My History with the Film:
I had never heard of The Pool until a few weeks ago. I found myself stumbling down a rabbit hole online for direct to DVD post Scream slasher films, and once I ran across one starring Isla Fisher and James McAvoy, well… I had to see it.
It took some digging, but I managed to snag a copy for six dollars online. It seems like most copies run closer to $20, which was a bit too rich to chance on a straight to DVD slasher film. Luckily, I got my six dollars’ worth since The Pool is an above average flick with some great kills.
What the Film is About (Non-Spoiler):
A group of high school students break into an indoor water park to celebrate their graduation, but one of them is out for blood.
What I Liked About It:
-This movie features one of my favorite kill scenes that I’ve ever seen. It involved a machete and a water slide, and I won’t spoil it any further than that.
-This movie is a German/Czech production, that is clearly inspired by Scream. It doesn’t go meta per say, but it keeps that hip, vibe of high school students who are overly confident coming to terms with their mortality as one by one they are picked off. It gives the film a familiar, yet foreign feeling, which I appreciated.
-A lot of work was put into the kills scenes and creating moments of true terror. Often, in slashers, we are just getting a masked killed chasing people, but in this film, it truly feels like the killer is toying with his victims. There is a great moment in an air duct, that is almost panic inducing because of how claustrophobic it’s shot as well as how helpless you feel while watching.
-No real performances stand out, but it was enjoyable seeing a young Isla Fisher and James McAvoy doing their part in this film.
-Some effort was put into the script to actually give the final girl a hurdle to overcome in order to vanquish our killer. I appreciated that little tidbit, even if I didn’t buy it all the way.
What I Didn’t Like About It:
-The cast is made up of mostly late twenties/early thirties European actors attempting to play American inspired characters. The accents can be a bit rough at times and the dialogue is cringey in spots. The screenwriter was no Kevin Williamson, that’s for sure.
-Despite the IMDB listing for a sequel, it doesn’t appeal to actually exist. From my research and others online, it’s possible that another slasher from around this time, Do You Want to Know a Secret was re-edited and released in Italy as The Pool 2, but I can’t confirm that.
The Pool is a solid film that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. I’ll admit, I’m bias because I love that late 90’s/early 2000’s vibe and this film has it with an added European touch.
If the film gets added to Tubi or you can find it under $10 and you like slasher films, I’d say make sure you check it out. Can I recommend it at a $20 price tag? No, I cannot.
It’s a fun, small film, that is far from perfect, but an enjoyable way to spend ninety-two minutes.
I rate The Pool a three out of five and say it’s as worth a watch.