Movie Review - The Canal

Movie Review - The Canal

Now available on Netflix is writer-director Ivan Kavanagh's latest feature length film, The Canal. And while the trailer may leave you wondering if this is just another forgettable haunted house film, the movie itself is surprisingly original. Kavanagh creates a narrative that is intensely bleak and chilling, utilizing a dark and washed-out color palette to frame every shot. This film is a well executed supernatural thriller that is absolutely worth your time, I recommend it highly. 

David is a film archivist who moves into a new home with his wife and son. But he receives a shock after a colleague gives him a box of old films to comb through and he learns that his house was the site of a brutal murder back in 1902. His troubles are compacted by the fact that he believes his wife is having an affair with another man. One night he decides to follow her, and after confirming his suspicions he wanders into a public restroom and passes out. He awakes several hours later after some severely disturbing nightmares. And when he arrives home he finds that his wife has gone missing, so he contacts the police. But the police seem  convinced that David had something to do with his wife's disappearance, and after several graphic dreams, he begins to wonder if the police are right...

Most of the action rests solely on the shoulders of leading actor Rupert Evans as David, who handles the weight effortlessly. He is wonderfully defeated and extremely empathetic, and his connection with his son makes him even more endearing. And Antonia Campbell-Hughes is perfectly evil as his David's wife, Claire, who is emotionally detached and cold to her husband yet comes to life in the presence of her lover. Though it's more than just a talented cast that keeps this film interesting, but the moody score that hangs over the movie added to the sparing and tasteful use of special effects all build toward a haunting conclusion. I commend the writer-director for his ability to orchestrate all of the movie's many facets into a concise and engrossing film. As I said, The Canal is now available on Netflix and I suggest you give this one a shot. Cheers. 

Grade: B

- Leo Francis