SWALLOW (2019): The Things I Liked…

Swallow (2019), Haley Bennett, IFC Films

Swallow, the story of Hunter, a housewife who finds herself more and more compelled to swallow dangerous objects (a psychological condition named pica) is a movie that’s well acted, particularly by its lead Hayley Bennett.

I wanted to see this one to find out the cause of Hunter’s far from healthy compulsion. The good news is that writer/director Carlo Mirabella-Davis’s film does offer some explanation. Nevertheless, for me, the way the story is told/edited made Swallow seem incomplete somehow.  

As the movie played, I kept thinking ‘something’s definitely missing here.’ I cant say that I’m not sure that ‘psychological thriller’ is the right categorisation. Psychological? Yes. Thrilling? Not quite. Also, I didn’t feel as though Swallow dived in deeply enough in some areas. Whether it be a specific character or aspects of the story. It seemed as though there was a rush to wrap things up at the end, whether it fully made sense or not. For example, I really can’t say that I was shown enough for me to buy the final actions of the live-in nurse. 

Swallow is a body horror film that definitely gets super gross and uncomfortable at times – and not always because of what it shows you but because of what it forces you to imagine. Particularly if for you (and likely every mentally well human), you’re generally grateful for how well your insides work. 

Besides Bennett’s performance, what I enjoyed most is the general cinematography. Whether it be the beauty of the main marital home and the nature that surrounds it or the colours, plus Hunter’s stylish attire.

I can’t deny that at the start of Swallow I found myself frustrated by Hunter. Her repression seemed to fit that of women in the 1940s and 50s. Luckily for me though, compassion eventually kicked in when it became clear she was suffering mentally and otherwise.

Swallow is one you watch if you’re especially curious. It may be just the kind of film you didn’t know you needed. Admittedly, for me, it wasn’t quite that.

Happy Film Loving 


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