Reviewed byairsnobVote: 9/10
This movie gave me the bad creeps. Couldn't walk downstairs alone after. Had to wake my husband ups total freak show. I had to hide my eyes for parts. Right down to the ending. I wasn't that impressed by The Conjouring. At all. This movie is that movie to the tenth power. It's a slow creep. It's strange how we all get scared by different things. I'm not a jump out scare person. I'm the type that likes the times when you know something horrible is coming. And you have to make yourself look.. This movie did kinda copy a part in The Ring. Another movie that scared me when it first came out. It was just as effective this time around. The demons in this movie are scary. The murder scene in this movie is probably the most shocking one I've seen on film. It was so in your face. Most times movies try to hide in some shadows, or clips.. This movie gave me the feeling I wanted to step back. To get away. I needed some space between me and the scene. Anyways, make sure you have someone to hold onto. Don't watch this one alone.
Reviewed byquincytheodoreVote: 8/10
Captivating with intimate struggle, The Canal offers more than grisly scenes or bloody gore. It is imposing and disturbing on deeper psychological level, much credit to Rupert Evans who performs splendidly to that effect. In contrast to majority of horror flicks that have grainy filter, The Canal looks very quaint. The overlook of the vista or the color palette are brightly lit, but it effectively delivers a harrowing atmosphere. David (Rupert Evans) is an archivist of retro movies who lives with his son and perhaps not so loving wife. He receives a movie that depicts his house was the site of a murder scene one century ago. David is a rather timid man, he has doubts and not particularly dominant. So, when he becomes more troubled by the prospect of phantom presence, he deteriorates mentally. Rupert Evans captures the character brilliantly, both verbally and with body language. It's very easy to see David as an average man, filled with hidden anger and nagging anguish. The movie presents the terror with exquisite taste, it doesn't need cheap trick. It might show the scenes as David sees it or not show anything out of ordinary at all, the anticipation works better than the usual apparition shocks. As David's occupation is related to cinema, there are many sequences with antique cameras or slides. These old cryptic monochrome relic and modern screen mashes together exceptionally well, occasionally producing jittery motion which just feels inhuman. With a pristine cinematography, the film is engagingly fun, although it may be odd to say this for a horror film. The angle and blitz fast editing are fresh, it focuses at the right thing at the right moment, it's simply hard to not be immersed. Most of the time it depicts a beautiful landscape of European suburb, yet it has underlying bleakness to it which is persuasively disturbing. There have not been many films that create horror in such personal level, let with alone solid cinematography. The Canal is nightmarish delightful.
Reviewed bymungfleshVote: 8/10
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.
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.