Swallow ★★★½

Quickie Review 
Have you ever watched a movie that physically made you squirm as you’re watching it? Well, that’s what happened to me when I watched Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ psychological drama-thriller that sees Haley Bennett as Hunter Conrad, a newly pregnant housewife that finds herself compelled to consume inedible objects, some more dangerous than others. She swallows tiny objects that may prove life-threatening during her pregnancy like a jack, a marble, a safety pin and a push pin and it puts her health and pregnancy at risk. Now, as her husband Richie (Austin Stowell) and his family (Elizabeth Marvel & David Rasche) attempt to tighten their control over her life, Hunter goes on a journey to find out the source of this new obsession of hers and confront it in order to save herself. Apparently, there’s a real life name for swallowing harmful objects. It’s called “pica” and the definition describes it as “a psychological disorder characterized by an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritive” and there’s several forms of it such as pagophagia (ice), trichophagia (hair), xylophagia (paper), acuphagia (sharp objects), mucophagia (mucus), metallophagia (metal), lithophagia (stones), geophagia (soil), hyalophagia (glass), coprophagia (feces) and emetophagia (vomit), among others. The act of swallowing inedible objects is rooted in sort of trauma for our lead character and it’s a good journey to go on, even if it’s slow and sometimes smug and can make you physically cringe and squirm (hence the 3 1/2 star rating). The film also has a pleasing color palette that compliments the cinematography and direction and Bennett is engaging in her performance as the troubled mother-to-be. Swallow can have you writhing around as you watch certain moments and can be quite slow and smug at times but it’s still an engaging and aesthetically pleasing psychological drama-thriller worth a look but only for those who don’t physically recoil in disgust at inedible objects being swallowed by a human being.

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