Jumping Head First into Night Swim Film Review
Being a festival owner defiantly has its perks, and getting an exclusive prescreening of Night Swim and a free shirt, HECK YES! Thank you!
Lets dive right into the chilling depths of Night Swim and talk about horror heavyweights like Jason Blum and James Wan have lent their expertise to this macabre creation. Despite its promising pedigree, Night Swim, based on a critically acclaimed short film from a decade ago, holds potential within its waters.
The film starts with a compelling prelude, revealing the sinister secrets lurking beneath the surface of a seemingly innocent swimming pool. As a young girl disappears in its depths, Bryce McGuire’s script introduces a gripping hook centered around …. Sorry no spoilers.
Throughout the film, the entity haunting the pool remains enigmatic and shrouded in mystery. The film uses visual and auditory cues to create an unsettling atmosphere, leaving its true nature and motives open to interpretation.
The deadly manifestations contribute to the film’s overall sense of suspense and horror, keeping the audience on edge as the story unfolds. But lets be real here we are talking about a haunted pool. It’s worth acknowledging the challenge of presenting a haunted pool, which elicits a tone reminiscent (In my opinion) of “Sharknado” – a mix of laughable yet oddly serious moments. A prime example is after a very serious near-drowning experience, Wyatt Russell’s character, lying in bed, gazes at the ceiling with black watery goo emanating from his eyes and fervently declares, “You can carry me back in; I have to go back to the water.” I am sorry I laughed. I hate that I laughed so much.
Bryce McGuire’s script, while introducing a promising premise and a compelling hook, grapples with pacing and execution. The editing choices appear to elongate the narrative, causing the 98-minute runtime to feel somewhat excessive. A more streamlined editing approach could have heightened the film’s impact by maintaining a sharper and more focused storytelling pace.
The film benefits from a dedicated and talented cast, notably with Wyatt Russell and Kerry Condon delivering commendable performances as central figures in the Waller family. Their on-screen chemistry adds depth to the family dynamics, serving as a solid emotional anchor for the audience. However, the film’s emphasis on family drama at the expense of horror elements detracts from its intended impact.
From a technical standpoint, the film boasts a visually engaging pre-main narrative set piece, effectively establishing the eerie atmosphere that permeates the story. The cinematography skillfully captures the sinister undercurrents beneath the seemingly tranquil swimming pool, setting the stage for the unfolding horrors.
Night Swim demonstrates a proficient use of sound design to construct tension and suspense. However, an excessive reliance on jump scares with sound becomes a distraction, making it challenging to maintain focus. The frequent occurrence of these scares diminishes their authenticity over time. Nevertheless, it’s noteworthy that there were three instances where I genuinely screamed out loud, a rare reaction for me in recent movies. However, the film falls short in executing these scares. there s a knock at the door which was meant to be a jump scare but really felt like bad placement.
One particularly bad sound moment involved a woman swimming in the pool, viewed from an aerial perspective, you could her the woman taking breaths in the pool but as if she was right next to you and in this was an arial shot and the fact the breathing did not sound distant was again pulled me away from the moment.
The film excels in its use of sound design to build tension and suspense, yet the over reliance on frequent jump scares becomes a distraction, diluting their impact over time. While the family drama is emotionally anchored by a talented cast, it often overshadows the intended horror elements. The cinematography impressively captures the eerie ambiance, but pacing issues hinder the narrative flow, making the 98-minute runtime feel excessive. Despite these drawbacks, Night Swim manages to elicit genuine screams during specific moments, showcasing its potential to deliver impactful scenes, such as the disconcerting aerial view of a woman swimming in the pool.
I am not going to end this with stream it our ticket to the theater. Every movie deserves a theater presences.
I will give it 3 stars on the fact that I have not screamed in a theater in a long time.