'Swallow': The story behind this bonkers body horror movie that's terrifying Twitter during the coronavirus pandemic

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While stuck inside during the already-unnerving coronavirus pandemic, quarantined movie fans are finding another source of tension courtesy of the buzzy psychological thriller, Swallow. Since its VOD premiere on March 6, writer/director Carlo Mirabella-Davis’s narrative feature debut has been terrifying Twitter with its all-too-authentic depiction of pica, an eating disorder that compels individuals to consume non-nutritional objects — think keys, rings and dirt. The film focuses on a young woman named Hunter Conrad (Haley Bennett), who leads a seemingly privileged life as the bride of a second-generation Wall Street tycoon (Austin Stowell). But her new family regards her with barely-veiled contempt, exacerbating personal demons stemming from a dark secret in her past. During the long, lonely days she spends in their picturesque suburban house perched above the Hudson River, Hunter finds herself so starved of connection that she begins to ingest pieces of her daily life. Starting with small objects — a marble here and a thumbtack there — she gradually works her way up to consuming more dangerous items, including a battery and a mini-screwdriver. 

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Hunter (Haley Bennett) is compelled to eat ordinary objects in the psychological thriller, Swallow. (Photo courtesy of IFC Films.)

With its potent mixture of body horror and psychological tension, Swallow is feeding viewers’ voracious appetite for fresh streaming content, and they’ve been sharing those feelings on social media.