Night Swim Movie Review: New Blumhouse Movie Lacks the Scares

Review: With a PG-13 rating, and a concept so thinly developed beyond “scary swimming pool,” Night Swim relies heavily on cheap scares and creepy underwater sight gags – where few of which actually earn their keep. Wyatt Russell and Kerry Condon star in a sometimes silly, often underdeveloped horror movie.

night swim review amelie hoeferle 2024 movie
Amélie Hoeferle in Night Swim (2024)

Night Swim Movie Review

Blumhouse took Dumpuary serious this year with their muted horror flick Night Swim. While the movie didn’t garner great reviews during its theatrical run, a combination of brand loyalty to Blumhouse and an innate intrigue for the premise of “scary swimming pool,” I thought I’d still give it a shot to see what this campy horror entry could offer.

And I firmly believe that you can make a shlocky, gory genre movie about anything these days – proven so the expanded Poohniverse (?) franchise stitched together by the Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey franchise – but for some reason, a haunted swimming pool is so hard to take seriously in comparison. The central plot device is fun for a few minutes, but there are only so many different set-ups for scares, and they become less frightening as they go on.

Wyatt Russell and Kerry Condon co-star as the parents of the Waller family, who have moved to a Twin Cities suburb to reclaim a sense of normalcy following a debilitating illness prognosis for Ray (the father figure played by Russell). Learning that swimming can be therapeutic for his specific illness, the family opts for a home with a backyard pool with a sinister history.

One by one, the members of the Waller family begin to experience unnatural occurrences, from the youngest son Elliot (Gavin Warren) being pulled into the pool’s skimmer, to the daughter, Izzy (Amélie Hoeferle) seeing demons and monsters while out for a nighttime swim. The worst happens to Ray, who trades an improvement for his illness for a possession by the pool itself.

And as Night Swim dives deeper into the pool’s lore, it gets more and more ridiculous. I kept thinking about Blumhouse’s previous releases during the early portion of the calendar year, and how the best versions of these movies find a balance in tone between being scary and fun. M3GAN is probably the best recent example, which never takes itself too seriously and delivers both gory and hilarious set pieces.

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Night Swim, conversely, takes itself too seriously and can’t find that middle ground. Director Bryce McGuire developed the film from his 2014 short of the same name, which feels better equipped to handle this elevator pitch of an idea. There’s a great one sentence, four minute concept here, but strung along for 90 minutes, it struggles to keep up.

The dialogue is often painfully hollow, where storytelling is often delivered with oversimplified flashbacks and expository monologues. Wyatt Russell and Kerry Condon are fun hangs, but the movie hardly works to dive into their relationship or Ray’s condition beyond the obvious tropes and side effects.

With a PG-13 rating, and a concept so thinly developed beyond “scary swimming pool,” the movie relies heavily on cheap scares and creepy underwater sight gags – where few of which actually earn their keep. It’s a swing-and-miss from the studio that’s struck gold with movies like Night Swim time and time again.


Genre: Horror, Thriller

Watch Night Swim (2024) on Peacock and VOD here

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Night Swim Movie Cast and Credits

night swim horror movie review 2024


Wyatt Russell as Ray Waller

Kerry Condon as Eve Waller

Amélie Hoeferle as Izzy Waller

Gavin Warren as Elliot Waller


Director: Bryce McGuire

Writers: Bryce McGuire, Rod Blackhurst

Cinematography: Charlie Sarroff

Editor: Jeff McEvoy

Composer: Mark Korven

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