|Average height||7-8 feet|
|Place of origin||Sydney's Abandoned Railway System|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Created by||Julian Harvey, Enzo Tedeschi|
|Performed by||Goran D. Kleut|
The Tunnel Stalker (referred in the film as the Stalker) is a highly aggressive, subterranean humanoid creature from the 2011 Australian horror film The Tunnel. The creature is tall, gaunt, and pale, with stringy black hair and large eyes. It is primarily carnivorous and while not necessarily predisposed to only hunting humans they have become a staple of its diet and feeding habits.
Nothing is known about the mysterious and deadly being known simply as The Stalker, who lurks in the dark maze of underground tunnels and railways beneath the heart of Sydney, Australia.
Within these dark, dank places near an underground lake it dwells, hunting and killing whatever entered its domain, its lust for blood never satisfied. Many of the city’s homeless who sometimes ventured into these tunnels were never heard from again, those who escaped were forever traumatized by the horrors that they experienced.
The Tunnel (2011)
For years, The Stalker’s existence was thought to be an urban legend, with tales of people who ventured down into the tunnels never to be seen again. In 2007, in the midst of drought and water shortages, the New South Wales State government sanctioned a plan to utilize the accumulated water within the tunnels beneath Sydney, the same tunnels where The Stalker resided. However, the government inexplicably scrapped the project, possibly due to the discovery of The Stalker’s existence within these tunnels. Even though security guards patrolled the entrance to the tunnels, people still managed to enter through means of a secondary entrance; those who did were never heard from again.
The Nightmare Begins
In 2008, one year after the water project scandal, News Journalist Natasha Warner and her crew Peter Ferguson, Steve Miller, and Jim “Tangles” Williams enter the tunnels through the secondary entrance with the hopes of making a documentary on the controversy and scandal surrounding the government’s unexplained cancellation of its water irrigation project. As the group explored the long abandoned underground tunnels, homeless squats, and air raid shelters, The Stalker followed them in the darkness. When the group arrived at the massive underground lake, mysterious sounds could be heard in the distance as the group shot a scene for their documentary. However, only the crew’s sound expert, Tangles, could hear these sounds and brushed it off as a joke played by the other crew members.
As the group moved deeper into the tunnels, they came across an old air raid bell left behind from WWII. After the initial ringing of the bell distorted the film’s audio, Tangles decided to record the audio in one of the adjoining rooms. Only when the bell was rung a second time did The Stalker launch its assault, attacking Tangles while he was separated from the group before dragging him away. Sounds of the horrific attack were all recorded in Tangles’ boom mike. After carrying its victim off, The Stalker then brutally murdered him, splattering his blood all over the walls. Taking advantage of the group’s distraction, The Stalker proceeded to remove all of the crew’s equipment from their storage site to an unknown location before continuing to hunt the crew.
When the crew managed to find the room where Tangles was murdered, which it had blocked off with a large piece of metal. It grabbed Nat’s camera while she helped the crew move it, filming their reactions as they entered the room before discarding it once the group began to leave.
Only when the group encountered the security guard, who was patrolling the entrance to the tunnel, did the Stalker finally make its presence known, attacking the security guard when he was ahead of the group before dragging him away with lightning quick speed. As the rest of the crew fled in terror it ripped out the security guard’s eyes while he was still alive, throwing the severely wounded man into the lake. Unbeknownst to it, Natasha and her crew had also arrived at the edge of the lake, discovering its most recent victim. The Stalker then emerged from the shadows behind the security guard and proceeded to brutally murder him by slowly twisting his head completely around until it broke. As it was leaving with the security guard’s body, Natasha let out a scream, notifying it of the crew’s presence. Realizing that they were there, the Stalker slowly emerged from the lake as the crew fled in terror and chased after them.
As the group attempted to escape through a small passageway, it managed to grab Peter and attempted to drag him away but retreated when Steve shined his flashlight at it, making the group realize its vulnerability to light. Determined yet wary of the lights, it continued its pursuit of the group, attempting to abduct Steve but was again forced to retreat when confronted with the lights. After this failed second attempt, the Stalker chose to silently pursue the group from the shadows, waiting for the right moment to strike. That opportunity came when the battery for the flashlight died out, temporarily leaving the them in utter darkness as they frantically tried to replace the flashlight's batteries. Just as they managed to restore power, the Stalker began its assault on the group. It charged out of the shadows, violently knocking them all to the ground and breaking the camera lens before it gave chase to Natasha who had fled in terror.
Catching up with the terrified woman, the Stalker grabbed and dragged her deeper into the tunnels before she momentarily lost consciousness. It took Natasha back to the lake and threw her into it, jumping in after her and then proceeding to drown her, all the while mumbling in a strange distorted language. Before it could finish, it was stopped by Steve and Peter who had followed Natasha's screams back to the lake. Again confronted with the bright lights, it was forced to abandon its would be victim as they fled with Steve while Peter stayed behind to hold it at bay. Soon after Natasha and Steve left, the Stalker viciously attacked Peter, severely wounding him before letting him escape. Peter would die from his injuries soon after he was rescued by Natasha and Peter. The fate of the Stalker remains unknown.
It is likely that its existence was covered up by the goverment to avoid a panic and that the documentary itself was made to shed light on this issue. Another theory is that Peter wounded it enough to kill it, however, this is unlikely.
The Tunnel Stalker is barely seen on camera in the film. When it does appear, it's often very brief and not highly detailed making it difficult to discover its full anatomy. Based on the brief glimpses of the creature seen in the film, it appears to be a very tall, emaciated humanoid standing approximately seven to eight feet tall. It has very human-like features, with human-shaped ears and hands. It's limbs are long and gangly, giving it an unnerving appearance. The creature's head is very human-like with long stringy black hair, a pointed nose, and large eyes adapted to its underground environment, which appear to glow when seen in a night-vision camera. It also seems to have an abnormally large set of lungs as is evident when it grabs Natasha's video camera, it's loud breathing is heard off camera. The Tunnel Stalker also appears to be wearing the tattered remnants of clothing, having on a dark coat and pants. Thus has given rise to the belief that the creature was once human, and is either a mutant or human experiment.
|“||It happened in a split second, I didn't know what it was mate... But it was quick, and it was f--king frightening!
— Steve Miller when asked about the Stalker taking Natasha's camera.
During the course of the film, the Tunnel Stalker displays the following abilities listed below:
- Superhuman Speed and Stamina - During it's attacks on the group, and abduction of both Tangles and the Security Guard; the Tunnel Stalker displayed an ability to move at superhuman speeds. Once it's running, its movements are so fast that they are barely captured on a video camera. When it abducted the Security Guard, it was able to snatch and disappear with the guard in a matter of a few seconds.
- Superhuman Strength - The Tunnel Stalker is capable of moving heavy objects with relative ease. In one case it managed to move all the heavy filming equipment with a matter of a few minutes. It's also able to pick up and run off with a fully grown man with seemingly no effort, and twist the same man's head fully around until it broke. During one of its attacks on the group, it was capable of knocking down three people in a single hit.
- Adapted Night Vision - The Tunnel Stalker is well adapted to its dark, subterranean environment and is capable of seeing in complete darkness due to its large eyes. However, due to this, the Stalker is also sensitive to bright lights and will flee when confronted with them as is evident when it abandoned its abduction of group member Peter when it was confronted by the bright lights of Steve's flashlight.
- Expanded Lungs - The Tunnel Stalker appears to have an abnormally large set of lungs which it uses to hold its breath for extended amounts of time while it's underwater.
|“||It was almost like it was trying to get us in a position where it could get to us as well. It reminded me of a lion trying to cut one animal out of a pack, the herd. You know, get the weak one out, easy to attack.
— Steve Miller on The Stalker's behavior.
Throughout the course of the film, the Tunnel Stalker is shown to be extraordinarily cunning, and intelligent. Early in the film, it's mentioned that the tunnels contain a surprising amount of homeless and squatters, and the Tunnel Stalker has preyed upon them and anyone who enters the tunnels for an untold amount of time. During one such interview with a former resident of the tunnels, the mere question of what happened in the tunnels was enough to send the man into a state of severe panic, implying that the Stalker might have done more than just prey on them.
It's extremely patient, often waiting until it's prey is separated from the main group before attacking. Steve Miller, one of the survivors in the film, later recalled that the creature displayed a level of cunning similar to that of a lion. Miller noted that when the creature attempted to separate the group multiple times, making it easier for it to attack. It also displays a degree of intelligence regarding the use of sound to cover up its attacks as evident when it snatches Tangles. It was likely attracted by the sound of the alarm bell being rung, then saw a perfect opportunity when Tangles left the room to get a better recording of the sound. Then waited for the bell to be rung a second time before attacking so as not to alert the rest of the group. Once it has captured its prey, the Stalker removes the eyes of its still living victims, and possibly breaking their limbs to prevent them from escaping. It's unknown if it regularly uses this strategy while hunting, but seems to during its murders of both Tangles and the Security Guard. During the murder of the Security Guard, the Stalker brutally broke the man's neck by brutally twisting his neck completely around. It's also implied during this murder that the creature stores its victims in the underground lake that exists deep in the tunnels.
The Tunnel Stalker is shown to be incredibly sadistic, preferring to physically torture and terrify its victims before finally killing them in a slow and brutal manner. The Stalker's sadistic tenancies are also evident as it attempted to slowly drown Natasha in the underground lake, all the while it excitedly made sounds like unintelligible gibberish, and demented laughter. It's also implied that it left Tangles alive for a little while after his abduction. During the groups search of Tangles, they seem to hear what sounds like someone being dragged dragged before briefly crying out in pain. Once the group enters the room where the sounds originated, they find a massive amount of blood and Tangles flashlight near the corner of the room where a small opening exists. Also during this period, it picked up Natasha's discarded camera and filmed them as they stood in the room before leaving the camera and fleeing once the group started to leave the room.
The Tunnel Stalker displays several gruesome habits in the film. One such habit was the removal and collecting of its victims eyes which it stored within its lair as seen when the group accidentally stumbles upon its lair. It also seems to store some of the eyes that it's collected in jars that it has found in the tunnels as well. This habit/behavior actually mirrors that of many different species in the animal kingdom such as birds, spiders, and other animals. Other animals use parts of their prey as decorations for their homes/lairs very similar to the Tunnel Stalker. It's not know whether or not this is actually the creature's intention or it's a twisted form of "trophy collecting". The Tunnel Stalker also appears to be collecting other items from its victims such as bottles, clothing, and in one out of focus shot, it also appears to collect the intestines of its victims as well.
Multiple times in the film, the Tunnel Stalker displays an unnervingly human intelligence. The previously mentioned scenes where it films the group as they investigate a room points to a knowledge and understanding of the equipment that shows that the creature is in fact sapient. During this scene it manages to manipulate the camera, zooming in and out to reveal each individual's faces before it is forced to abandon the camera once the group starts to exit the room. It also seems to grasp the basic understanding of clothing as it wears the tattered remnants of a jacket and pants over its thin form. This might also point to an origin where the creature was once a human that somehow mutated into what it is now. When it attempts to drown Natasha in the lake, the Stalker seems to mutter unintelligible gibberish unnervingly close to resembling chanting in some human language.