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

taylor swift performing eras tour concert, a new class at weber state focuses on swift...

SAM HERRERA, KSL NEWSRADIO AND MIKE ANDERSON, KSL TV

Weber State University to offer class on Taylor Swift this fall

The Weber State University Taylor Swift class was offered for the first time this spring and filled up quickly.

17 hours ago

Salt Lake City’s downtown skyline on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. Jazz owner Ryan Smith continues to d...

Mariah Maynes

Utah Jazz owner hypes potential “sports-centered” downtown Salt Lake

Ryan Smith, the owner of the Utah Jazz, is hyping up the possibility of bringing more professional sports teams to Utah. 

19 hours ago

Image of TV remote featuring Netflix button. Netflix may direct customers to stop paying for their ...

Samantha Delouya, CNN

You may lose access to your Netflix account if you’re paying through Apple

The update by Netflix comes after years of pushback from apps in Apples iOS App Store for taking a 30% cut of all in-app purchases.

1 day ago

Kenneth Mitchell, here in 2018, has died....

Megan Thomas, CNN

Kenneth Mitchell, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Marvel’ actor, dead at 49

A native of Canada, Mitchell acquired more than 50 film and television credits over the course of his acting career. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2019.

3 days ago

kevin and michael bacon performing, they'll stop in utah in June...

Sam Herrera

Kevin Bacon to stop in Utah this summer with Bacon Brothers band

Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael will stop by Utah this June to take part in Lehi's Round-Up concert as the Bacon Brothers band.

5 days ago

KSL Movie Show Review of "Perfect Days." This is one of those “art house films” that mainstream...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show Review: ‘Perfect Days’ is an exceptional effort

"Perfect Days" is one of those “art house films” that mainstream audiences can’t understand why anyone would want to sit through -- I’ll try to explain why in this review. 

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

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