After the death of their mother, three half-sisters travel home to the house they grew up on Spirit Lake, intent on settling their mother's affairs. Their mother, Dr. Amelia Brooks, worked as a Limnologist on the unusually deep Spirit Lake, presumingly drowing in its waters, though her body was never found. When the sisters playfully summon a spirit based on old folklore around the community, their lives begin to unravel as the family dynamics are revealed. Sara Adina Smith's The Midnight Swim is a film which defies genre description. Soaked in mystery and intrigue, The Mighnight Swim tells a horror film and character drama, making it hard to decipher the true nature of the film, especially if you don't know much going in. Sarah Adina Smith shows a great ability to walk the line, making it hard to accept or reject the mystic elements of the story. The film is rather ambiguous about its intentions, being a blessing and curse as all three of the sisters are rather underdeveloped. While watching the film, I couldn't help but notice the solid performances, with all three actresses elevating their characterizations to a degree, though not enough to forgive the problems. The problem is the film doesn't give them characters that actualized fully, all feeling similar at time, as the film offers little contrast in the characterizations. The film's pacing isn't ideal either, being a 85 minutes film that drags at times, almost like it is just trying to buy time til its surprising conclusion. Overall, the film is well made from a direction standpoint, with Sarah Adina Smith showing a solid ability to create both a horror film and get strong performances from her actors, with a conclusion that makes some of the film's weaker elements a lot more forgiveable. The film is very much about characers overcoming the death of a loved one, with each of the sisters dealing with it in a different way, though some of their motivations are very vague. While it may be the filmmakers intention to make aspects of the characters' ambiguous, it doesn't work considering how much the film relies on the audience to invest in these three characters.
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