Despite an empty tube station providing the setting for one of An American Werewolf in London’s most unsettling scenes, underground networks have been largely overlooked when it comes to horror (with a couple of notable exception). As to why exactly that is, is a mystery. Sure, by day they’re crowded, humid, uncomfortably busy places but at night the deserted subterranean labyrinth of tunnels must be terrifying.
Footsteps echo creepily, rats scurry around and danger can hide pretty much anywhere. 2004’s Creep made use of the Underground’s inherent spookiness but managed to wreck the ambiance via some daft revelations towards the end. Other than that, there’s been barely any horror set in a similar surrounding until Aussie scare-fest The Tunnel came along.
During a drought in 2007, the New South Wales government discovers a few million litres of water sitting just below Sydney’s surface in a disused underground train tunnel. The government sets out an initiative to recycle the manky water before suddenly everybody goes a little quiet on the whole topic. Rather than let sleeping dogs lie, a group of TV journos decide to investigate and head into the tunnel only to find themselves stalked by a weird humanoid beastie. Cue the screams.
So the concept is pretty much the same as the aforementioned Creep, except this time it’s set out as a Panorama-style mockumentary. The realistic approach works pretty well in comparison but it’s still far from perfect. For a start, it takes ages before there are any rumblings of scares. Once it does finally get going, they’re not really subtle enough with the creature to whip up any chills.
Still, it’s a neat idea and by no means a pile of shite. The whole “found footage”/mockumentary style is showing some distinct signs of wear and tear but it’s easy to see why it was the format of choice here. Elsewhere, the performances aren’t bad and, at 90 minutes, the film never really outstays its welcome.
Arrow Films have piled a decent helping of bonus content onto the disc including an alternate ending, a behind the scenes featurette, interviews and a heap of other stuff that’s well worth checking out. In all, it’s a pretty decent low-budget straight-to-DVD horror disc – but nothing special.
Overall verdict: As far as underground horror goes, this Creep/Blair Witch hybrid offers a few decent scares but won’t blow you away.
Behind the Scenes Featurette
TV Crew Bootcamp
Shooting a Scene
Meet the Cast
Reviewer: Jordan Brown