At some point in every child’s life, an irrational fear of sharks or other nefarious creatures lurking in the dark depths of a pool after nightfall has likely taken hold. Humans are inherently vulnerable in water, lacking substantial clothing for protection while swimming, and facing variables such as swimming speed and breath-holding capacity. The fastest recorded human swimming speed was achieved by Tom Jager in 1990 during a 50-meter freestyle at a rate of 2.29 meters per second. However, Olympic medalist Michael Phelps shattered this record, reaching a speed of 6 miles per hour (2.68 meters per second) with an average racing speed around 4.5 miles per hour. It’s important to note that the average swimmer typically maintains a speed of only around 2 miles per hour.
To put these figures into perspective, Phelps reached his peak speeds during specific moments in his career, while the average swimming speed of a predatory land-based animal like a bear is approximately 6 miles per hour. Comparatively, great white sharks boast an average speed of around 25 miles per hour, rendering even an Olympic swimmer significantly disadvantaged when sharing the water with such a predator. But what if the creature isn’t a bear or a shark? How does one gauge the swimming speed of supernatural entities?
Addressing these fears and spine-chilling “fun facts,” Night Swim, based on a 2014 short film of the same name, delves into the vulnerability of humans in bodies of water, even within the confines of a chlorinated swimming pool. Horror maestros James Wan and Jason Blum join forces as producers for the feature-length adaptation under their respective banners, Atomic Monster and Blumhouse Productions. Universal Pictures swiftly secured the distribution rights shortly thereafter.