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Swimfan Movie Poster

Twentieth Century Fox, DVD, 2002, Rated PG-13, 1 hr. 25 min.

After watching Swimfan, I debated whether or not it should be included in the reviews section because it's not particularly scary or suspenseful.  But I decided to include it because I think it wanted to be a somewhat scary, suspenseful movie, only it failed.  I was mildly entertained, but never scared or completely on the edge of my seat, most likely because the movie is so predictable.  

It centers around Ben Cronin (Jesse Bradford), a star high school swimmer with a shady past of drug use.  Ben has a loyal girlfriend, Amy Miller (Shiri Appleby), who helped him get his life back on track.  Enter Madison Bell (Erika Christensen), the new girl in town.  Thinking with the wrong head one night, Ben sleeps with Madison in the school pool, sparking a deadly obsession that turns his life upside down.  

Like I said, the movie is slightly entertaining, but Bradford and Christensen are stiff and unbelievable.  It's hard to feel empathy for either character, and that is what makes movies like Fatal Attraction and Crush so watchable and captivating - you are conflicted because you feel for and care about the pain of both the "villain" and the "good guy".  With Swimfan I didn't care what happened to Ben or Madison.

Bradford's wooden performance never really shows the anger and frustration of someone who is being stalked.  He's like a dopy puppet bouncing from scene to scene. 

Swimfan's plot is reminiscent of Crush, only Christensen does not have screen presence or acting chops of Alicia Silverstone, and the she-villains of both movies really are supposed to carry the films.  Christensen falters where Silverstone excelled.  Christensen's character is lifeless and so is her acting.  The minute she says she doesn't know how to swim, everyone with a brain will know how the movie is going to end.  

Appleby is sugar sweet and much more captivating than Christensen.  She comes across as a much better actress in this film than in her previous work on the television show Roswell.  Her character is the only one I felt any empathy for throughout the film.   

The movie's ending is really pathetic.  I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say that somehow Madison manages to overpower a couple of cops, who apparently were trained at the Keystone Police Academy.  When Ben discovers this, does he call the cops?  Nope, of course not, that would be too realistic. 

Ben (Bradford)
Ben Cronin

Madison Bell (Christensen)
Madison Bell

Ben and Madison get wet (Bradford and Christensen)
 Ben and Madison get wet
(Bradford and Christensen)

Ben, with Amy, shows his surprise at Madison's visit (Bradford and Appleby)
Ben, with Amy, shows his surprise at Madison's visit
(Bradford and Appleby)

Good thing Amy can't see the nude Madison on the screen (Appleby)
Good thing Amy can't see the nude Madison on the screen

   This movie is worth a rent if you really truly love the Fatal Attraction, Crush, Fear type movies.   

The DVD special features include full-length audio commentary by Director John Polson, Bradford, and Christensen; 10 deleted/extended scenes with optional director commentary; The Girlfriend From Hell featurette; and full-screen and widescreen options.   

Do you think we got this movie totally wrong? Agree with us? Or just want everyone to know your thoughts? Then start a discussion of this movie in our forums!




Twentieth Century Fox






85 Minutes







Actor / Actress


Jesse Bradford 

Ben Cronin

Erika Christensen

Madison Bell

Shiri Appleby

Amy Miller

Kate Burton 

Carla Cronin 

Dan Hedaya

Coach Simkins



John Polson


Charles Bohl 


Phillip Schneider 


Giles Nuttgens

Director of Photography

Kalina Ivanov

Production Designer


Reviewed by: Hauntmistress 7/13/2003


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