The new supernatural horror film ‘Night Swim’ promises spine-tingling thrills for genre fans. Directed by Chris Thomas Devlin, Night Swim brings to life the 2014 short film of the same name in feature length. Filming took place over 34 days across various creepy locations around Los Angeles and Altadena, California.
If you’re planning a horror movie pilgrimage, read on for a guide to the Night Swim filming spots. We’ll give you the lowdown on the film’s most important locations so you can check out the sets and revel in some frightful atmosphere.
The Rundown Altadena Mansion
A sprawling mansion in Altadena provided the setting for many of Night Swim’s most pivotal scenes. The estate was used for both interior and exterior shots. With winding hallways, grand staircases, and an imposing facade, it’s the ideal haunted house.
The filmmakers maximized the creepy potential of the mansion. Cinematographer Drew Daniels, who also worked on Nope and The Shape of Water, used dynamic camera angles and moody lighting to amp up the scares. The mansion ground are covered in fog, giving the exterior shots an otherworldly vibe.
Special effects, like floats of corpses in the swimming pool and waterlogged ghouls, make this mansion one of horror’s great on-screen houses. Fans of the genre who make the pilgrimage will no doubt snap some Instagram photos on the mansion’s front steps or by the wrought iron gate.
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park
The harsh wilderness of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park provides a striking contrast to the Altadena mansion. Known for its striking rock formations and hiking trails, the park has a rich Hollywood history as a popular filming location for Westerns and sci-fi flicks.
In Night Swim, Vasquez Rocks is the site of a tense climactic encounter. The jagged terrain and Visual effects enhance the sequence, from swirling fog to CGI creatures emerging from the shadows. Vasquez Rocks has been home to many fictional thrills, from Star Trek to The Mandalorian. See where the Night Swim team worked their horror magic in this unique natural landscape.
The Los Angeles River
The Los Angeles River plays an important role in Night Swim as the site of a traumatic incident from main character Amy’s childhood. The river has served as an iconic filming location for chases and action sequences in films from Terminator 2 to Drive.
The stretch of river featured in Night Swim offers concrete tunnels, drainage pipes, and graffiti-covered walls that tap into horror aesthetic. Shooting took place at a remote section closed to the public, but fans can still easily access many areas along the river. Snap some photos of this gritty urban waterway and you might conjure memories of a certain disturbing scene.
Local Altadena Parks
Altadena offers several public parks that provided important Night Swim filming locations. These neighborhood greenspaces allowed the production to capture the ordinariness of the settings before supernatural events unfold.
Among the parks used is Farnsworth Park, with its classic children’s playground, basketball courts, and shaded picnic areas. Mother of God Park offers similar features like ballfields and tables, often bustling with families and students. When passing through Altadena, visit these parks where disturbing moments take place in Night Swim that hint of otherworldly forces below the surface.
Croft House Set
The film’s climax returns to the primary location of the Altadena mansion. However, a key sequence was filmed on a custom-built set replicating the mansion’s Croft House wing. This facsimile interior allowed the construction crew to flood the set and enable underwater filming.
The filmmakers filled this set with over 19,000 gallons of water. The custom build enabled them to execute complicated underwater shots while protecting the actual mansion location.
CGI embellishments finished the eerie sequence, with prosthetic effects helping create gruesome drowned corpses. While fans can tour the exterior of the main mansion, this flooded interior set no longer remains standing.
As this rundown shows, the Night Swim team selected compelling locations around Los Angeles and Altadena to bring their supernatural tale to life.
The film premieres on Jan 5, 2024. Check it out, then make the drive to soak in the atmosphere of these haunting shooting spots showcased on screen. From the stately Altadena mansion property to rock formations, rivers, and parks, fans can explore where those goosebumps and scares were captured.