Swallow (VOD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Director: Carlo Mirabella-Davis
Distributor: Cinéart
Duration: 94 minutes

Swallow (VOD) – Movie Review

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Good: Concept, Story, Acting
Bad: First half feels as if it's going nowhere
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(2 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Arguably, Swallow would be an ideal name for a porn parody of the movie Red Sparrow, but it is actually something you wouldn’t immediately expect. Swallow shows us the life of a person living with the Pica disorder, which revolves around an urge to eat objects that are considered inedible. While we won’t completely quote the Wikipedia page on what this entails, this is considered an emotional disorder that often has underlying reasons, such as parental neglect, pregnancy, a disorganized family structure, and many others. We just took a few from the list which are very relevant for Swallow, and also to better highlight what is going on in the movie.

Swallow initially seems to have little story value at all. We get to meet Hunter (Haley Bennet), who is married to Richie (Austin Stowell). The couple seems to be doing well for themselves, as Hunter’s rich in-laws just bought them a house, and Richie got himself a big promotion. Nonetheless, it’s clear that Hunter agrees to whatever Richie wants and we notice this too when she’s pregnant and only Richie seems to be properly celebrating. Hunter is supposed to be the trophy wife that pleases her husband and that’s all there is to it. The plot starts to thicken when she reads a self-help book that challenges her to do new items. This results in her starting to eat items that are pretty much considered inedible, such as a marble, a thumbtack, and so on. She hides her newly found eating habits from her picture-perfect family, but it’s clear that something bad will certainly ensue.

The flow of the movie is somewhat slow at first, slowly building up to things that are more important than the disorder itself. You’ll slowly see Hunter succumb to her newly found desires, only to discover what’s at the base of all of this. The movie classifies itself as drama, horror, and thriller, and truth be told this is mostly a drama movie, with a few graphical scenes showing the harmful effects of Pica. You’ll need to get into watching this film, but once you get over the somewhat awkward feeling you get from viewing this, it becomes a very interesting feature to watch until the credits start rolling.

Acting performances pretty much rely solely on Haley Bennet. While her co-star, Austin Stowell, who plays her husband and Elizabeth Marvel and David Rasche, who play the in-laws, create the necessary contrast, this movie would be nothing without Bennet’s superb acting. You truly start to despise Stowell, Marvel and Rasche’s characters as the movie drags on, and you gain a lot of sympathy for Hunter’s Pica disorder as the movie progresses. There are a few other supporting roles that have a certain meaning and they are also commendably handled.

As we viewed the VOD version, we are unaware of any special features on a DVD or Blu-ray version of Swallow. While it would be nice to learn a bit more about the disorder, or what shaped this movie in particular, we can only imagine what a physical copy would include. The subject matter is interesting, albeit not exactly something for those who are weak of stomach.


Swallow first seems as if it has no purpose or goal, which surprisingly it does. The movie may start off bombarding the viewer with some nasty thoughts, or even summon a few awkward and uneasy feelings, it does manage to portray an interesting picture and a fairly emotional story. The movie is an intriguing drama that brings a fairly unknown disorder into the limelight.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Swallow (VOD) - Movie Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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