The Tunnel (2011, Australia)

There’s found footage. And then there’s found footage brought to attention by the people in it who then use half the movie to comment about the footage. This flopped in the Fourth Kind and Lake Mungo. Unfortuntely, the Tunnel suffers from the same common mishap: melodramatic commentary up the ying-yang. Let the footage speak for itself. We don’t need an actor to explain everything, ad naseum So many fails with the Tunnel.

If the people in the “found footage” are commenting after it was recorded, then there’s no suspense because we already know they are alive and well. Which is strange, considering that a mysterious humanoid underground dweller easily spilled the blood of their companions. Speaking of that, the “reporter,” who so urgently needed to investigate the underground tunnels of Australia, should be held responsible for those deaths. Not that it’s even believable that they died. The Tunnel lacks authenticity, something most evident when the doomed crew’s camera lens has cracks yet the cracks do not move in unison with the camera movement. [rating: $0]

Lake Mungo (2008, Australia) More like Lake DUMBO. This melodramatic “mockumentary” about the haunting of a drowned girl serves to pleasure itself by showing a ghost in camera footage that is later discovered to be faked. Eff us, right? The second half is more confusing than the first, adding blurry camera phone clips and more dull as hell commentary from people who knew the girl. Serious material like this needs to be handled better. [rating: $1] –Kenyon