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NIGHT SWIM

"Fountains of Demonic, Deadly Water"

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What You Need To Know:

NIGHT SWIM is a supernatural horror movie. It opens with a monster lurking in a swimming pool who grabs a young girl at night in the pool. Fifteen years later, Ray and Eve Waller buy the house. Ray is suffering from the onset of multiple sclerosis, which cut short his professional baseball career. He thinks the swimming pool, which has fallen out of use, may help with his physical therapy. However, the monster begins to threaten the family, starting with their cat, who disappears. Eve discovers the monster may be an evil water spirit who’s bestowing healing to Ray, but in exchange for a sacrificial victim. Can Eve save her husband and children from this demonic evil?

NIGHT SWIM is a scary, well-produced variation of the venerable horror theme of a dark supernatural force threatening a family. The movie tries to take its theme of pagan sacrifice into a more Christian directions. However, the movie isn’t fully successful here. So, it’s excessive and unacceptable. NIGHT SWIM also has intense, scary scenes that sometimes involve demonic possession or infection and some foul language.

Content:

(FRFR, PaPa, OO, CC, B, LL, VV, N, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Story has a false, pagan, occult worldview overall with animistic, demonic content and allusions where an evil water spirit threatens a family and demands a sacrifice in exchange for the miraculous benefits it provides to the father (the water spirit is able to infect, possess and/or control a human being), mitigated by some Christian, redemptive content (for example, a major line of dialogue says, “Love requires a sacrifice,” a teenage boy who wears a crucifix necklace asks a teenage girl new to their high school to join the Christian swim team, and a sacrifice does occur, but the sacrifice never eliminates the sense of pagan human sacrifice associated with the evil demonic monster), and the movie has some positive moral pro-family content;

Foul Language:
10 obscenities (including six “s” words and two “d” words) and six light profanities using the word God ;

Violence:
Strong, scary, intense violence such as unexplained supernatural spirit monster of some sort grabs people’s arms or hands or appears suddenly behind them and seems to “infect” or possess people, some of the monster’s previous victims appear as corpses or as people, movie opens 15 years earlier when the spirit monster grabbed a girl, and she disappeared, two or three people cut their hands during encounters with the monster, teenage girl slips and falls on broken glass and removes a shard of the glass from her hand, man in pool is possessed/infected by monster and won’t let go of boy while they play a game of “chicken” in the pool, and the two almost drown, almost drowned victims cough up dirty water after monster tries to kill them or take them, elderly woman’s eyes leak brown tears that may be blood or brackish water or blood mixed with the brackish water (she too seems to be infected by the evil of the water spirit, and dialogue about the monster bringing gifts to people but always needing to take another person in exchange, and this dialogue is mixed with other dialogue about people in older times “sacrificing” a person each year to the water spirit monster in exchange for the benefits it brings to the community;

Sex:
No sex, but teenage girl has boy over at her house while she’s babysitting her younger brother for the parents who were away for the night (the boy kisses her briefly by the pool when the parents arrive home early, and the boy sneaks away);

Nudity:
Upper male nudity at pool with women and teenage girls in one-piece swimsuits and bikinis;

Alcohol Use:
Some alcohol use;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Teenage girl secretly has boy visit her when she’s babysitting her younger brother, and she threatens her brother not to tell the parents, plus elderly woman has accepted the death of her young daughter because an evil water spirit has bestowed miraculous benefits to her formerly sickly son.

More Detail:

NIGHT SWIM is a supernatural horror movie about an evil water spirit who threatens the lives of a suburban family that’s trying to deal with the father’s onset of multiple sclerosis that has cut short his professional baseball career. NIGHT SWIM is a scary, well-produced variation of the venerable horror theme of a dark supernatural force threatening a family, but the movie fails to overcome the story’s themes of occult animism and pagan sacrifice concerning the monster and contains intense, scary scenes that sometimes involve demonic possession as well as some foul language.

NIGHT SWIM opens with a night scene at a pool where the evil monster scares a young girl and seems to carry her off somewhere. Fifteen years later, Ray and Eve Waller are looking for a new place for them and their two children near the school where Eve’s new administrator job is. Ray is trying to recover from an onset of multiple sclerosis that cut short his lucrative professional baseball career. After visiting a townhouse for sale, they visit the house where the young girl disappeared. Not even the realtor knows about the girl’s disappearance because it was so long ago; and, apparently, the girl’s family had only moved out recently. Though the pool is no longer in use, Ray believes having the pool will aid his physical therapy. So, the Wallers decide to take the house.

Sure enough, the monster in the pool starts making an appearance. First, Ray hurts his hand trying to set up the pool for the family’s use. The swimming pool expert tells Ray and Eve that the pool is actually a spring water pool fed by an aquifer. He says people used to come to the area to enjoy the therapeutic powers of the local spring water. Then, the family’s cat disappears, and the monster also threatens the wife and the two children.

When the attacks get really dangerous, and Ray starts to act weirdly while being miraculously healed, the mother starts to investigate the house, the pool and the water. She learns that legend says the spring water is the home of a water spirit. Legend also says that, before modern civilization, the people living in the area, presumably American Indians and early colonists, experienced benefits from the water but had to sacrifice one person each year.

This knowledge sets up the final encounters with the water spirit monster. Can Eve save her husband and her children from this demonic evil?

NIGHT SWIM is a scary, well-produced variation of the venerable horror theme of a dark supernatural force threatening a family. In this case, the filmmakers add a theme of demonic possession where the evil water spirit infects and even possesses one of the victims.

However, the movie’s plot developments and character arcs sometimes seem a bit unintentionally funny. Some of those situations, though, may really be intentional. It’s hard to say definitively because the situations probably may affect different viewers differently.

Sadly, however, the movie fails to overcome the story’s themes of occult animism and pagan sacrifice concerning the monster. In the story, the monster demands a sacrifice in exchange for the benefits it seems to bring. The ending tries to turn the story’s theme of pagan sacrifice in line with the more positive definition of sacrifice that Christianity and the Bible provide, but MOVIEGUIDE® doesn’t think the movie is successful here. So, we’ll label the movie excessive and unacceptable rather than abhorrent and evil. NIGHT SWIM also has intense, scary scenes that sometimes involve demonic possession as well as some foul language.