Movie Review: ‘Swallow’ Is Brilliant Film That Makes A Bold Statement

February 10, 2020

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:



Writer-director Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ Swallow is set to be released on March 6th. I had the opportunity to check it out a little early and I’d like to share my thoughts.

Haley Bennett stars as Hunter, a newly-wed woman desperate to be the perfect housewife. The soft-spoken woman makes sure she always looks beautiful, her home spotless, and her inlaws happy. After finding out that she is pregnant she begins to do something odd, eat things that aren’t meant to be eaten, marbles, tacks, batteries, things that are very dangerous. She’s clearly developed Pica, a mental illness. While her cravings for the inedible are front and center in the film, the truth is, deep down she does it to reclaim her power, her control.

I felt so sorry for Haley. Her husband and in-laws treat her badly like she is unworthy to be among them. They are less concerned about her than they are about the baby she is carrying like it’s their property and she’s just a host.

When her history comes to light my heart broke for her. Her life before marriage must have been so tough. I can’t imagine how she was treated by her family.

Swallow is a bold, beautiful film that will not only make you flinch but also gets under your skin and echoes in your head.

I feel that the film makes a bold statement about women and their loss of control in an attempt to please others. I think the film is a type of warning for us not to sacrifice ourselves, not to give away our power. We do that a lot don’t we? We swallow our pain and discomfort to please those around us, putting their happiness first. We neglect our needs to care for others. But there’s a line we don’t need to cross, Swallow brings that to light I believe.

The cinematography is beautiful. The visuals, every bit of them, are so crisp and clean. Props to Katelin Arizmendi.

Bennett is fantastic. Her portrayal of her disturbed character was flawless and perfectly consistent. And some of the things she actually had to put in her mouth, wow, I mean that’s dedication. All I can say to Bennett is bravo!

Director Carlo Mirabella-Davis made such a big statement so elegantly and accomplished so much but did so in such a subtle way. He made a film that stays swirling in your head for days. That’s the type of film I love.

Swallow is a brilliant film that everyone, especially women, needs to see. There’s no question, it is getting a solid 5 out of five.

Swallow opens in select theaters and debuts on Demand on March 6, 2020, from IFC Films. Go see it!

Learn more about Pica here. If you think you may have this eating disorder please seek professional help.





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