Maybe you recall a time circa 2002 when you watched The Ring and learned that you should never, under any circumstances, watch an unmarked videotape or any sketchy footage that might concern murders or mysterious deaths that have occurred on or near your property. Clearly, the poor, sweet, misguided protagonist from Ivan Kavanagh’s The Canal never learned this valuable advice. It could have saved him a lot of heartache and misery – and money for therapy.
In the first trailer for the film, it’s apparent things aren’t going so well for David (Rupert Evans). He’s having a little trouble sleeping, if you count waking up completely upright in a cold sweat, fresh from a bout of night terrors as a minor problem. This is even before he heads to his job as a film archivist and learns, as one does, from footage unearthed from the turn of the 20th century, that his house was the site of a grisly murder. It all makes sense now, the nightmares, his steady and reliable descent into madness and the spooky ghosts that seem to be hanging out in the dark corners of the house. Why can’t things just be nice for once?
Where The Canal seems to differ from the flurry of paranormal-themed films that have hit theaters in recent years is in its doubling as a murder mystery. David’s wife, Alice (Hannah Hoekstra), goes missing after having an affair and after visiting the titular canal with her husband, making him a prime suspect in her disappearance and probable death. It’s a compelling concept – are there spectral forces truly overrunning David and Alice’s home, and if so, are they responsible for his unwinding? With Alice missing, is there any detective in the world who’s going to listen to the crazy man who proclaims he’s innocent while hammering on about his haunted house?
Of course, no horror movie would be complete without the addition of a precocious yet eerily sweet child. That role is filled by David and Alice’s toddler son, a golden haired little boy who seems completely unfazed by the bleeding walls and hell demons attempting to take over his house while his father is inches away from rocking in the fetal position and his mother is probably at the bottom of the canal. Please let that kid be the lead of the next movie, because he’s tough as nails.
Check out the trailer below.
The Canal is in theaters and VOD October 10th.