Night Swim: A Review of Bryce McGuire’s Supernatural Horror

The review of the supernatural horror that Bryce McGuire based on his previous short film. In theaters from February 22, 2024.

Who wouldn’t like to have a swimming pool all to themselves in the home garden in which to dive, swim and relax, and organize – weather permitting – parties and barbecues with friends and relatives. For those who can afford it, it is a dream come true, a diversion or a form of entertainment, as well as a symbol of luxury and social status, but also something that can turn into the worst of nightmares as in the case of Ray Waller’s family, a former Major League baseball player forced into early retirement due to a degenerative disease, who moves into a new mansion with his caring wife Eve, teenage daughter Izzy and son Elliot. They are precisely the unfortunate protagonists of Night Swimthe film written and directed by Bryce McGuireproduced by Atomic Monster Of James Wan and from Blumhousedistributed in local theaters by Universal Pictures starting from February 22, 2024.

A swimming pool haunted by demonic presences at the center of a derivative ghost-house movie

In the absence of other ideas, for his baptism of fire in a feature film the American director and screenwriter has chosen to revisit one of the many short films he has made in the past, specifically the short of the same name (co-directed with Rod Blackhurst) from 2014, which at the time went viral on the YouTube platform. Ten years later, this has been subjected to genetic manipulation on a narrative and dramaturgical level which has allowed it to arrive on the big screen in a new guise, while maintaining its essence, the guidelines of the matrix and the disturbing suggestions. linked by the alterations of vision caused by the water of the swimming pool which, after having given apparent benefits to its owners, turns out to be a source from which evil and demonic forces re-emerge capable of dragging all those who wallow in it into the deep abyss of terror.

In Night Swim a swimming pool returns to being a dispenser of death, brutal crimes and evil spells

Here then comes back to the surface, as expected and in the literal sense of the term, a dark secret from the past linked to the places where the structure in question now stands. Thus we move from miraculous effects to Cocoon to the most classic of horror films, with the swimming pool once again becoming a dispenser of death, brutal crimes and evil spells. In this sense we remember, even if we should instead forget given the results, how many times its waters have been dyed red to fuel the plots of films like Aquaslash, Death Pool o The Pool. In Night Swim However, there are no serial killers or alligators thirsty for blood and ready to send the designated victims to the creator, but rather demonic forces whose sole purpose is to torment and get rid of the “guests” of the haunted house on duty that is the setting for the event. Yet another pre-packaged ghost-house movie belonging to the extended family of supernatural horror.

McGuire mixes references to the culture of the Eighties, drawing on great classics such as Monster from the Black Lagoon and winks shamelessly at J-Horror

In the circle of the genre in question a film like Night Swim it adds absolutely nothing to the cause since it limits itself to assembling right from the writing stage a whole series of imagery, stylistic features and references that belong to the sample normally available to those dealing with the aforementioned genre. Which contributes to serving on the screen a heated soup of dynamics and plots already seen and felt, in the presence of which the spectator cannot help but feel an extremely annoying sensation of déjà-vu. McGuire mixes references to the culture of the Eighties, drawing on great classics such as Monster from the Black Lagoon and winks shamelessly at J-Horror (The Ring rather than Dark Water), adding little or none of the flour from your own sack. Which is why all things considered Night Swim presents itself as an absolutely derivative product, for which good management of suspense and an effective use of jumpscare are not enough to satisfy the needs of regular visitors to the genre. As well as the presence of the Irish actress in the cast as Eve Kerry Condonnominated for an Oscar for her performance in The spirits of the islandserved to raise the bar.

Night Swim: evaluation and conclusion

For his feature film debut Bryce McGuire he revisits a previous short film of his that went viral online ten years ago. The change of look and format, despite itself, did not produce the desired results, with a supernatural horror that relies on the good construction of tension, sound and jumpscare to cover the shortcomings, the failures and the narrative and structural limits of a derivative film that it limits itself to putting together references, imagery and stylistic features of the genre it belongs to, namely the ghost-house movie. The American director and screenwriter mixes references to the horror culture of the Eighties, to the classics of the genre and shamelessly winks at the J-Horror of recent decades. Not even the presence of the Oscar nominee in the cast Kerry Condon manages to save what can be saved.

Regia – 3

Screenplay – 1.5

Photography – 3

Acting – 2.5

Sound – 3.5

Emotion – 1.5

2024-02-21 19:12:18
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