The Reel Review


A physically-ill, recently-retired baseball player moves with his family into a new home, only to discover a malevolent force with mystical healing powers is lurking in their backyard swimming pool. Kerry Condon (Banshees of Inisherin) and Wyatt Russell (Overlord) star in this horror/thriller based on a 2018 short film by the same name.

Kerry Condon in Night Swim

The problem with this relatively tame, PG-13 horror is that it is really boring and not so much scary as it is silly. The frights are little more than a string of spooky circumstances – family members feeling their leg tugged while swimming solo at night, mysterious shapes appearing around the pool while they are swimming underwater and the occasional arm reaching from the pool skimmer. Eventually, we do see the creature and yawn, what a disappointment – it is more laughably hokey than even remotely scary.

Amelie Hoeferle in Night Swim

Co-writer/director Bryce McGuire, in his feature film debut, then leans into a ridiculous third act that has Condon’s protective momma bear character  meeting with a woman who once lived in the house to solve the mystery of why people have disappeared there over the years. The story culminates in an equally silly, lackluster ending, but hey, at least it is consistent.


The backyard pool and Night Swim film location at 1814 Midlothian Drive, in Altadena, California.

• A facade was added to the house during filming to make the garage look attached and obstruct the view of the pool from the front yard.

• In the film, the two children attend the Harold Holt Swimming School. Harold Holt was the 17th prime minister of Australia who disappeared, presumed drowned, while swimming in turbulent conditions at Cheviot Beach, Australia in 1967. His body was never found.

• Wyatt Russell plays a physically ill, retired professional baseball player in the film. His father, actor Kurt Russell, was a good enough minor league baseball player that he could have gone professional if not for an injury which led to his career as an actor.


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