Night Swim (2024) Horror Movie Review


“Night Swim” (2024) plunges audiences into the depths of suburban terror with a splash. This Blumhouse production, directed by Bryce McGuire, takes a seemingly mundane setting—a family’s backyard pool—and transforms it into a source of unspeakable horror. The film follows the Waller family, led by a former baseball great Ray Waller (Wyatt Russell) and his wife Eve (Kerry Condon), as they move into a new home, hoping for a fresh start and some therapeutic relief for Ray’s multiple sclerosis. Little do they know, their new pool harbors a dark and watery secret that threatens to pull them under.

The premise, while simple, is ripe with potential. The idea of a malevolent force lurking in the calm waters of a family pool is an intriguing twist on the haunted house trope. McGuire, expanding on his and Rod Blackhurst’s acclaimed 2014 short film, attempts to infuse this feature-length dive with the same tension and dread that made the original so compelling.

The film’s strengths lie in its technical execution. McGuire’s use of sound design and camera angles crafts an atmosphere thick with anticipation. Early scenes of the pool, with its leaf-strewn cover reflecting a deceptively serene sky, hint at the danger beneath. The gurgling of the pool’s filter and the creak of the diving board become harbingers of the terror to come.

However, “Night Swim” struggles to maintain its grip on the audience. Critics from Roger Ebert’s website to Rotten Tomatoes have noted the film’s promising start but argue that the premise isn’t robust enough to sustain a full-length feature. The suburban horror story, while initially engaging, becomes predictable, and the scares, though solid, are too few to keep the tension afloat.

Performance-wise, Russell and Condon deliver as the beleaguered couple, bringing depth to their characters’ struggle against both personal and supernatural adversities. The supporting cast, including Amélie Hoeferle and Gavin Warren as the Waller children, contribute to the family dynamic, although their performances are overshadowed by the film’s overarching concept.

In conclusion, “Night Swim” is a film with a novel concept that, unfortunately, doesn’t quite reach the heights of horror it aspires to. It’s a reminder that not all ideas have the legs—or in this case, the fins—to carry them through to the end. For those seeking a few chills and an appreciation for horror that doesn’t take itself too seriously, “Night Swim” might be worth dipping your toes into. But for others, it may be best to just stay out of the water.

In the Nutshell

“Night Swim” falls into the category of a standard ghost story movie without much distinction. However, it’s not awful. It has its share of eerie moments, though none are particularly memorable. If you’re a ghost story enthusiast, it might be worth a watch. Otherwise, skipping it wouldn’t be a significant loss. [3 out of 5].

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Genre: Ghost

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