Night Swim parents guide

Night Swim Parent Guide

Call the lifeguard all you want. There's no saving this bland, boring, bloated film.

Overall D

Theaters: A family in need of a fresh start buys a home with a swimming pool, which they think will be a fun diversion. But the home has a dark secret, and the pool hides a malevolent force intent on dragging the family into the depths.

Release date January 5, 2024

Violence C
Sexual Content A
Profanity B+
Substance Use A-

Why is Night Swim rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Night Swim PG-13 for terror, some violent content and language.

Run Time: 116 minutes

Parent Movie Review

When a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis brings his burgeoning baseball career to a halt, Ray Waller (Wyatt Russell) and his wife, Eve (Kerry Condon) start adjusting to life as regular folks. Eve takes a job at a school, and the two move to a lovely home. It comes with a large pool fed by natural springs, and Ray thinks it’ll be a big hit with the kids, Izzy (Amelie Hoeferle), who’s in high school, and Elliot (Gavin Warren), just heading into middle school. Even better, the pool makes it possible for Ray to do some swim therapy to help manage his symptoms.

It turns out that the pool isn’t the blessing it seems to be on the surface. After a few people have supernatural experiences in the water, Eve starts looking into the house’s history, and it doesn’t take much digging to find a long history of drowning in the pool. But finding a solution is going to be much, much harder.

Night Swim started life as a YouTube short film. I don’t know who decided to take a five-minute short and contort the poor helpless thing into a 98-minute movie, but I can’t imagine it improved anything. The pacing suffers since there are still only about five minutes worth of ideas, and the remainder of the time is filled with the cinematic equivalent of zero-calorie crackers. Bland, dry, and utterly pointless. Or, in short, about what you can expect from Blumhouse movies these days. These formulaic horror shows are like starving dogs, too short of entertainment value to turn up their noses at the regurgitated tropes of other flicks.

“Of course”, I hear you (and every other frustrated moviegoer) cry, “The obvious solution is just to not go in the pool anymore!” You’re right. That is the obvious solution after nearly every member of the family has had a supernatural near-drowning experience in their backyard. But since the writers couldn’t come up with a better idea, the characters keep finding reasons to go on frolicking in the most obviously cursed waters this side of the Bermuda Triangle. If that sounds exasperating to you, it is.

Surprisingly, Night Swim contains relatively light levels of negative content, so this flick might be a nice bit of shallow water for teen horror enthusiasts to splash about in. There are only about half a dozen moderate profanities, limited on-screen violence, and no nudity or drug use. You’ll see some unsettling images of drowned bodies, but that’s about what you’d expect from a horror movie about a cursed pool, and they aren’t on screen for all that long anyway.

Unoriginal, uninteresting, and downright bland, Night Swim never manages to create a compelling tale of terror or invest the audience in any of the cookie cutter characters. Absent any entertainment value, the film is little more than a sad attempt to separate your wallet from the money therein – please don’t let them win. It’s bad enough that I had to fork over any coin of the realm to watch this, but you don’t have to. If you want to be bored for an hour and a half, you can do it for free any time you want.

Directed by Bryce McGuire. Starring Wyatt Russell, Kerry Condon, Amélie Hoeferle. Running time: 116 minutes. Theatrical release January 5, 2024. Updated

Watch the trailer for Night Swim

Night Swim
Rating & Content Info

Why is Night Swim rated PG-13? Night Swim is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for terror, some violent content and language.

Violence: Several people and a cat are drowned, mostly off-screen. Bloated corpses are occasionally seen. A character accidentally cuts her hand on some broken glass. A man is struck with a baseball bat several times.
Sexual Content: Characters are seen in appropriate swimwear.
Profanity: There are six uses of moderate profanity, and infrequent use of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are very briefly seen eating an alcoholic dessert.

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Home Video

Related home video titles:

Of course, your best water-based terror is going to be in all-time-classic and personal favorite, Jaws. Other damp scares include Underwater, Crawl, The Shallows, and 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.