny in the set-up where the lone woman in the group dooms them all, and a pivotal moment in the film is she getting berated by her male colleagues.

Natasha (Bel Deliá) reporting in the tunnels.

Where the film really shines, though, is in the locations it found for its shoot. The tunnels and abandoned bomb shelter are appropriately creepy and very atmospheric, and the film does its utmost to make you feel the eerie atmosphere.

But ultimately, I don’t think that is enough to make it really worth it to see the film. I mean, I have definitely seen worse, but that doesn’t mean one has to seek this one out.

Steve (Steve Davis) being interviewed.

Summarizing: okay.

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