The Swimmers comes to us from Thailand, and as you might expect, it is a ghost story. However, if you’re expecting this to be a run-of-the-mill ghost story out of the East, you’re in for a surprise. This movie has enough twist and turns to give M. Night Shyamalan wet dreams for a month.
The plot seems fairly basic on the surface. We have Tan and Perth who are best friends; both are members of the school’s swim team. Tan is dating Ice. Perth likes Ice after first setting eyes upon her. Ice commits suicide for reasons yet unknown. Shit gets crazy. That’s all you should know about The Swimmers before seeing the film.
So let us discuss why you should watch this film. First to bat would be the story. Did I mention it keeps you guessing? You could almost describe this as a very well done thriller, with horror elements. At some point, I gave up trying to figure out what was going to happen and simply enjoyed the insane ride. Word of note: there are several flashback sequences. These aren’t announced, they just happen. You need to be paying attention or else you will be very confused.
Secondly, let’s talk about overall quality. The few Thai films I have seen have all had amazingly high production value, and this one was no different. It is gorgeously shot. Even without speaking the language, the actors convey their emotions to you. The sounds set the mood when appropriate, and as a good horror movie is to do, sometimes sets you up for nothing at all.
Finally, there is a lot of crossover appeal here. The cultures of the East and West are different enough that sometimes it can be hard to relate to characters. That’s not the case here. You’ll see some differences naturally, but Tan, Perth, Ice, and even Mint are struggling with issues that anyone who was once a teenager can relate to. There’s also more than enough mystery/thriller elements to entertain those unfortunate enough to not like horror films. If I’ve been too subtle for you up until now, I really like The Swimmers. This is a great one to put on during movie night and have everyone try and guess what the hell is going on.
The Swimmers [Review]
REJOICE, for movie making in the horror genre is not dead. Thailand shows us how, and they don’t need to use the Found Footage method. I had no idea where the film was taking me, but I enjoyed every minute of the journey.