Night Swim movie review: A good premise stalled by poor execution

The new year starts with our first big release of 2024 in Night Swim. We share whether or not the film is worth checking out on the big screen.
Gavin Warren as Elliot Waller in Night Swim, directed by Bryce McGuire.
Gavin Warren as Elliot Waller in Night Swim, directed by Bryce McGuire. /

We jump-start the New Year with the only way I know how to head to the theaters. Bryce McGuire's Night Swim is the first big movie to hit theaters in 2024. Is the movie worth checking out on the big screen? Below, I share my review of the film and let you know. 

Night Swim follows the story of retired baseball player Ray Waller, who moves into a new house with his wife and children. He hopes the backyard swimming pool they built will serve the purposes of entertaining the children and helping him rehab. The home's secret past begins terrorizing the family while they are swimming. The film stars Wyatt Russell and Kerry Condon. 

Ray and Eve Walker are hunting for a house to settle in with their two kids. Ray is a journeyman baseball player dealing with a serious injury that has hindered his playing ability, but it has brought him home where he can be more of a husband and father. They stumble across a house with a massive backyard and a pool that looks run down, but Ray thinks the pool could be helpful for his rehab.

As the family starts to use the pool, Ray realizes something within the water is helping his rehab. Of course, this comes at a cost, with someone being healed, in return, our water monster must take someone's life. This becomes the battle the Waller family faces throughout the film.

The premise is really good on paper, but we don't explore the why of what is happening enough. When they reveal the concept of "the why," it's genuinely underwhelming and somewhat laughable. You expect B-level horror movies to at least be entertaining, but this was a snoozer.

Where were the scares?

In a horror movie, you expect something scary or even haunting. I brought my two teenage kids (one is a horror fan, and one isn't), and neither was scared. The underwhelming "water monster" brought nothing to the table to make you feel scared, worried, or even terrified of what was happening. The entire "monster," or whatever you want to call it, was very dull. 

Overall, Night Swim is the first swing and a miss in my first movie of 2024. Its lackluster execution on a solid premise was really frustrating. Personally, there are plenty of films left over from the holidays that you could check out this weekend instead of seeing this one. 

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Night Swim is in theaters now.