ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Night Swim’ is a murky mess

Jan 12, 2024, 6:00 PM

ksl movie show review night swim...

In this KSL Movie Review, dive into the not-so-nice waters of 'Night Swim,' which was adapted from a 2024 short film of the same name.

SALT LAKE CITY — Based on a five-minute short film by the same name ten years ago, the Blumhouse gang decided to give this new filmmaker, Bryce McGuire, a chance to expand on his idea with a ninety-minute feature film. 

The original idea was simple, with a fairly intense result.

Young woman swimming in a pool at night, sees a figure standing poolside from deep underwater. When she surfaces to chide her boyfriend for startling her, no one is there.

She goes back under and again sees a shadowy figure on the lawn, but this time, the waterlogged figure approaches the edge of the pool.

Young woman leaps back in a panic, the lights go out in the pool. Lights come back on. Pool is empty.

Quick, simple, chills.

Oh, if only it were that easy.

Now, McGuire and his writing partner Rod Blackhurst have to add another 85 minutes of terror, attract a couple of top-notch performers and keep an audience on the edge of their seats for hopefully some of the time.

It’s a tall order, so here’s what they came up with.

‘Night Swim’ as a full-length movie

Ray Waller (Wyatt Russell) is a medically-retired, third baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers, whose career is cut short with the onset of muscular dystrophy.

In search of a new home near his medical facility, they find a super deal on a nice big house with a good-sized pool. His wife Eve (Kerry Condon) is not keen on the pool, even though she’s an accomplished swimmer and their kids Izzy (Amélie Hoeferle) and Elliot (Gavin Warren) are overjoyed.

We know from the opening scene, which borrows liberally from the short film, that a young girl Rebecca drowned years earlier in that same pool trying to catch a toy powerboat, but the real estate agent fails to mention it since it’s all in the past.

A pool tech (Ben Sinclair) expounds on the pool’s virtues, saying it’s unusual to find a pool that is fed by a natural, underground spring in a most reverent and strange manner. Enjoy him, because his antics are some of the few lighthearted moments in a film about a killer pool.

So deciding to continue on this somber path, the kids experience some weird sightings. Mom has one too, but dad finds new energy and strength in the healing waters, to the point where he wants to spend all of his time in the pool.

His behavior becomes even more erratic and Eve is beginning to take notice, going so far to do the obligatory web search for strange events that have occurred in and around the area.

We see flashes of old-timey photos of businessmen, nurses, was that a clown? All bunches of people that all met their doom in this spring-fed area.

What in the world is going on? And how much more disjointed craziness can we pile upon this story to get to that ninety-minute goal? More than a giggling audience can handle, from what I was hearing.

When it appeared the water itself had its own goals and aspirations (none of them good), I checked out.

But I did get a kick out of the daughter taking a baseball bat to an aqua-zombie character like that’s gonna help. Wait. It did? Come on!

Yep.

“Night Swim” is a murky mess. Should have been funny-scary. Wasn’t. Tried to be scary-scary. Couldn’t pull that off either.

There’s no lifeguard or plot fixer: So swim at your own risk.

NIGHT SWIM (C-) Rated PG-13 for terror, some violent content and language. Starring Wyatt Condon, Kerry Condon, Amélie Hoeferle, Gavin Warren and Jodi Long. Co-written and directed by Bryce McGuire in his feature film debut. Filmed in Los Angeles. Running time: 98 minutes

Steve Salles is the co-host of the KSL Movie Show. Follow the show on Facebook. Join the KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500. 

More from the KSL Movie Show:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Arts + Entertainment

Music and the Spoken word getting new voice...

Adam Small

Iconic voice of ‘Music and the Spoken Word’ to present his final program

Lloyd Newell who has presented "Music and the Spoken Word" for 35 years will be stepping down from his position.

2 days ago

tuesday movie poster next to ksl movie show host steve salles...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Tuesday’ is a movie you need to experience for yourself

In this KSL Movie Show review, we explore "Tuesday," which personifies death as a talking macaw.

2 days ago

ksl movie show host steve salles stands next to inside out 2 movie poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Inside Out 2’ is almost as good as the original

Is the long-anticipated movie "Inside Out 2" as good as the original? KSL Movie Show host Steve Salles says no, but it’s pretty darn close!

2 days ago

Arraignment for driver, Kent Cody Barlow today...

Heather Peterson, Diana Jones

Arraignment for driver accused of killing two boys in Eagle Mountain on Wednesday

The accused, Kent Cody Barlow, was reportedly driving over 100 mph when he crashed into Cedar Valley Stables.

4 days ago

LA Clippers executive board member Jerry West attends a game between the Orlando Magic and the Hous...

Devin Oldroyd

Inspiration behind NBA logo, Jerry West dies at 86

The inspiration for the NBA's logo and famed former basketball player Jerry West has died. West was 86-years-old. 

4 days ago

A rendering of a proposed "sports, entertainment, culture and convention center" surrounding Delta ...

Carter Williams, ksl.com

Delta Center renovations could begin next year. Here’s what some of Smith’s plans look like

Construction to remodel the Delta Center could begin as early as April 2025, Smith Entertainment Group officials said Tuesday.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Night Swim’ is a murky mess