The Canal

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated -

Re­lease Date: 8 May 18 | 93 min­utes Direc­tor: Ivan Ka­vanagh

The spec­tre of J- hor­ror looms large over this Ir­ish hor­ror ( screen­ing mainly in the Repub­lic) about a cuck­olded hus­band who, af­ter his wife’s found drowned in the nearby canal, dis­cov­ers their house has a bloody his­tory.

Like Ring, it fea­tures su­per­nat­u­ral en­ti­ties man­i­fest­ing via a vis­ual medium and a fe­male wraith with un­nat­u­rally jerky move­ments. At times the homage bor­ders on out­right theft, but th­ese se­quences cer­tainly in­spire shiv­ers. Artis­tic images of py­lons and sway­ing reeds add omi­nous at­mos­phere, and Steve Oram amuses as a coarse cop­per.

What sinks it are the hoary sto­ry­telling de­vices ( con­ve­niently-placed ex­po­si­tionary pho­tos, for ex­am­ple) and its pre­dictabil­ity – the “big twist” is about as hard to guess as a This Morn­ing phone- in quiz. Ian Ber­ri­man

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