Feet dangle ominously in a swimming pool in the poster for 'Night Swim'

Bryce McGuire on the Source of Fear in ‘Night Swim’

A movie like Night Swim is one that instantly had me going “absolutely not” when I read the description. As a lifelong fearer or what lurks in the water, afraid of sharks and someone who won’t even close my eyes in a shower for too long because of my fear of them, I really don’t mess around with water as a whole outside of very well lit pools in safe conditions. So the idea of a haunted pool (the one thing that is safe) gave me a pit in my stomach.

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Talking with director and co-writer Bryce McGuire at New York Comic-Con, everyone on the press line asked the same question: Why make water even more terrifying than it already can be? So I asked McGuire a twist to what he had been saying. When asked about the inspiration, McGuire had said a variation of the same thing to the question down the line: Everyone has a fear of the deep end of the pool while swimming at night at some point in their life. At one point or another, they have that fear and they don’t know what lurks there.

Now though, that fear will be because of McGuire’s work and I pointed that out to him and asked how he feels knowing that a new generation will have that apprehension of the water because of Night Swim. “I just feel really bad to put it like that,” he said with a laugh. “But I am happy to hand over that fear to a whole new generation of kids. If they didn’t have that already, they need it . If they’re not scared by the pool already then, I’m actually helping them out. I’m preparing them for life. Water’s not safe. Water will mess you up.”

You can see the rest of our conversation here:

Night Swim hits theaters on January 5, 2024!

(feature image: Universal Pictures)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.