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‘Night Swim’ Treads Water But Sinks

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'Night Swim' Treads Water But Sinks

(CTN News) – The release of a horror movie Night Swim in the first week of the year usually doesn’t come with high expectations, especially when there are other more prominent films from Christmas still drawing audiences to the theaters.

However, last year’s release of “M3GAN” proved to be a pleasant surprise, with its combination of scares and humor in the story of a rogue artificial intelligence designed for children.

This gave hope that “Night Swim,” the latest collaboration between Universal Pictures, Atomic Monster, and BlumHouse, would offer a similar level of entertainment. Unfortunately, while “Night Swim” manages to hold its own for a while, it ultimately fails to deliver in its third act.

The issue with “Night Swim” is not that it deviates from the slightly campy tone that worked well for “M3GAN.” After all, a haunted backyard swimming pool is a serious matter. However, the problem arises when the film unintentionally elicits laughter during its climactic moments, detracting from the intended tension.

Overall, “Night Swim” falls short of its potential,

Unable to maintain the same level of engagement and balance between scares and humor as its predecessor. In the beginning, we are introduced to the Waller family, led by Ray, a former baseball player, and Eve, a teacher. They have two children, Izzy and Elliot. They decide to buy a fixer-upper with a neglected pool, which catches Ray’s attention due to his battle with multiple sclerosis.

Ray’s health worsens, but he accepts that his baseball career is over. After restoring the pool, Ray experiences miraculous improvements, while the rest of the family has eerie encounters during nighttime swims. Each family member has their own subplot, including Izzy’s infatuation with a boy from her swim club, which leads to terrifying moments in the pool.

However, Eve takes it upon herself to investigate the troubling history of the pool by having a conversation with a previous homeowner, Jodi Long, who appears in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Unfortunately, their discussion doesn’t go smoothly.

While “Night Swim” does have its moments of effectiveness, once Ray becomes influenced by the water and puts the rest of the family in grave danger, we start longing for a beach towel.

At certain points in the film, when a Waller family member is submerged in the captivating water, desperately swimming for their life, the pool appears remarkably vast and incredibly deep, sometimes seemingly boundless.

We were unsure whether this was a supernatural characteristic of the pool, as no character acknowledges it, or simply a visual choice meant to enhance the audience’s immersion.

Nevertheless, the increasingly drenched ordeal ultimately feels limited and superficial.

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