Night Swim Director Bryce McGuire Hopes You’re Too Scared To Go In The Pool [Exclusive Interview]


I love that. I can only speak from my own experience but I’m a cancer survivor and I had that thought pop in my head as I was watching like, “Would I willingly go into the wishing well pool of death?” And I think that speaks to the story, in that I’m actually thinking about it, but I’m also ready to be scared. And then, of course, it’s also still a very fun movie.

Yes, it is! I want people to feel that, too. It’s got some heavy themes, but it is a fun and scary movie that I think the whole family will enjoy.

Totally. And I love that Blumhouse is now doing this sort of January horror movie that is very fun, but also has something really important to say. Let’s keep this trend going for years and years.

Absolutely, let’s keep it going, yes!

But you have these really fun moments, especially with Wyatt Russell, who, the friend that I saw it with, we both joked, “The pool turns him into wet Jack Torrance,” and I love that. So how do you provide direction to find that tone for a performer?

Well, Wyatt and I were so locked in on that tone from the beginning, from the first conversation. I’d seen him in “Black Mirror,” so I’d seen him just go psycho mode. I knew that he could do that really, really well. And he likes going crazy like that. That’s just so in his wheelhouse. And I think, from there, there’s a little bit of having fun with the absurdity of the premise, that it is fun. It’s a haunted pool. That’s fun. As much as we’re talking about these crucibles of what would you do to be healthy and what would you give up to make … all that’s still there and all those can be true, but also when he’s chasing her to the house and he’s like, [sinister voice] “Marco…” Come on, you have to do that!

You’re leaning into the gimmick. You have to!

You have to! And it’s so fun! And my favorite moment from Wyatt in the whole movie is in the neurologist’s office and then, getting the update on his progress with the MS. And he’s like, “We’re doing the water therapy like twice a day … we have a pool.” That big smile. It’s like, that’s my favorite part of the whole movie because the tone of it is so Wyatt and so perfect and he’s playing the sinister, manic, and creepy. I just love where that sweet spot that falls in. He’ll do anything, he’ll try anything. He’s completely fearless. So honestly, it was easy with Wyatt, because he’s bringing so much of that into it. And he knows how to use his tools and who he is.

I love that you brought up that moment because that’s where everything completely clicked in line with me, where I was like, “Oh, okay, I know what movie we’re in now.”

Yes, exactly.

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