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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Psycho Swim Instructor 2022 * * Stars


2022's Psycho Swim Instructor is about as low budget a thriller as I've seen on Lifetime Television. I mean you can literally count the shooting locations on one hand (rehab center, indoor pool, house, other house, outdoor pool). Hey I'm not saying it's a bad thing but boy is it noticeable. These locations feel soundstage-free as the producers probably paid the actual tenants to use said locations.

So yeah, Psycho Swim Instructor is pretty unambiguous. I mean it is about a cray cray swim instructor and in terms of movie titles, that's how Lifetime rolls. Except for one scene where a family member's body is completely gotten rid of by the use of hydrochloric acid (there's a new one), "Swim" is formulaic as water is wet (ha ha). It's as if "Swim's" director (veteran Doug Campbell) watched a bunch of past Lifetimer-s, took some memos, and proceeded to shoot the flick on a weekend. The only obligatory thing missing from Psycho Swim Instructor is that annoying best bud who's always in the ear of the vulnerable protagonist. I'm actually okay with that omission.

Psycho Swim Instructor checks all the Lifetime movie boxes. It's par for the course. You have the shocking opening sequence that the filmmakers come back to in the last twenty minutes (check). You have the remorseless nature of the baddie that's established in the first five (check). You have the dad character who is oblivious to the sneaky wrongdoings of the female who's mentally screwed (check). You have the happy ending that bypasses all the legal ramifications (check it). Finally, you have that LA, suburbanite setting with a couple of aerial shots of actual downtown (check yo self).

Minus a thumping amount of in the cards stuff, "Swim" is well-plotted, not too campy, and goes down easy if your mission is to kill 85 minutes on a Saturday afternoon. But if it's freshness dating you're looking for in 2022, Psycho Swim Instructor is more or less a weak "pedagogue".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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