The Canal (2014)

Written and directed by Ivan Kavanagh.  Starring Rupert Evans, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Hannah Hoekstra, Kelly Byrne, Steve Oram and the just precious Calum Heath.

Plot: after David’s wife turns up dead and he’s the prime suspect, he tries to care for his little boy alone, but he begins to go crazy bananas, hearing and seeing things no one else can hear or see.

Most critics seem to love this movie. Some even said that while enjoyable, it didn’t go far enough. To those people I say…. nothing at all. Because I never want to meet those immoral lunatics. DJ hated it almost immediately.  He said so a number of times while we were still watching it.  I probably should have listened to my brother and turned it off any one of those times, but I kept it rolling and I even kept him watching it, too. How crummy of me.

In the beginning of the movie, David (Evans) believes his wife, Alice (Hoekstra), is having an affair. Turns out he is right. When he finds out, he considers killing her, but stops short. He does however, hear a voice in a creepy bathroom and then he witnesses a horrifying, ghostly figure, murder his wife. He reports Alice missing later, but never mentions the voice or the ghost.

The film gets even trippier from there. A lot of scenes jump around.  You don’t know what’s real and what isn’t and unfortunately our David doesn’t either.  Although he quickly becomes convinced that his house is haunted and the ghost that killed his wife is still around. So he believes he must protect everyone he loves, like his son, Billy (Heath), his nanny, Sophie (Byrne) and his co-worker, Claire (Cambell-Hughes). However, his crazy just seems to spill onto them hurting them more than any ghost could.

Most of the movie isn’t even really horror, it’s just horrible drama.  I paid for my decision to keep watching by having to sit through some very repugnant scenes. And just when I thought that it couldn’t get more alarming, it does. The end is the worst bit of all. Without spoiling the ending of this film (and I use that word loosely), I will tell you it is the most loathsome ending to anything I’ve ever seen.  My hands flew to my face so fast that I almost hurt myself. It wasn’t out of genuine fear though, rather genuine disgust. I just couldn’t risk seeing anything I wouldn’t recover from. I believe the director, Kavanagh, may be a sociopath.

******SPOILER ALERT******



For sensitive folks like myself, I’m putting spoilers up. I feel some may need a warning before attempting to watch this movie.  I really do feel that it was trying to be upsetting purely for upsetting’s sake. Sure, the acting was great and the effects were fantastic, but that’s clearly not enough. Because at one point in this movie, a dead woman gives birth to what appears to be a dead fetus. The fetus does move though, so there’s that. Appalling.

The other incident that really shook me to my moral center takes place at the very end of the film.  David dies and he – or maybe a demon that sounds like him – decides to speak with Billy. Why? Well, see now, that’s the eggregious part. Billy is told by his father that there is a way that he can join him and his mother on the other side. That way they can all be together once again.  We knew this wasn’t going to end well as soon as they began talking, but it’s so much shittier then we saw coming. Billy gets into the back seat of his grandmother’s car and while it’s moving, he takes off his seat belt, opens the car’s back door and throws himself out.  Yup!

You don’t see much, but there is a thumping sound and it’s terribly nauseating.  Watch this inappropriate crapfest if you dare.

Our score: 14.


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