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Night Swim, the new movie from director Bryce McGuire, is about a former baseball player who becomes disabled due to a degenerative illness. Ray moves to a new home with his family, a wife, and two kids- a teenage and one pre-teen kid. The family finds the perfect home with a pool for the kid’s fun and Ray’s resource for Physical therapy. Unfortunately, the pool offers more than the healing powers the family hopes for.
The excitement of the audience, me included, at the start of Night Swim was creating so much great energy that we were all about to experience an amazing film brought to us by the powerhouse Blumhouse productions (Jason Blum, producer) and director/producer James Wan (who also produced The Nun). I’d have to say that the start of this film intrigued me on many levels. For one, cool – let’s watch a story about people dealing with their newly onset disability and how it disrupts your life and the changes you have to make to prepare yourself for the inevitable.
Actor, Wyatt Russell plays a former baseball pro named Ray Waller who finds himself suffering from a degenerative disease and has to prepare himself for the road to possible recovery or at the very least comfort of his new life as a disabled person. His family, a wife named Eve (played by Kerry Condon) and two kids, a teenage daughter Izzy, (played by Amélie Hoeferle), and her younger brother Ellie (played by Gavin Warren) all find themselves excited about a new home to call their own. The house, as per usual in many horror films is a fixer-upper, something mysterious surrounding the space and especially the eerie pool but alas these white folx just think it’s gonna be super chill to have a pool and show off their new digs. That said, the characters were likable and relatable. I appreciated the sibling bond and the character development.
Oh dear, welp – I just wanna tell the writer, Bryce McGuire – you ALMOST HAD ME until halfway through. I was excited for so many moments but then you just didn’t quite let us all have it. I’m not going to be having any nightmares of pools any time soon. The plot fell short for many of us with only some leaving the theater clapping but most were disappointed me thinks.
No offense to actor Wyatt Russel but are we still not casting actual disabled folx? This would have been a perfect opportunity to represent the disabled SAG actors. Separately, I was thinking, if this movie is REALLY going to be good then this audience will think twice about getting into a pool ever again! Pools are scary – amirite? Water terrifies some people. What lies beneath? Especially the ocean – monster fish or some shit? The possibilities are endless!
Anyway, in terms of pools, most of us carry an anxiety stemming from childhood or whenever you were thrown into a pool as a non-swimmer /mediocre-swimmer by that shithead uncle or cousin or camp counselor of yours. Those fuckers messed us up for life making this movie a high probability for scare. Unfortunately, it fell a lot short… the jump scares weren’t so jumpy, and there were laughs where there shouldn’t have been.
This flick gave me Donnie Darko / Swamp Thing vibes. I was super hopeful but the ending of Night Swim just didn’t hit. Almost everyone in the theater left disheartened (audibly sighing) not scared-outta-my-mind-I’m-never-swimming-in-a-pool-ever-ever-again. So catch me at the YMCA pool next week, I’m good!
Judge for yourself and come back to comment! In theaters now!! Universal Pictures.