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The Midnight Swim

Score: 75%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Candy Factory Films
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 88 Mins.
Genre: Drama/Mystery/Independent
Audio: English

The Midnight Swim is a movie about three half-sisters who return to their mother's lake house when she goes missing and is presumed dead after a deep water dive. As June (Lindsay Burdge), Annie (Jennifer Lafleur) and Isa (Aleksa Palladino) struggle to put their mother's affairs in order, the mysteries of the deep lake that consumed their mother's life begin to beckon to them.

June is constantly filming for her documentary, so the film is a POV styled movie with all of the action as seen from her lens, and we don't see a whole lot of her on camera. I typically don't like these types of films, but this one was well done and I didn't see any ridiculous discrepancies (at least none that weren't intended to heighten the mystery, anyway). Annie seems to be the eldest and is rather quiet, while Isa is the most vivacious and beautiful of the sisters. As they are milling around the outside of the house, they run into Annie's old crush from high school, Josh (Ross Partridge, Stranger Things) and he soon becomes a staple around the house, kindling a relationship with Isa.

As the girls begin to uncover more of their mother's research into her beloved lake, Spirit Lake, they begin to question the concepts of death, reincarnation, spirituality and the mysteries of life. They learn of a local tale of seven sisters, each of which drowned in Spirit Lake one after another while each tried to rescue the previous. Further, they encounter a local woman who describes a strange experience where the lake seemed to draw her under, although she was able to escape it.

To further muddy the waters, the girls keep finding a dead bird on the porch each morning, which is creepy, and June's camera keeps popping up in the mornings with time-elapsed footage of the lake the evening before that she claims she didn't take. As the girls deal with these new strange mysteries, they are having a hard time agreeing on whether to sell the house and their mother's legacy or to fix it up and turn it into a rental property for retreats, which is what Isa wants to do. As the quarrels continue and the weird footage reveals a bit more, we learn that June might not be as stable as the other sisters and she is left to her own devices at the lake when Annie and Isa have had enough. Will June discover what truly happened to their mom or will the lake suck her in as well?

The Midnight Swim was an odd film, but it screamed independent movie to me. The acting was solid and the plotline was a bit interesting, I just didn't feel like it ever really grabbed me. There were hints at what was going on, but nothing really solid until the last moments of the movie, which were honestly the best and most intriguing to me. The drama and heaviness of the film was broken up by an odd musical montage of the girls singing and dancing along to a song for the purpose of June's documentary, but it seemed discordant with the rest of the film.

While The Midnight Swim definitely isn't the best movie out there, it isn't the worst either. If you are looking for an independent film with solid actors who explore the roles of death, loss and reincarnation in our lives, you might enjoy The Midnight Swim. Just don't go in expecting anything groundbreaking.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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