The Canal (2014) Script

Alright, quiet, come on.

Calm down.

Who wants to see ghosts?

Who wants to see some ghosts?


Alright, that's better.

First of all, hello, welcome.

My name is David Williams, this is my colleague, Clare McManus.

We are archivists in the National Film Archive.

Today you're going to see a series of films, dated from 1895 to 1905.

It's worth bearing in mind that everyone you see in these films are long since dead all these people, men, women and children have vanished off the face of the earth forever.

So, in a way, it's like watching real ghosts.

Alright, alright!

Let's just watch it and see what you think.


Don't worry.. she'll love it.


Hey.. nice to see you! How are you?

This is my wife Alice.

Hi Hi! Great to meet you!

So nice to finally meet you. Sorry I couldn't make it the last time. I was... busy No no no no... not at all!

So... I'm going to let you go on in, take a look for yourselves.

I'll be right here waiting for you, take as much time as you need.

Alright, thank you.

Come on then!

Go on, you first.

Are you coming?

No. I'm too nervous.

Go on, you go round.

I love it!

Alice.. you got a message. got a message

Who is it?


Dad Hey sweetie...

I heard a noise and I woke up and now I need to go toilet.

I'll go.

Da.. are you afraid of the dark?

No. Of course not.

Why, are you?

No, but there could be something hiding in the dark.

Hmmm.. like what?


Night night. Ok. I love you.

Night Dad, love you.

Do you want to tell me dinosaurs I can name Maybe tomorrow.

Can you say night night to my dragon heads?

Good night!

Is he alright?

Yeah, he's fine.

Who was the message from?


In work.

Just because he doesn't have a life he thinks everyone else should be on a 24 hour call.

I'm sorry. I should have switched it off earlier.

I love you.

Good night.

What time do you start work?

What's this? Not 'til 10.

Alright, come on.

Have a good day, sweetheart.

Bye. Love you. You too.

Thank you.

Bye boys!

Bye Mam!

Allosaurus, Bwontosaurus, T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, that's the best one!

Wow! God you're getting so clever, that's more than I can name!

Do you think I'd be able to swim in there?

No way.. no.. it's too deep.

Would you be able to swim in there?


No It's too deep for me too.



Billy! Billy!

Hey don't go in there, I told you.

A girl in our school saw a ghost in there.

Well I don't know about ghosts, but there could be rats in there.

It's filthy.

Can I throw a stone and see if a ghost comes out?

Throw a stone?

Alright, just one.

Then we've got to go.

You got one?


Can I throw another one?

No! Come on, we're going to be late.

I'll pick you up later.

Bye Dad!

Have a good day.

I hope you feel better than you look.

I didn't get much sleep last night.

Why, do I look that bad?

No worse than usual!

Anyway, I probably don't look much better!

I was up til 4am watching Cat People and the Curse of the...

Cat People? It was on? I love that movie!

Yeah.. I was going to give you a call, but... I figured you need your beauty sleep!

Yeah.. very funny.

Listen, I don't mean to spoil the day with work, but some films came into the archive, some from the police archive, could be interesting.

Yeah Would you look at them for me?

Sure./ Great. Thanks.

Hey.. that's my road.

I had a really strange day today.

I watched a 1902 film, our house was in it.

There was a murder here.

A man killed his wife. It happened in this room.


I wouldn't worry about it.

Horrible things happen in every old house.

Only these dinosaurs rule their...

You look amazing Mrs Williams!

Oh! Thank you, Sophie!

This is my husband, David.

Hi! Hi.

Sophie used to be the nanny for the Thompsons, two doors down.

Mam, Sophie never even heard of Stegosaurus.

Well, not everyone knows about dinosaurs, you know!

OK, make yourself at home, and help yourself to any food in the kitchen.

We shouldn't be home too late.

See you tomorrow.

Sleep well.

Pleased to meet you.



Alex is here.

I'm sure you remember David, my husband.

Hi You're the, eh, the librarian?

The... archivist.

Nice to see you again.

You too.

I'm sure you won't mind if I borrow your lovely wife for a couple of moments there's somebody I'd really like her to meet.

No no, not at all!

I'll get a drink.

Can I help you sir?

Can I get a.. another gin and tonic.


I'm sorry about all that.

What was all that about?

Um.. work stuff.

He wanted me to meet this client, but I didn't want to.

Not tonight.

I thought he was the client.

Yes... he is.

But he wanted me to meet another one.

A colleague of his.

Let's dance.

I'm just going to finish this.

I love you.


Sorry! I couldn't resist.

You alright?/ Yeah.

You look pale.

No I'm alright.


Paler than usual, even.


I have the last 7 or 8 of those donated films lined up in the screening room, Take a look?/ Yeah, sure.

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky..


Bye boy.

Bye Mum.

Wait for your Dad, Billy!

Hey, don't work late tonight.

Come straight home.

Why? What's wrong?

I won't be too late, I promise.





Dad! I'm still at school, are you collecting me?

Dad, did you forget about me?

I just lost track of time. I'm sorry.

Adam and me were the only ones left.

Adam said a gowilla could beat a winosaurus in a fight, is that true?


The master wants you.

The master wants you.

David... please.. don't..

I don't want to...

David... please.. don't..

I don't want to die

Hi, it's Alice here, sorry I missed your call.

If you want to leave your name and number I'll get back to you as soon as possible.


Detective McNamara.

So, when did you last see her?

Em.. yesterday morning.

We said good bye, I took Billy, my son, to school.

And has she stayed out all night before?


No, never.

She said she was working late last night, but I asked a work colleague of hersand she said Alice left around about five.

Did you have an argument?


You sure?


You been in touch with her family and friends?


And they've heard nothing from her?



Hair colour?

Some of them are a little old.

That's all I could find.

Dad, when will mummy be coming back?

I told you... she'll be home soon. Don't worry.


Hey./ Hiya.

Is there any news?

How's Billy?

Yeah, he's fine.

I put him to bed about an hour ago.

He wanted to sleep in your room.

Do you know there's black stuff on your hands.

They took my fingerprints to eliminate me.

In case there's an investigation.

Em.. I put Billy to bed about an hour ago.

He wanted to sleep in your room.

He's fine. All day. We get on really well!

He's a great kid, I really like him.

I get to know everything about dinosaurs!


I'd better go.




See you in the morning.


Billy! What are you looking at?

Come here...

I had a dream about Mammy.

I miss her.

Man came forward yesterday claiming to be your wife's lover.

Says he was with her the night she disappeared.

They've been seeing each other for about a year.

You know anything about that?


Well, according to him, she was planning to leave you.

That's impossible. She loves me.

She has a lover, David. He's lying!

Well, several of her friends have backed him up.

By all accounts, she was in love with the bloke, and he with her.


Fucking acid reflux.

Total fucking pain in the arse.

Want one of these?


I've got a very weak stomach, David.

You didn't kill her, did you?

You've no right to be asking me these things.

I love, I love my wife.

I'd never, I'd never do anything to hurt her.


Are you asking her lover these questions, are you?


You asking him if he killed her?


He's got an alibi.

His boss called just as she was leaving his house, they both heard her insist on going home by herself and then stayed on the phone for over an hour, so it's cast iron mate!

people always suspect the husband.

Do you know why that is?

Cause it's always the husband.

Every fucking time.

Is this your wife?

This your wife, Alice Williams?


Yes, it's my wife.

There was no evidence of foul play or assault.

She drowned.

She must have fallen in.

It was an accident?


I think so.

One of the heels of her shoe had snapped off, which we think may have caused her to fall in.

So in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, we have to conclude that it was an accident, yes.

Do you agree?

You did know she was pregnant?

Very sorry for your troubles.

Thank you.



She loved you.

You know that, don't you?



She loved you.

More than anything else in the whole world.


Oh Billy!

Billy. Billy!

Come on, go with Clare, ok?

How's he doing?

Yeah, he's alright.

Children are strong.

They are stronger than most adults, even.

Of course, they don't really understand, do they?

Maybe I should take him for a while.

It might be good for him.

I think Alice would have liked that.

He should be around another woman.

A mother figure.

We've got Sophie living with us now...

Billy's nanny...

I think it's best if stays home with me.

Did you hear about Alex?


Alice's boyfriend.

Apparently he's taken Alice's death very badly.

He's completely devastated.

They say he need to go into a hospital.

To recover.


I couldn't give a shit.

Do you understand me?

I couldn't care less, I have my son.

A lot of people loved her.

I loved her.

I have to go.

Just say goodbye to Billy.

It's been a long day.

You alright?

I lied.

I, eh, I lied to the police.

I did know about that guy in the house Oh... em... it doesn't really matter now anyway, does it.

It was an accident.

The thing is... on the night she disappeared I went to his house, that guy, and I went in after them

and I saw them together in bed.

I didn't do anything.

You know, I could have done, but I didn't. I just left.

They didn't even see me.

On the way home I felt.. so sick, I just had to go to the public toilets beside the canal and I just threw up, everywhere, and I remember, I was just being sick, and I looked up, and there was someone looking over the cubicle wall at me.

It was a man.

I managed to get to the door, and just before I blacked out I swear I saw him with his hands around her throat, and he was, he was trying to kill her.

He was killing her, and I couldn't move, I couldn't do anything.

And then when she didn't come back home the next day..

I mean, what I seen was real.. Clare... it was really real.

Then you need to tell the police.

Tell em what, what I told you, I don't even, I don't even know what the man looked like.

It doesn't matter, tell them anyway Once I tell them I followed Alice into that house, that is it.


They'll, they'll just, they'll just think it was me.

What are you going to do?

I have to find him first.

I just have to.




The old camera.

Eh, no, sorry. I'll do it now.

It's ok. Do it in the morning.

What's this?

It's just..

eh, just.. unsolved crimes.

Murders that happened in the city around the canal.

I found it online.

Just going through it.

See if I can find similarities.


You should be taking time to grieve, not thinking about stuff like this.

I'll find something.

Yeah, I just have to keep looking, that's all.

Dad, look what we did!

Wow! It's great!

I hope you don't mind. I know how busy you are.

No, course not.

I totally forgot.

Dad, lift me up, so I can put the angel on top.

You want to put the angel on top, do you?

Up right the top.

You ready?

Wherever you want..

1-2-3.. come on, reach!

Sorry for disturbing you.

I was thinking that we could make a real effort with the decorations and stuff this year.

I think it would be good for Billy. What do you think?

I could buy more lights for the stars.

And yes, I thought I could decorate all the other rooms and stuff.. make it, like, really Christmassy.


Yeah. That sounds a good idea.

Are you alright?

Yeah, yeah, I'm fine.

Mr Williams.

Night Sophie.

Do you want us to move?

No it's ok, stay where you are.


Is someone there?


Sorry! sorry.


Look, could you come to my room for a second?


Eh, just for a second.

Don't you... listen! It's really faint.

What is it?/ Just listen.

You hear it?

I can't hear anything.

No it's stopped.

There's something behind there.

Maybe it's just a rah.

No no. It's not a rat.

I can't hear anything.

What can you hear?

It's whispering like someone's praying.

Maybe it's just from the house next door.


the walls are too solid.

Dad what are you doing I was asleep?


Billy go to bed.

It's alright.

It's nothing. Everything's ok.

Take him to bed, will you.

Come on. We have to go to bed.

I want to stay.

What's Dad doing?

What's wrong?

Billy, go to your room, get dressed.

You and Sophie are getting out of here.

I'm just going to put the belt on you.

There we go.

Alright, I'll see you tomorrow. I love you.

I'm not sure about this.

I'm sorry, sorry about this. You're just going to have to trust me. Alright?

It's not safe here, It's not safe for you and Billy.

Everything is paid for at the hotel, they're expecting you Okay.

You can buy anything you want on room service.

I'll see you tomorrow. Thanks.


Come on... come on...

Ok, it's just coming up...

Ok there.. there it is, you see it?


I see it. There's someone there.

Ok, there's more.. just wait... and there... there... you see his outline?

It's hard to tell, it could just be a shadow.

Oh come on, there's someone there.

Maybe. It's really hard to tell.

Tell me you believe this, ok?

Believe what?

This is the man that killed Alice.

This is the same man that I saw on the night that she was murdered.

What do you mean?

I think there's ghosts in my house.


I know this sounds crazy, believe me, I know how fucking crazy this sounds, but I've seen things, I've heard things, it's the only rational explanation I don't think it is!/ Yes it is!

Ok, ok, wait until you hear this.

In the 1930's they held seances in my house, the people said they saw a shadowy figure, a shadowy figure It's a coincidence, that's all.

The previous owner, right, the estate agent told us it was an old lady that went senile, but it wasn't.

They lied to us.

She was a young woman who tried to burn her house down while her family was asleep.

Now her son died in the fire, but she swore she didn't do it.

Like me with Alice.

She said it was the demon.

She said a man she couldn't see tried to rape her.

She said he was a demon who lived behind the walls.

The walls, Clare.

Stop for a moment.

Stop for one moment.

Will you just think about what you're saying.

You think I'm having a nervous breakdown don't you?

Well maybe I am.


Well maybe...

You're just exhausted.





Billy can you hear me?

Dad why did you not come to see us today?

I'm sorry.

I wanted to, I just wasn't feeling very well.

Can you come in and see us tomorrow?


Yeah, promise.

What have you had to eat?

We had burgers, chips, icecream and coke for dinner.


My tummy is big, look how fat I am Dad!

Billy is Sophie back in the room with you?

No she's still in the shower.

Billy I want you to move the laptop around, ok?

Just move the laptop around so I can see the rest of the room, go on.


Keep moving... keep moving the laptop.

That's it. Good boy. keep moving some more... that's it... just need to see the... the room.

What is that?



Billy get out of the room!


How did you get here so fast?

Mr Williams?

I'm not sure if I can work here anymore.

I don't know what's going on.

And.. if it wasn't for Billy I think I'd leave right now.

I understand.

Yeah you're right, you should go.

I can't guarantee your safety anymore and... it's not safe to be around us.

I don't want to leave Billy behind... but I really don't think you're well, Mr Williams.

Maybe if you told me what was going on I could understand or I could help.

Please Sophie, you must go tomorrow.

You better sleep in here with us tonight.

I'll take the floor, you can have the bed.

No it's alright. I'll be ok.

No. No, no, please.

You won't.

Mr Williams, I want to talk to you about this again in the morning.

About me leaving, I mean.



Come on...

Come on...


No!... what are you doing?


Just come down the stairs..

Let me out!

Let me out!

Mr Williams!

Where's Dad, who's in the house?

I don't know...


Mr Williams, let me out.

Let us out..

Billy's afraid..

I've checked everywhere Dad!

Me and Billy.. were following somebody outside...

Ok then I heard you screaming.

They're trying to separate us.

Did you see anyone up there?

Did you?

Come on Billy!


Billy's staying with me.



Do you ever see other people in the house?

Billy, if you see someone, you know you have to tell me?

Did you?

Are you sure?

Where's Sophie?

She left this morning.

She's not coming back.

Billy, do you see that woman?


There... you see, she's hiding in the long grass?

I don't see anyone.

Are we going to see my teacher today?


Not today.

Billy.. Billy get back.

Go on. Get back...

Go... go hide behind the wall.

Go on... turn around...turn around, count to 10.


One... two... go on...





Is this a game of hide and seek, can I open my eyes now?



You okay?

Hi, Billy!


I need to develop this.

What is it?

It's nothing.

Just let me develop it, it won't take me long.

You have to tell me what it is first.

Please, Clare, don't make me beg.

I need to see this.



But it'll be a couple of days though.

No. No, I need to see it today... em...

I need to see it now.

It's fully booked in here.

Ok, I'll get it done, promise.

I'll even drop it down to you when it's done, Ok?


I've been thinking... maybe you should talk to someone?

A bereavement counsellor or something.

Just... think about it, Ok?

If anyone walks here tonight, we'll see their footsteps It's like snow!

Can I have a go?


Now no one can get in without us knowing.

You're like me

What's with all the powder, Dave?

It's flour from the kitchen.

Oh.. is that right?

What's with all the flour, are you making a cake?

What do you want?

Get your clothes on. You're coming with me.

We found a hammer in the canal, with your fingerprints on it.

A hammer that belonged to your wife's lover.

He says it went missing the night she disappeared.

Can you explain that?

There was a murder in my house in.. in 1902.


You could look all of this is up; and a man killed his whole family.

You understand me... and I think he was the one who did it.

I have proof, I've captured something on film.

It's a ghost.

You can see it in a few days.

As the senior welfare officer I have no choice but to recommend his case to social services and recommend that the child is taken into care.

Isn't that a little harsh?

Mr Williams has just lost his wife.

His symptoms are clearly part of a grieving process.

Are locking nannies in cupboards and hearing voices behind walls part of the grieving process?

It was only one nanny and people react differently to the death of a loved one and, by the way, this is the same nanny that Mr Williams caught smoking drugs in her room, so...

No way!

No way!


Yes, we can do that.

We'll wait for the report back from the psychiatrist and then we'll see what to do after that.

I'm not going to a psychiatrist.

There's nothing wrong with me.

You have to. We agreed to it.

You did. I didn't.

I'm not going.

I have to get back to Billy

Dad... who are those men?

They're the police.

Don't look.

Is there somebody outside?




You'd never leave me, would you?

No. Of course not.

What if you die like Mammy, what would happen to me then?

I'll never leave you, Billy.


And we'll always be together, you and me.


Right now, close your eyes.

Did you watch it?


Would you... would you watch it with me?

I'm afraid to watch it on my own.



Come watch on TV...

David... do you remember calling me last night?

Last night? No.

You did.

You were delirious, I hardly recognised your voice.

You were crying.

You said... you wanted to tell me something about Alice.

That wasn't me. I didn't call you.

Sit down.

If you did hurt her, if you did do it, maybe you should just... get it over with... go to the police.

I'll go with you if you want me to.

I'll tell them what a good person you are.

I'll help you.

Clare they sacrificed children in this room... don't you know?

David what are you talking about?

Baby's blood is the most powerful, you see?

They would carry the bodies from here through the sewer and dump them in the canal.

In the canal!

They... they thought of everything...

David, stop it, stop it!

Stop it... look at me!

Did you kill Alice?

Just say you didn't do it... look me in the eye Say you didn't do it.

Say you didn't do it, please!

Just tell me!

Whatever you say, I'll believe you.

Whatever you say, anything you say, I'll believe you.

I'll believe you...

I'll believe you...

Just tell me...

Just tell me...

Just tell me...

Just watch this.

Then you'll understand.

Yeah, we'll... we'll watch this.

Ok there she is... do you see her?

She's moving... you see?

David... there's nothing there.

Just wait... there's more.

Ok... there... there!

Do you see, there, look!

What is that there?

She's moving toward us, do you see her?

What is it?

Yes... I see som...

You see it?

I see something--

I told you I'm telling the truth..

What is it?/ I'm not going insane!

Do you understand me... look there!

What is it?


David, turn it off!

Turn it off, what is it?

What is it?

David please! No!




What's up then?/ It wasn't me.

We saw him go into the house with a woman, then we heard her screaming.

What have you done, David?

What have you done?

I didn't do it!

Open the door, David!

Mr Williams...

David! Open the door!

Open the fucking door, David.



Come back!



Stop it... stop it...

Look at me..

look! Right, there she is.

There! She's moving.

David.. there's nothing there..

There.. she's moving towards us...

Do you see her?


I want you to see her.

You can see her!

There's nothing there!

Go that way!

The master wants her.

Give her to him.

I couldn't help it../ You're a fucking whore!

David, I love you!/ You're a fucking whore!

That's what you are!

I didn't mean for this to happen.

I need to leave, I need to take Billy with me..

..No no, David, I'm sorry...

No no....

Fucking bitch!


No, David!















You alright?

When's the first viewing, then?

Next Monday. Will that give you enough time?

Oh yes yes, the house will be cleared by next Friday.

I don't want time wasters.

I only want serious people looking at this house.

Of course. I feel the same.

Nana, can I go inside and get my dinosaur book?

Yes, yes Don't be long, we're going now.

I have a list of appointments already lined up for next week.


Billy, over here!

It's Daddy...

I'm here with your mother.

Do you miss us?

Do you want to stay here with us?

Do you want to stay here with us forever?

I love you Billy.

I love you.