Hunter, a newly pregnant housewife, finds herself increasingly compelled to consume dangerous objects. As her husband and his family tighten their control over her life, she must confront the dark secret behind her new obsession.
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16 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Haley Bennett ... Hunter
Austin Stowell ... Richie Conrad
Denis O'Hare ... Erwin
Elizabeth Marvel ... Katherine Conrad
David Rasche ... Michael Conrad
Luna Lauren Velez ... Lucy (as Luna Velez)
Zabryna Guevara ... Alice
Laith Nakli ... Luay
Babak Tafti ... Aaron
Nicole Kang ... Bev
Olivia Perez ... Nim
Kristi Kirk ... Lillian
Alyssa Bresnahan ... Jill
Maya Days ... Dr. Santos (as Laura Dias)
Elise Santora ... Dr. Reyes
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Storyline

Against the backdrop of insufferable domestic ennui, the soft-spoken former saleswoman and newlywed housewife, Hunter, is struggling to stretch the bars of her gilded cage, a lavish and immaculate modernist villa in New York, even though she seems to have it all. But, more and more, as sad Hunter tries, unsuccessfully, to meet her controlling family's expectations, compliance turns into submission, obedience transforms into obsession, and pica, a compulsive eating disorder, starts to take over. Now, swallowing non-nutritive objects and engaging in increasingly impossible tasks becomes Hunter's dangerous newfound addiction, and there's no telling how far she'll go to maintain a false and fleeting sense of power. Who can save Hunter from herself? Written by Nick Riganas

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality and disturbing behavior | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Swallowing harmful objects is known as a form of "Pica" See more »

Quotes

Katherine Conrad: Are you happy, or are you pretending to be happy?
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Connections

Featured in Chris Stuckmann Movie Reviews: Swallow (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Cali Solo
Written and Performed by Mark Geary
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User Reviews

 
Interesting movie that fails to truly impact the viewer
11 January 2021 | by RMurray847See all my reviews

As the title and cover image suggest, this film is about a young woman with the unusual psychological condition of pica, which compels her to swallow non-food items, including some pretty dangerous stuff. That makes the movie immediately interesting, but unfortunately, the pica feels more like a hook to make us watch a more conventional movie about a "young housewife" whose domestic situation is dreadful and how she reacts to it.

Hunter (played very well by Hayley Atwell...best thing about the film) is recently married and lives in a BEAUTIFUL house along the Hudson River. Her handsome husband works in the city, and it busy and successful and only pays sporadic attention to her. He's affectionate at times, distant at others times and in yet other times, he is alarmingly nasty to his bride. (I have no idea how these two could ever have met. I can't envision what circles she moved in that overlapped with his...unless he specifically went looking for a "nice, slightly dim girl" to take care of his house and give him children without complaint.) And to make her even more miserable, she has very condescending, opinionated in-laws. (And her own family may not have been great either.) All-in-all, her existence is unhappy.

So she copes by giving in to her compulsion. So it's a domestic drama colliding with a movie about pica. And it doesn't really work. If it's a domestic drama, the characters in her circle are too one-dimensional and unlikeable to really be believable. Hunter is sympathetic (to a degree...she is sometimes SO lackluster as to be borderline boring as a character) and everyone around her is a cardboard villain. If it's a move about pica, we really never learn much about it. She has a terrible therapist and clearly doesn't get the help she needs. The film nicely shows us how her need to swallow dangerous objects is a deep compulsion and how awfully it impacts her physically (a couple of moments are certainly cringe-worthy) but we get no true insights into this disease.

I guess, in the end, I would say SWALLOW strained credulity just a little too much. Not because of the course of her disease...I assume it does cause self-destructive behavior like we're shown, but because of the poorly developed secondary characters. They don't behave like fully flesh-out people, but rather like caricatures. And these caricatures don't always behave in convincing ways. Certainly, we root for Hunter to "win" against the forces aligned against her...but I wouldn't say I was invested in the outcome. It's an interesting movie, but one I only recommend to viewers looking for something different and ambitious (and don't mind seeing that ambition come up short).


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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

5 June 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Swallow See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$33,419

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$274,259
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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (as Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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