Return of 31 Days of Our Favorite Horror: The Canal

canal

The Canal (2014)  Dir. Ivan Kavanagh

Yet another Reddit Recommendation, and a misleadingly low Netflix score, The Canal was a very pleasant surprise. Starring Rupert Evans from Hellboy, as David, a film and photo archivist whose family life begins to unravel after moving into a historic home. Maybe “historic” is not the right word, it’s more “infamous” than anything else. The house was host to a horrific murder about one hundred years prior, and the past plays a nefarious role in the present for David and those around him.

The atmosphere and overall creepy vibe that permeates throughout this movie kept me relatively unsettled throughout the movie. Even in daytime, there is a palpable sense of unease that I felt. After the disappearance and death of David’s wife, he becomes a suspect in her murder, and that’s when shit gets really weird. There is a scene before her disappearance where David seemingly hallucinates about finding a dead body in an abandoned building. In his hallucination, we see an array of colors and misleading images that made me wonder if the episode wasn’t so much a hallucination as it was a complete dissociative episode where he removes himself from his sense of reality.

What I really enjoyed about the movie was that the supernatural element is rather underplayed, much like The Babadook, and the threat is implied much more and sustains the sense of dread throughout. And the multiple times that the “episodes” occur, they get ratcheted up each time. My words fail me trying to describe why I enjoyed this movie, but just know that time spent watching The Canal would be time well spent with a slow burn type of supernatural horror flick.

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