Irish horror cinema has made pretty big strides in recent years, with the likes of Frightfest fave Grabbers making us forget all about hideous tosh such as Shrooms.

Looking to continue that winning streak is Ivan Kavanagh’s The Canal, a ghost story that does seem a bit derivative on the surface, but very well handled nonetheless.

Film archivist David Williams (Rupert Evans) and wife Alice (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) move into a stunning period house (funnily enough, by a canal) with their young son.

However, all is not what it appeared cracked up to be when Williams discovers that the house was the site of a brutal murder decades earlier, a murder for which he stumbles across archive news footage.

Throw in nightmarish visions of an evil presence in the house, thoughts that his wife is cheating on him and more spooky goings-on, and it is hardly surprising that David seemingly begins a slow descent into madness.

The trailer really hits the spot, albeit seeming to lean heavily on the likes of recent flicks Sinister and Blackwood.

But, as we said at the outset, if done well then having obvious influences is no problem at all for us, so let’s hope for good things when The Canal screens at Frightfest on Friday, August 22.


About The Author

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Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle