Night Swim (2023)

January 3rd, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Bryce McGuire | Cast: Kerry Condon, Wyatt Russell, Amelie Hoeferle, Gavin Warren, Jodi Long | US Horror 98′

An awarding-wing short film is sometimes worthy of the feature treatment, especially when the producers Jason Blum and James Wan were responsible for the Halloween series, M3GAN and Malignant.

Not the case in this horror outing directed by Bryce McGuire who puts endless jumps scares ahead of an emotionally affecting storyline when an average American family move into a spacious home in Minnesota that boasts, in estate agents’ parlance, a luxury swimming pool.

Unfortunately the wily agent (Nancy Lenehan) has omitted to mention a series of tragedies at the property – one involving the disappearance of a young girl called Rebecca – hence the attractive price.

An opening sequence warns us that something nasty other than dead leaves is lurking in the murky depths, and that things are not going to go swimmingly for Kerry Condon and her husband Wyatt Russell. He is Ray Waller, a baseball pro diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She is Eve, a stay-at-home mother of teenagers Izzy (Amelie Hoeferle) and Elliot (Gavin Warren).

And sure enough, the kids are soon frightened by a series of poolside scares largely involving a ghoul who surfaces as the waters mysteriously muddy. Strangely, Ray’s illness seems to improve, but there’s no explanation as to why. And all these events are too repetitive and drawn out, there not being enough material to really make a substantial impact to engage us for the 98 minute running time. Don’t bother to come in, the water’s not lovely. @MeredithTaylor


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