Especially when she starts swallowing things like marbles, pushpins, and batteries. Richie’s parents, Katherine (Elizabeth Marvel) and Michael (David Rasche) are not having any of this in their family. They hire a live-in nurse to watch Hunter at home when Richie has to be away. Hunter starts to feel as though she’s been taken captive in her own home and begins to wonder if she ever belonged there in the first place. Through her forced therapy visits, we begin to learn some things about Hunter that explain why she might be ingesting all these dangerous items.
Swallow is quietly riveting, spinning a Douglas Sirk idyllic facade on its head. It asks very important questions about women’s autonomy, especially during pregnancy, and what it’s like to feel imprisoned in your home and body. What is even more impressive about the film is that it is not only directed but also written by a man, Carlo Mirabella-Davis. While it’s not unusual for men to write and direct female-led stories, it isn’t always a good thing. However, Mirabella-Davis somehow perfectly captures a woman’s perspective on the twisted series of events that leads Hunter to where she lands by the end of the film.
“Swallow is quietly riveting, spinning a Douglas Sirk idyllic facade on its head.”
I can’t leave without mentioning how perfect the production and costume design is in this film, from Erin Magill and Liene Dobraja, respectively. They both encapsulate the facade of perfection in a place that’s emotionally dark and very lonely. Cinematographer Katelin Arizmendi conveys the hidden sadness in a perfect world excellently as well.
Swallow is honestly as close to perfect of a thriller as one can get, it has surprises around every corner, but they aren’t executed in a bombastic fashion. They sink in slowly, and by the end, you’re thoroughly invested in Hunter’s journey out of all the forms of confinement she’s faced in life. It’s truly an excellent film that I can’t wait for everyone to see.
"…by the end, you're thoroughly invested in Hunter's journey"