Friday, November 13, 2015

The Canal

(2014) ****

Film archivist David and his wife and son (why is every kid in a movie named “Billy”?) live in a beautiful townhouse in Dublin abutting a canal. David’s seemingly idyllic life is shattered when he learns that his wife is having an extramarital affair with a co-worker. Coinciding with this upset David comes into possession of crime footage from a 1902 murder that took place in his home. Apparently a man suspected that his wife was having an affair and he killed her out of jealousy. Soon Alice goes missing and David is the number 1 suspect despite a lack of evidence. As time passes David begins to exhibit paranoia as he tries to convince a co-worker, his nanny and an increasingly suspicious detective that there is a specter in his house that is responsible for his wife’s disappearance.

Clearly influenced by horror movies such as Don’t Look Now (1973), The Ring (2002), Sinister (2012) and even some David Lynch director Ivan Kavanagh nonetheless crafts a creepy ghost story that burns slowly with growing dread as David begins to unravel. The cinematography is top-notch and the ambiguous setting adds to the creep factor. A scene involving the world’s grossest public bathroom is particularly jarring (okay, perhaps Trainspotting still holds that honor). Definitely recommended.


Catfreeek said...

I thought of Trainspotting too when I saw that nasty bathroom.

7ofNine said...

I'm in.

Octopunk said...

That sounds like you're in the nasty bathroom.

This is yet another movie I've seen reviewed this year that I feel I must see now.

7ofNine said...

Obviously*, that's exactly what I meant, Octo...

*note to self: actually watch movie to understand the significance of what I just said.

7ofNine said...

Having seen said movie, I formally retract any and all all references to "in"-ness regarding said bathroom.

Also, I was inspired (out of scariness) to watch this movie all the way through, with a two step progression:
1. Watch movie on my phone with the image upside down, and when THAT was still too intense,
2. Watch movie on computer with the screen as tiny as the screen let me, volume alternating between very very low, and mute.
I was so scared that the occasional thump thump of my own dishwasher freaked me out towards the end (indicating a flaw in the "mute" strategy.) Yeah. Scary.