“Doing horror movies is a way of taking control of my fears,” says Amélie Hoeferle, who plays one of the Waller children in the supernatural thriller “Night Swim,” opening this week

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“The children were great!” says Academy Award nominee Kerry Condon of Amélie Hoeferle and Gavin Warren, who play her character’s children in Night Swim, a new supernatural thriller opening in cinemas this week.

In Night Swim, based on director McGuire’s acclaimed 2014 short film of the same name, Ray Waller (Wyatt Russell) is a former major league baseball player forced into early retirement by a degenerative illness. Secretly hoping, against the odds, to return to pro ball, Ray persuades his wife, Eve (Condon), that their new home’s shimmering backyard swimming pool will be fun for the kids (Hoeferle and Warren) and provide physical therapy for him. But a dark secret in the home’s past will unleash a malevolent force that will drag the family under, into the depths of inescapable terror.

To Hoeferle, who plays 15-year-old Izzy Waller in the film and who first captured Hollywood’s attention with an award-winning horror short, The Boogeywoman, horror vibes come easy.   So doing horror movies is a way of taking back that fear and taking control of it.”

Despite her experience in the genre, reading the script for Night Swim proved to be a chilling experience.  “It was night, the lights in my house were dim, and I remember reading it at my desk and feeling like someone was behind me. Just in general, the script captures that scary feeling that there’s something lurking in the shadows, hunting you, and more specific to the movie, it captures that dread you feel when you’re in the water, whether it’s the ocean or in a pool, and you let yourself wonder: Is there something underneath me? It’s such a potent, primal fear.”

The role of 12-year-old Elliot Waller was the toughest to cast, according to director Bryce McGuire. Luckily, they found Warren, who is “an absolute fish, an amazing swimmer who loved the water,” says McGuire.

But the water work wasn’t always easy for Warren, especially if the scenes involved interacting with the pool’s ghoulish entities. “Whenever Elliot goes into the pool, things get creepy,” Warren says. “He seems to be able to see the weird, monstrous things that haunt the pool that no one else can. But for me, seeing these monsters was rather scary, because the make-up on them was so good. I did not want to get in the water with them.” But Warren’s experience in the post-apocalyptic world of Fear the Walking Dead served him well.

Dare to take a dive when Night Swim, distributed by Universal Pictures International, opens in cinemas February 21. #NightSwimMoviePh

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