Shock Interview: Rupert Evans on the Horrors of ‘The Canal,’ Now Out Today!

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Actor Rupert Evans isn’t the largest horror fan, but he appreciates their place in the world and the craft it takes to pull off an effective fright flick. “You guys in America love horror and Halloween is so huge. I think it’s a good thing we’re still making horror movies and trying to get audiences to suspend their disbelief. Today, everyone is so media savvy, they know how movies are made and it’s harder to pull off horror.”

Evans – who has dabbled in the world of horror and fantasy before with Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy – stars in The Canal, opening in select theaters and hitting VOD today (get it here: Google/Vudu/iTunes/Amazon). The actor plays David Williams who, with his wife Alice, move into a beautiful period house by a canal with their small child, Billy. As David begins to suspect that his wife is cheating on him, he also starts to have nightmarish visions of an evil presence he believes inhabits his home. Eventually, brutal 20th-century murders are revealed and present-day horrors consume David.

“We talked a great deal and then we met,” Evans says of his first time with writer-director Ivan Kavanaugh. “Our first bonding was over films and other movies we loved. We talked about the character he had written and it was something I identified with. What I liked about the script was that it was about this guy who was a normal and decent guy. I believed in the relationship the film show. It’s a naturalistic story, there’s truth to it. I like the feel of that for a horror movie. Also, I just liked what happened to David, he goes on an extraordinary journey.”

Extraordinary, indeed. David encounters a number of sinister beings and is pushed through the emotional wringer. “I was tired,” he laughs. “It was a tiring job, but it was a good thing. I hadn’t been so exhausted. It was nice to see something come out of the end of the experience though where you feel the deep collaboration pays off.”

Must of that mental and physical exhaustion is depicted in the film’s third act in which David and his young co-star Calum Heath (“Billy” in the film) encounter sundry nightmares. Reflecting on those scenes, Evans tells Shock “I was like, How are we going to shoot all of this? I was hoping there was enough in the story laid out to justify the craziness we run into. It’s like Jaws. You can justify the big rubber fish coming out of the water at the end. With The Canal, we see a lot of crazy shit and I’m thinking, My God, I hope this will work. And it did. There’s also some great sound design at play.”

“[Calum] was 5, so he had no idea what the movie was about,” Evans laughs when asked how the child actor fared during the shoot. “We spent a lot of time making him feel comfortable and we had to work hard to make it real and we became firm friends. I’m sure he won’t be seeing this film for a long time.”


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