Here we have a German horror film, set in Prague, featuring actors from England, Scotland, Australia, Germany, America and the Czech Republic. When their exams come to an end, a group of students decide to celebrate by breaking into a swimming pool complex and partying through the night. And before you can say "where have I seen all this before?", a psycho killer with a mask, a machete, and a flimsy motive, goes around killing the horny 'teenagers' in various creative ways.
The close resemblance to an 80s slasher film is not necessarily a bad thing. The audience's familiarity with the classic 'formula' can give a film maker something to play with, and there are many nods to other slasher movies. The masked killer (Friday 13th, Halloween, Scream); the machete (Friday 13th); a watery jump scare (Friday 13th); "I'll be right back!" (Scream); "Greg - I know what you did last summer." and so on. It all seems a little too much of a coincidence to be accidental.
The production values are not bad. The music is loud and orchestral, but unfortunately the loudness meant I was sometimes grabbing for the volume control rather than concentrating on the action. And apart from one slightly distracting, wooden performance, the acting on the whole is adequate.
The swimming pool location gives an interesting setting, and allows for some creative kill sequences. (The machete in the water slide is particularly memorable!) There were several scenes where tension is built up and maintained very well. (The locker room scene, the underwater tunnel and the ventilation shaft all come to mind.) Though for a slasher film, there is surprisingly little gore on show, and little nudity.
The 'knowingness' of the film does not work as well as in some others, like Scream, and it does stick to the standard slasher formula a little too long. But when it does allow itself to be inventive, it does it well. I was entertained watching The Pool. It's not especially memorable or special, but it's not terrible either. 2.5/5