Friday 19 January 2024

REVIEW: Night Swim (2024 Film) - Starring Wyatt Russell, Kerry Condon, Amélie Hoeferle, and Gavin Warren

Review by Jon Donnis
Bryce McGuire's directorial debut, "Night Swim," attempts to plunge audiences into a chilling pool of supernatural horror with its intriguing premise and suspenseful atmosphere. While the film succeeds in creating some genuinely eerie moments and showcasing commendable performances from its cast, it struggles to break free from the constraints of its linear and somewhat predictable plot.

The narrative unfolds in 1992 as a young girl's quest to retrieve a toy boat from her family's pool takes a terrifying turn. Fast forward to the present day, and the Waller family, portrayed convincingly by Wyatt Russell, Kerry Condon, Amélie Hoeferle, and Gavin Warren, becomes entangled in a nightmarish web, compelled to retire early due to a degenerative illness, ex-baseball player Ray Waller relocates with his wife and two children to a new residence. Optimistic about the backyard swimming pool offering both recreation for the kids and therapeutic benefits for himself, Ray's hopes are dashed when a sinister secret from the house's history releases a malevolent force, plunging the family into a harrowing abyss of inescapable terror.

The film's strengths lie in its ability to build suspense and exploit primal fears associated with water, crafting moments that genuinely send shivers down the spine. The utilization of jump scares adds to the overall tension, and the cast delivers solid performances, making the characters relatable and engaging.

However, "Night Swim" treads familiar territory with its linear and somewhat predictable plot. The premise, while interesting, feels stretched for a feature-length film, and the film's reliance on a PG-13 rating limits its ability to delve into the full spectrum of horror. The potential for deeper exploration of the supernatural elements and the psychological toll on the characters remains largely untapped.

The film's horror comedy moments are a welcome addition, injecting moments of levity into the otherwise tense narrative. Still, there's a lingering desire for the film to push the boundaries further in this aspect.

In conclusion, "Night Swim" is a decent horror film with a solid foundation and some effective scares. However, its limitations in plot depth and the constraints of a PG-13 rating prevent it from reaching its full potential. While the premise may not fully support a feature-length runtime, McGuire's debut showcases promise, and the film manages to deliver a satisfactory horror experience, earning a generous 6 out of 10. Horror enthusiasts may find enjoyment in the suspenseful moments, but the film falls short of making a lasting, chilling impression.

Out now on Apple TV at -