Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View

Night Swim Director Bryce McGuire on What Makes a Pool So Scary

James Wan's got a lot of skills, but one in particular impresses Night Swim director Bryce McGuire.

By Matthew Jackson
A couple looks down into a pool covered in leaves and blue tarp in Night Swim (2023).

James Wan is a modern day horror master. From Saw to Insidious to The Conjuring, he's one of those filmmakers who's embedded his sensibilities in the genre in ways that will echo for decades to come, but his directing is not the only major impact. Wan has also been hugely influential and impactful as a producer on the horror scene, and according to the director of his latest film production, much of it is thanks to one very particular talent. 

Speaking to ComingSoon about his new horror film Night Swim, a collaboration between James Wan's Atomic Monster and Jason Blum's Blumhouse production companies, director Bryce McGuire discussed working with Wan, whose recent producing efforts include films like M3GAN (now available from Universal Pictures). As the director explained, Wan's got a lot of skills, but one in particular has helped to make him one of the biggest names in horror over the last two decades.

Night Swim director Bryce McGuire discusses James Wan's influence on the film

"James loves taking something that’s supposed to be safe and ruining it," McGuire said. "He loves it. Whether it’s a doll or, I mean that’s done, but there’s almost mischievousness in his love for just like, you think that’s fun, that’s safe? No. It is done. You’re done. Like you never look at it the same. So I feel like that level that, to that super high concept, commercial aspect of taking something that’s familiar and safe and ruining it [made Wan a good fit for Night Swim]."

RELATED: Blumhouse & Atomic Monster's New Horror Film Night Swim Is Ready to Ruin Pools for You

McGuire makes a good point. Over the years Wan has managed to terrify us with everything from dolls to artificial intelligence to the back of our own heads (seriously, watch Malignant), and he's clearly not done yet. And as McGuire explained during a panel at New York Comic Con earlier this year, Night Swim –– a film about a haunted swimming pool –– is very much a film that sets out to ruin pools for you, mining our collective childhood enjoyment of swimming to make horror gold. 

“If I cannot see the bottom of the pool, it’s not there.” McGuire said. “There’s a universal aspect to the water, even in a place that should be safe and domesticated and fun and sexy ... it feels like we’re not in our element anymore. We’re not the top of the food chain.” 

Night Swim, starring Wyatt Russell and Kerry Condon, arrives January 5, 2024 from Universal Pictures. In the meantime, check out all the great horror offerings currently streaming on Peacock!