Um5fpYnM eed9d

“Swallow” Centers A Terrifying Loss Of Control

by BUST Magazine

Written and directed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis
Out March 6       

Everything about Hunter’s (Haley Bennett) life seems immaculate, from her cashmere turtlenecks to her stunning home overlooking the Hudson River. But the truth is, despite all that upper-crust glamour and her marriage to a wealthy businessman (Austin Stowell), she feels trapped—stuck in a large, sterile house with access to very few people aside from her husband and condescending in-laws (David Rasche and Elizabeth Marvel). Her sense of isolation only grows when she discovers she’s pregnant. In an attempt to regain some control, Hunter develops pica, an eating disorder characterized by consuming inedible items. First, it’s a marble; then, a thumbtack; then, a battery—her world becomes smaller as her disorder takes over.  

Both the heart and horror of Swallow lie in Bennett’s performance and in the stunning, terrifying shots of the objects Hunter consumes. The film doesn’t rely on classic scare tactics as much as on anticipation and restlessness; at times, just the mere image of something sharp is enough to inspire queasiness. Though the feminist themes at Swallow’s center—the stifling nature of being a housewife, the struggle for control over one’s life and body—would benefit from a subtler touch, the film’s arresting details are engrossing enough to satisfy any fan of psychological thrillers. (3/5)

By Lydia Wang

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

More from BUST

“The Lodge” Leaves the Audience in Frozen Fear

In “The Assistant,” The Horror Is In The Details

“Gretel and Hansel” Star Sophia Lillis Talks Hollywood, Feminism, And Playing Kickass Characters: BUST Interview

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.