Parents' Guide to

Night Swim

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Haunted swimming pool movie is violent but short on scares.

Movie PG-13 2024 98 minutes
Night Swim Movie Poster: From under the surface of the water in a swimming pool, feet dangle above, and the water grows darker and darker

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 15+

SUPERB MOVIE!

Overall it surpassed my expectations! I heard a lot of bad reviews from people but I still decided to go see it. It wasn’t too predictable and added a good spin on the traditional horror movie. Mange to give me a few jump scares too lol! Overall, it was a sublime movie! I’d recommend it.
age 13+

Family Friendly "Horror"-- Very clean! Great story!

Family Friendly "Horror" No gore. No bloody images. No violence, just hand getting cut. Only one mild bad word. VERY clean. Impressed by its sense of compelling story. I never expected to tear up in a horror movie, but this film has such beauty, poetry, and truth. There are multiple funny moments, too. I found myself laughing out loud at the solid comedic character development and dialogue. It was pretty amazing what layers McGuire was able to build in only an hour and 36 minutes. Though undeniably eerie and creepily exquisite, Night Swim stays artful throughout rather than relying on cheap/easy tricks, or falling in line with typical horror formulas. I enjoyed the surprise and thrill of this fresh take, and am excited to stretch in my thinking of what horror is, or could be. This film really creates a new branch on the horror tree. It reminded of M. Night's The Village, suspenseful but with powerful meaning and a real story rich with complex drama, interesting characters and human psychology. While it's not as on-the-nose horrifying as some other films in the horror genre, Night Swim does so much more than hit those cliche marks. Go see it for yourself! It's truly genre bending. The inky water bleeds through these man-made, overdone borders. It's part horror/jump scares, thriller, drama, mystery, and fable. Really cool. I have never seen anything like it. I like to think the genre may be opening up, making it more accessible to a broader audience-folks that might enjoy some thrills, but also want a really solid film outside of the typical horror gimmicks.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Its premise is so ridiculous that it might have become a silly camp classic, but this horror movie is presented totally seriously, with no real scares—and no awareness of its silliness. There have been movies about haunted beds and motorcycles, about possessed trucks and tomatoes; the haunted swimming pool in Night Swim is just as preposterous as any of them. And yet director/co-writer Bryce McGuire—who based the movie on his own four-minute short—crams it all into a generic horror formula, complete with dumb jump scares and an answer-seeking visit to the previous haunting victims.

The movie doesn't even have any consistency in its rules. The water itself is supposedly haunted, and yet, the pool is filled with gory-faced monsters, as well as sweet-faced ghosts of the innocent souls it's claimed, and all of them are capable of grabbing unsuspecting swimmers. There's also a swirling black goo that seems to be responsible for something. There's competent acting by Russell and Oscar nominee Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), and they help conjure some genuine moments of family interaction, but the more absurd things get, the less you're likely to care. By the end of this not-scary chiller, Night Swim has gone right down the drain.

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