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Friday, June 5, 2015

My Review Of "The Canal"

Ivan Kavanagh's paranormal horror, "The Canal", is a bit of brain teaser, mind bender, and trickster. The film is really a mutant psychological thriller that keeps you guessing. And it does it beautifully. It stars Rupert EvansAntonia Campbell-HughesHannah Hoekstra, Kelly Byrne, Carl Shaaban, Steve Oram, Calum Heath and Anneke Blok.  Kavanagh crafts a haunting nightmare that blurs the lines between reality and insanity that is darkly delicious!

Synopsis: Film archivist David has been having a rough time lately, as he suspects that his wife Alice has been cheating on him with Alex, one of her work clients. This stress is compounded when David's work partner Claire 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.

The story is a strong, emotional character study that plays out in a melancholy way with moments of tense, chilling energy that seems to ripple through this creative nightmare. "The Canal" blends the concepts of cursed property, tragic lives, and horrendous past in a way that keeps you guessing. Well actually you start guessing midway through the film when suddenly more possible scenarios comes to light. It is still heavy with the paranormal, and keeps with a darker, more sinister tone. The acting is superb and the characters are so developed that you begin to feel for them - I was completely invested. Ivan Kavanagh as created a psychological labyrinth of horror, and tragedy that hooks you from the beginning, drags you through intense melodrama and confusion, then hits with some truly disturbing imagery and finality. 

The special effects are so well done that you feel the moments of horror as readily as the characters do. There is a few moments when the paranormal trickery isn't quite as effective as most of the stuff in "The Canal" is, but in a market drowning in netherworld nightmares it is hard to make every paranormal gimmick hit home with the audience. The ghost-y stuff is surreal and chilling. True some of it has been seen before but the characters her help to really sell even the basic of effects. The soundtrack is filled with sorrow-filled instrumental music that is full of dread and despair and emotion. The ending is a bit cheesy and not very original. But it creates that moment of finality that actually brings the story out of the whole "guessing game" of "is he? or isn't he?" which takes over in the middle of "The Canal". I really enjoyed this film, it is dark, disturbing and entertaining. 

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