The Gist: Archivist David is happily living his life with wife Alice and young son Billy but underneath he feels that Alice is distancing herself from him and suspects she might be having an affair. Meanwhile, David watches a crime scene reel from 1902 that he is archiving, which deals with a man who stabbed his cheating wife to death, and is shocked to see that the house in the film is his house. Shortly after viewing the film and when his suspensions about his wife get the better of his judgement, Alice disappears in the vicinity of a canal near the couples house. David reports her missing and becomes a prime suspect but is it a case of a jealous husband or is there something more sinister and supernatural behind her disappearance.
Ok, so this did get a low rating on Netflix but hey, the trailer looked good. This is a case of a movie with potential but falling flat as it takes too long to get the point and even when it did, I was left wondering what the hell the point was. Is it about malevolent spirits, demon worshipers or simply a man driven to the breaking point by his wife’s possible betrayal. It’s seemingly all of these and by the end I was wanting to jump into the canal myself.
This isn’t a poorly done movie, it just felt disjointed in places as to what kind of movie it was trying to be. In some ways this flick reminded me of The Babadook – one spouse disappears (in different ways but none the less it happens) and the other is left with a young child to raise but their lives are thrown further out of balance by real or imaged supernatural events in their home. Slight differences as to what happens to the spouses and the kids are different (the one in The Canal is far easier to like.)
Final Thoughts: The Canal isn’t a bad movie it’s just kind of boring. It took too long to get to the point and even then it was muddy, you know like a canal. And perhaps it was just me but I couldn’t help but to compare it to another disappointing movie, The Babadook (I’m in the minority on not liking that one). The one thing I will say is that I liked the end. Perhaps that makes me a bad person but I thought it was a good ending to an otherwise lacklustre flick.