After being distant from each other for some time, three (step) sisters get together to make arraignments regarding the house their mother left them after drowning in Spirit Lake, which is rumored to being cursed. At first the reunion is a little awkward for the sisters, except for June, who under the excuse that she wants to make a documentary of the events, uses the lens of her camera to distance herself from the reality of the situation.
After meeting a friend of their past, Annie, Isa and June invite Josh for dinner, where he tells them about the legend of Spirit Lake, and how a long time ago, seven sisters drowned, one by one, trying to save each other, and that ever since, everyone that dares to swim in the lake is at risk of being pulled under by the seventh sister, and disappear forever on the deeps of the lake.
Deciding to have some drunken fun, the sisters and Josh decide to go to the lake in the middle of the night, to try to invoke the spirit of the seventh drowned sister, the one that apparently was not immortalized by having her star on the constellation that represents the legend.
The following day, Annie and her sisters start to notice strange events around the house, like finding dead birds at their doorstep every day and Isa claiming to hear in the nights the chanting of a woman in a language she can’t understand, to make matters worse, June finds that someone had been taking her camera and filming the lake while they are sleeping, which could be a sign that the sisters are actually not alone in the house like they though.
Ok, if this brief synopsis makes you think that this might be a good supernatural thriller, and you think you should check it out… DON’T , all that I have described happens in the first 10-15 minutes of the movie, and after that, the story becomes a DRAMA that has nothing to offer to fans of the horror genre that are seeking a good scary history, or even something of the supernatural kind.
“The Midnight Swim” is just a drama that deals more than anything about the tension between the sisters, going from why Annie and her mother distanced themselves, to some kind of explanation about why June is always hiding herself behind the camera, but don’t let the dead birds aspect nor the chanting or the legend of the drowned sisters fool you, at the end, none of those things are horror related, although we could say there are some supernatural elements in the film, touching on themes of the soul, reincarnation and more, but to be honest, I had a hard time watching this film, and the inclusion of a musical number of sorts, almost made to push the «Stop» button… I’m not kidding.
For most of the film we are supposed to witness the events thru June’s camera P.O.V. but at the same time the film tries to pull the «is not found footage, so don’t go hating» card, just to drop the gimmick at the end, and give us an ending that I can’t spoil, but makes you wonder what was the whole point of doing the P.O.V. gimmick on the first place.
I guess it’s my fault for watching the film expecting it to have some supernatural elements, mostly because the official synopsis sounded very interesting, but I can’t recommend this film to anyone that is looking for an good scare or mystery, since there is none here, the films drags for tool long and it bore me almost as much as that dreaded film “Magic, Magic”.
However, following my own philosophy that «Not Everything is for Everyone» and that in the end, this films belongs to a genre that I normally don’t dabble in, I’ll just give you this review, with no rating or score from me of any kind, and let you decided for yourself if it’s worth your time or no.
Written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith and with Lindsay Burdge, Jennifer Lafleur, Aleksa Palladino on the cast, “The Midnight Swim” has a June 26th VOD release.