(director/writer: Bryce McGuire; screenwriter: short story by Rod Blackhurst; cinematographer: Charlie Sarroff; editor: Jeff McEvoy; music: Mark Korven; cast: Wyatt Russell (Ray Waller), Kerry Condon (Eve Waller), Amelie Hoeferle (Izzy Waller), Nancy Lenehan (realtor), Eddie Martinez (Coach E), Elijah Roberts (Ronin), Rahnuma Panthaky (Dr. Sridhar), Gavin Warren (Elliot Waller), Jodi Long (Kay); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Jason Blum, James Wan; Universal Pictures; 2024)

“A preposterous film about a haunted pool capable of killing people.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Bryce McGuire (“Unfollowed”) directs and writes this Blumhouse produced soggy horror pic. It’s a preposterous film about a haunted pool capable of killing people. It’s based on a short story by Rod Blackhurst. The scares are supposed to be the thing, but they’re not too scary.  The tepid story is shallow, the dialogue is clunky and the backstory is so dumb that it leaves the film seeming like a goof.

It was originally a short film released in 2014.

The former Major League baseball player Ray Waller (Wyatt Russell) has some early signs of Multiple Sclerosis, and retires. He moves into a new house in the suburbs of Minneapolis with his wife Eve (Kerry Condon), his teenage daughter Izzy (Amelie Hoeferle) and his young son Eliot (Gavin Warren). The place has a backyard pool he plans to use for therapy. But even if the water treatments help the ballplayer, there appears to be something wrong with the pool. Strange things happen in it causing evil supernatural effects. The family is unaware of its dark secrets from the house’s past, until contacting the former house owners. Through a flashback to 1992, they learn how the pool killed a child.

The film uses an evil entity that got into the pool through its water supply as its premise, a premise so ludicrous that it makes it better suited to be filmed as a silly comedy than a horror pic that wants to be taken seriously. If remade even sillier and re-titled as “Abbott and Costello Go For A Night Swim,” maybe this misfire could have been more watchable.