The Midnight Swim (2014) – Movie Review

The Midnight Swim (2014) - Movie Review

It’s seems like we’ve hit yet another ‘dry spot’ when it comes to Found Footage films – nothing much coming out at the moment, but it never lasts!

Unfortunately, these dry spots mean I have to move onto another list…a list I don’t rely on very often.

What is this list?

Well, if I had to give it a title, it would probably go along the lines of – ‘The List of Films That Look Shit & That I’m Desperately Trying to Ignore!’

Enter The Midnight Swim – a 2014 Found Footage release from director Sarah Adina Smith.

The Plot

Spirit Lake is unusually deep. No diver has ever managed to find the bottom, though many have tried. When Dr. Amelia Brooks disappears during a deep-water dive, her three daughters travel home to settle her affairs. They find themselves unable to let go of their mother and become drawn into the mysteries of the lake.

Nothing Happens!

Yep, nothing…and I mean NOTHING seems to happen in this film!

I sat there for 84 minutes thinking “the climax is probably going to be really interesting, because the rest of the film is pretty mundane”…

I was wrong.

Here we’ve got a movie that is held up by an excellent cast – brilliant actors in each of the roles, top notch cinematography and a well written script…but nothing fucking happens!

When the end credits rolled I actually considered going back to the start of the movie to see if I had missed something overly-intelligent, something above my pay grade.

I hadn’t.

That was that.

A full 84 minutes of ‘what the fuck was that all about?’


Okay, I’m pretty sure I’ve missed something here – I’m 100% positive that more ‘professional’ critics will find something exquisite to rant on about in their reviews (something ‘art house’ no doubt!). But for me – I’m a simpler creature.

This means that when you put a film in the horror genre…you need to put some sort of fucking horror in it!

Would you put The Lion King in the horror genre – no!

Why put this one there?

It has suggestions of the supernatural, from time to time, but they are quickly dashed away.

All this seems a bit negative doesn’t it?

Well, I should point out that the movie is certainly thought provoking, and a little trippy in parts, but I think it stands firmly in the drama genre.

It’s definitely unique – and Found Footage hasn’t really traveled down this path before, but it’s not the type of thing that I enjoy watching.

I was kinda hoping it was going to break into the Lake Mungo mold at some point, but alas, it didn’t.

It’s a intelligent drama that’s backed up by great performances all round – so most geeks will probably find it as boring as I did.

I can’t slate the movie – because it is at a certain (high) quality, but it’s not the type of thing that floats my boat!

Oh well, looks like it’s back to the ‘special’ list tonight…



  1. right-on chris not seen this yet, you just saved me time looking for something, after watching whatever the fk it was last night i don’t care if it;s good or not it will be better then whatever shite that was.

  2. Thanks very much for the great review. It is an interesting life cycle that these movies have but I dont know why there are these long “dry spells”, could you help with maybe some suggestions as to why this happens and where we can go to sort of bridge these gaps? 


    • Just look for older titles Richard – use this site to gather up a list and go for it! (there are A LOT of Found Footage titles reviewed here now!)

  3. Well Chris, I appreciate the straightforward and honest review. There is absolutely no sugar coating to it.

    Definitely going to skip this movie. What newer horror movie would you recommend to watch on Halloween night?

    Looking forward to taking a peek at a few of your other reviews.

    Thanks for the heads up on The Midnight Swim.

    – Jay S.

    • Hi there Jay!

      Have you watched the new Unfriended movie yet or Searching – both new, both good?

  4. Jeepers Creepers a real movie rewiewer! I was actually going to watch the midnight swim:), You are a rear find in the mix in the industry. I can see you rattling some cages lol.. I actually hate getting dissapointed when we sit down and pay for a raved about movies, only to be disillusioned by the hype.

    I think you might be on my top ten recommenders of the best movies to watch. Cheers Rob

    • Rob? Who’s Rob?

      Anyway – glad you enjoyed the review! 🙂

      P.S. The name’s Chris! 

  5. I must say that I like to watch  horror movies, they are somehow special and can really provoke fear and adrenaline which I like the most. I will watch this movie for sure and will come back here to tell my opinion although I see that you say that film is not horror genre.

    • No it’s not really in the horror genre Daniel – it sort of hints towards the supernatural…but doesn’t really deliver. Anyway, hope you enjoy it all the same. 

  6. When I started reading your review and read about the plot, it sounded like it was going to be a climatic finale.

    The plot has the makings of a really good story it sounds like they took it in the wrong direction. When you mentioned that morning was happening as you watched I guessed it should of been classed as a drama. 

    It’s a shame as it could of had potential and perhaps with a different director it could have ? 

    • It’s a hard one Darren, because I don’t know what they were aiming for with the film. The director did a decent enough job…but I just couldn’t get the point of the movie overall?

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