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The Canal (2014)

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A depressed and stressed film archivist finds his sanity crumbling after he is given an old 16mm film reel with footage from a horrific murder that occurred in the early 1900's.

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3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
David
...
Claire (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)
...
Alice
Kelly Byrne ...
Sophie
...
McNamara
Calum Heath ...
Billy Williams
Anneke Blok ...
Marie
Paddy Curran ...
William Jackson (as Padraig Curran)
Carl Shaaban ...
Alex
Alicja Ayres ...
Margaret Jackson
...
Coroner
...
Estate Agent
Myles Horgan ...
Lawyer
Conor Horgan ...
Steven
Natalie Radmall-Quirke ...
Child Welfare Officer (as Natalie Radmall Quirke)
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Storyline

Film archivist David (Rupert Evans) has been having a rough time lately, as he suspects that his wife Alice (Hannah Hoekstra) has been cheating on him with Alex (Carl Shaaban), one of her work clients. This stress is compounded when David's work partner Claire (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) gives him a reel of to-be-archived footage that shows that his house was the setting for a brutal murder in 1902. Becoming progressively more unsettled and unhinged, David begins to believe that a spectral presence is in his house and ends up following his wife to a nearby canal, where he discovers that she is indeed having an affair with Alex. When Alice goes missing shortly afterwards, David contacts the police- only to become the prime suspect in her disappearance. As the police grow more convinced that David has murdered his wife, he struggles to find proof of his growing suspicion that something otherworldly was instead responsible. Written by via Wikipedia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Fear will pull you under


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Release Date:

10 October 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El canal del demonio  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When David is looking through the murder photographs in his bedroom, one of them is actually a photo of the crime scene of actress Sharon Tate See more »

Crazy Credits

When the credits are ending you can hear someone walking through the sewer. See more »

Connections

References Cat People (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A solidly frightening picture that lives up to its hype
27 August 2014 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The Canal is basically a ghost story mixed with a whodunit. David's wife is missing and, when he sees a mysterious man on the same night as her disappearance, he begins to suspect the man is responsible. However, his suspicions lead him to believe the man is actually the ghost of a former murderer who once lived in his house.

It's not the most original idea for a film, but it unfolds in such a way as to feel quite different. The visual aspects of this movie are very memorable, as is the performance from its lead, Rupert Evans and, combined with a simple but compelling story, the film as a whole is very effective.

For those of you tired of the dreaded jump-scare-wins plague that infests this genre at the moment (Haunting in Connecticut 2 being a prime example), The Canal is the cream that floats to the surface, as per The Woman In Black or (the good parts of) Sinister. It concentrates on David's deteriorating state of mind and the effect this has on those around him, to drag the viewer into his crumbling world, thus making his visions of the supernatural more believable. Supporting actress Kelly Byrne is also very good, bringing an unusual amount of realism into her role as the babysitter and, more importantly, the relationship she has with David.

Stealing at times from classic scenes in The Ring and The Grudge leaves it open to some likely accusations of it ripping off the Japanese classics but I think that would be a narrow-minded criticism. For the most part, The Canal has a refreshingly quirky feel to it, but in a Kubricky rather than Lynchy style and that is arguably its greatest strength because it's a shiny finish on an already polished script and screenplay.

To say that The Canal is this years "The Conjuring" is true - if you found the Conjuring scary. But The Canal feels wholly different; it sits firmly in the independent camp yet has the potential to be a runaway mainstream hit, due to its efficient use of effects and, quite frankly, ability to instill dread in the viewer.

I tweeted this as being a horror masterpiece after I walked out of the cinema. I don't think I was being too unrealistic.


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