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Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Blumhouse film “Night Swim” fails to make a splash

When I first saw the trailer for “Night Swim,” I was excited. Usually, I do not watch water-themed horror movies. I decided to give this one a go since this was the first time I had seen a horror movie in theaters, and the trailer looked interesting. The premise seems simple from what is shown in the trailer: a monster would hide in the shadows and feed on victims, while the water it hides in is magical and has healing powers. “Night Swim” had potential but, in the end, it was not worth seeing in theaters.  

The beginning of the film showed a little girl disappearing in the pool, which was scary even though it was offscreen. My childhood fears of almost drowning rose to the surface, though I was worried that this was all of the fear that the film was going to draw from. Thankfully, that was not the only source of fear. 

Years later, a new family ends up moving into the house the child disappeared at. The father of the family, a former pro baseball player, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and the pool looked like a useful way to incorporate water therapy into his routine. Unbeknownst to the family, this pool has been the scene of many deaths. 

The father starts to become miraculously healed of his MS by the water in the pool. Meanwhile, the rest of the family almost dies in the pool by the pool monster. The mother, worried for the health and safety of her kids and the father, decides to investigate.

She finds out that the pool was built on a magical spring that acted like a wishing well. Each former owner of the pool had a person in the household who was struggling with their health, so the owner decided to sacrifice a healthy member of the house for the water to benefit the sick family member. This allows for the family member to live a life that they always dreamt of having, regardless of losing a family member in the process. 

The scariest part of the movie was the psychological effects that the monster had caused in addition to the normal fears that come with swimming in a pool at night. Seeing the family so scared of the effects that the water had, the changed attitude in the father and the near-death scenarios experienced by the family were the creepiest elements of the film. The movie even showed the possessed father trying to sacrifice his children to keep the effects of the water at the end of the film. All of this was better than the few jumpscares the movie had.  

 The monster of “Night Swim” is not scary at all. It looked like a mix between a black, human-sized walrus and the Grudge. It was not as cute as the Babadook, but the big reveal made me laugh out loud when it showed up on screen for the first time. Honestly, the look of the monster almost ruined the movie, and I wished they would have made the monster look as menacing as the actions of the well itself. 

The film ended with the father sacrificing himself for his children and wife. I thought it was completely predictable, since he spent the entire film depressed because he retired early from baseball and his MS was making it difficult for him to be the father he wanted to be. He spent half the movie just dreaming about playing baseball again, which I found repetitive and annoying, so I was glad I did not have to see another baseball sequence. After the consumption of the father, the monster was satisfied and the darkness in the pool disappeared. The next scene, and the final scene, shows the family filling the pool with cement so no one else would fall victim to it. 

I thought the end of the film was abrupt, and I was left with a bunch of questions. How was the family going to tell everyone about the dad? Do they have to keep up the lies their entire life? Will they ever swim again? They decided to stay in the house so the monster would not cause any more fatalities, but if someone else in that family gets sick, can the monster gain power through the main waterline?

“Night Swim” was produced by Blumhouse Productions, the same company that has been a figurehead production company for horror films in the 2010s and 2020s.  I was expecting a great PG-13 horror movie, but this film was not as fun as “M3GAN,” the “Insidious” films and “Five Nights of Freddys.” This film fell short with the plot, the scariness and its predictability. January has been historically known as the “dump month” for movies, and “Night Swim” certainly belongs in this category. 

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