Don’t Hold Your Breath for Night Swim

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Night Swim Review

With the holiday season behind us, the new movie season is just kicking off. And first in theaters is Night Swim, a horror movie from Blumhouse and Atomic Monsters promising thrills and scares for anyone who might be afraid of deep water. But, instead, audiences are being left with a movie that seems to fall short and falls in line with the terrible releases we usually see this time of year.

Night Swim is based on the short film of the same name from 2014 by Rod Blackhurst and Bryce McGuire. But it seems to lose a bit of suspense and is weighed down by an attempt to make a story that just doesn’t seem to hit. The original short film is under four minutes, and the screen version a decade later comes in at an hour and 38 minutes. If you took out the copious amounts of underwater shots of people’s legs and bottoms in swimsuits and trunks under the water – the movie may have a little over an hour of story time overall. Story that is filled with nothing but bad decisions and things that don’t make sense at all.

The Waller family moved into this home to get a fresh start. Since Ray’s MS diagnosis, his professional Baseball career is over, and the family can put down roots. While his disease progresses, the house’s pool looks like a great place for his in-home therapy. But after weird things start to happen the family finds out that the pool may not be a good thing for the family at all.

So where do the bad decisions come in? The first of course is buying a sprawling home in this economy, but they have MLB money so that probably shouldn’t be an issue. Instead, it’s small things like not covering and maintaining the pool correctly once they have it set up. They are told that the pool is naturally spring-fed, filtered, and heated, it’s tapped into the natural aquifer. Then a few scenes later – it shows them testing the chemical levels in the pool – something you wouldn’t do in a spring-fed pool. They wait until much later to cover the pool – despite having large trees surrounding it – something that would make enjoying a swim a pain later – besides the safety aspect of leaving a pool fully open all the time.

But some of the largest bad decisions on display is the parents letting their son swim unattended. The mother tells him to have his dad join him, but his dad is so involved in himself at this point that he lets a younger kid swim in a pool on his own. Not only can this go wrong in a matter of seconds, but Elliot makes his own bad decisions and swims deeper and deeper into the pool. The same poor decision-making skills can be seen in his sister and mother as they both experience weird things in the pool and continue to swim.

One thing can be certain the Waller family isn’t going to be known for their decision-making skills, but everyone can hold their breaths for ridiculously long amounts of time.

Despite a couple of jump scares, Night Swim overall isn’t that scary of a movie. It’s pretty predictable and as someone who doesn’t like horror films or water that I can’t see the bottom of, I think the hype of the movie is more based on your fears and assumptions going in. Instead, you’re met with some bog standard “creatures” and a premise that really needed a few more ideas floated by it to make it land.

Night Swim is in theaters everywhere tomorrow.

Overall Rating:

Two Stars Review

About Night Swim:

Night Swim

No running. No diving. No lifeguard on duty. No swimming after dark.

Atomic Monster and Blumhouse, the producers of M3GAN, high dive into the deep end of horror with the new supernatural thriller, Night Swim.

Based on the acclaimed 2014 short film by Rod Blackhurst and Bryce McGuire, the film stars Wyatt Russell (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) as Ray Waller, a former major league baseball player forced into early retirement by a degenerative illness, who moves into a new home with his concerned wife Eve (Oscar® nominee Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin), teenage daughter Izzy (Amélie Hoeferle, this fall’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes) and young son Elliot (Gavin Warren, Fear the Walking Dead).

Secretly hoping, against the odds, to return to pro ball, Ray persuades Eve that the new home’s shimmering backyard swimming pool will be fun for the kids and provide physical therapy for him. But a dark secret in the home’s past will unleash a malevolent force that will drag the family under, into the depths of inescapable terror.

Night Swim is written and directed by Bryce McGuire (writer of the upcoming film Baghead) and is produced by James Wan, the filmmaker behind the Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring franchises, and Jason Blum, the producer of the Halloween films, The Black Phone and The Invisible Man. The film is executive produced by Michael Clear and Judson Scott for Wan’s Atomic Monster and by Ryan Turek for Blum’s Blumhouse.

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