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Night Swim

Blumhouse has produced over the years some smart horror films like The Black Phone ( a personal favorite) and Amityville and ones less so, but always with a characteristic devotion to the usual tropes and at least a modicum of thematic intelligence. The latter is evident in their newest scare fest, Night Swim.

The setup is a dangerous swimming pool, whose past the new family should have studied to know that more than one life has been lost under suspicious circumstances. Dad is an ex pro-baseball player with a disability that cut short his career. Surprisingly, the water from this pool at the house they just bought is restorative for him, but at a price. No one in the family is exempt from the terror the monster in the pool brings as tradeoff for the restorations.

The figurative connotations of the inky black cloud that encircles victims under water are seemingly many, including the sins of a parent visited on the children or the insidious nature of evil, striking randomly and exacting a toll on all those around.

While mom (Terry Condon) tries to save dad (Wyatt Russell) and her children, the monster lies in wait to pull one of them in again, as it did years ago for the child of the previous owners. While Dad ignores the horrific effects of not taking proper safety, so too have others who know the history of the house and pool.

Night Swim is a well-spent night with a moderately scary horror story that serves as a cautionary tale about safety in backyard pools and family sins shared like pee in a backyard pool.

Night Swim

Director: Bryce McGuire (Every House is Haunted)

Screenplay: McGuire

Cast: Wyatt Russell (Overlord), Kerry Condon (Banshees of Inisheron)

Run Time: 1h 38m

Rating: PG-13

 John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts NPR’s It’s Movie Time and hosts Cinema Classics as well as podcasts Back Talk and Double Take out of WCBE 90.5 FM. Contact him at

John DeSando holds a BA from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in English from The University of Arizona. He served several universities as a professor, dean, and academic vice president. He has been producing and broadcasting as a film critic on It’s Movie Time and Cinema Classics for more than two decades. DeSando received the Los Angeles Press Club's first-place honors for national entertainment journalism.