Swallow / Synopsis + Complete Story - Th1 2020

Did you know that the human mind can be a labyrinth of secrets and desires?

Just like the intricate patterns of a crow's flight, our thoughts can take unexpected turns, leading us down dark and mysterious paths.

In the psychological thriller film, Swallow, director Carlo Mirabella-Davis invites us to delve into the enigmatic world of Hunter Conrad, a young woman whose seemingly perfect life takes a chilling twist.

As we follow her journey, we are confronted with the complexities of the human psyche and the lengths one can go to find control and liberation.

Brace yourself for a gripping exploration of the mind, as we unravel the captivating story behind Swallow.


In "Swallow," Hunter Conrad, a young woman from a lower-working-class family, marries Richie Conrad, a wealthy man set to become the CEO of his father's corporation. Despite the luxurious lifestyle, Hunter feels emotionally stifled and isolated in her marriage.

One day, while alone at home, she develops the impulse to eat a marble, finding it exhilarating.

This leads her to consume other inedible objects around the house.

During a routine ultrasound, an anomaly is discovered in Hunter's abdomen, and she undergoes emergency surgery to remove the objects trapped in her intestine. She is diagnosed with pica, a psychological disorder.

Richie's parents arrange for her to see a psychiatrist, and she begins therapy sessions.

Richie hires Luay, a family friend, to monitor Hunter. Initially hostile, Hunter eventually opens up to Luay about her troubled past and her desire to meet her biological father. However, she overhears Richie bribing her psychiatrist for information, causing her to panic and swallow a miniature screwdriver.

Luay saves her and calls for help.

Hunter's in-laws have her committed to a psychiatric hospital until she delivers the baby, threatening divorce. Luay allows her to escape into the woods. Hunter hitchhikes to a motel and calls Richie, explaining that she rushed into their marriage and pregnancy to please him.

When he insults her, she smashes her phone and spends the night watching TV and eating soil.

The next day, Hunter visits her biological father, William Erwin, revealing her true identity. They have an emotional conversation, where William expresses shame for his past actions. Hunter questions if she is like him, to which he denies.

With closure, Hunter visits a clinic and takes medication to induce an abortion. She experiences the abortion in a public restroom while eating lunch.

A Life of Luxury

Hunter Conrad, a young woman from a lower-working-class family, has recently married Richie Conrad, a man from a wealthy family who is set to take over as CEO of his father's Manhattan corporation. This affords Hunter the ability to stay at home in the couple's lavish upstate New York home.

Despite this, Hunter finds herself emotionally stifled and isolated in both her marriage and domestic life, while Richie is distant and inconsiderate toward her.

A Dinner Interrupted

At a dinner with Richie's parents to congratulate the young couple on their pregnancy, Hunter is enticed to tell a story, only to be interrupted by her father-in-law zoning out and asking Richie about business.

This moment highlights the lack of attention and consideration Hunter receives from her husband and his family.

The Forbidden Cravings

One day while home alone, Hunter develops the impulse to eat a marble. She finds it exhilarating and begins to consume other inedible objects around the house, including thumbtacks, metal figurines, and batteries.

This dangerous compulsion becomes an escape for Hunter, a way to regain control over her own life.

A Shocking Discovery

Hunter becomes pregnant and the sonogram technician notices an anomaly in her abdomen during the routine ultrasound. She is rushed in for emergency surgery to remove a variety of objects trapped in her intestine.

Hunter is diagnosed with pica, a psychological disorder that compels individuals to eat inedible objects.

This revelation adds a layer of complexity to Hunter's struggle, as she battles not only her emotional isolation but also her own mind.

A Stranger's Gaze

Richie's parents, Katherine and Michael, arrange for Hunter to see a psychiatrist in the city. During her therapy sessions, Hunter says she swallows the objects because she likes the feel of their textures in her mouth.

However, her mental health journey takes an unexpected turn when Richie hires Luay, a family friend and immigrant from Syria, to monitor Hunter while he is at work.

An Unlikely Ally

Hunter, feeling smothered, is initially hostile toward Luay, who dismisses her mental illness as resulting from her privileged life. In therapy, she eventually reveals she was not raised by her biological father and has never met him, though she knows his name and keeps a picture of him.

She was conceived as a result of her mother's rape at the hands of a strange man she had met in a bar.

The rapist served time in prison for the crime.

This revelation deepens Hunter's search for identity and connection.

Betrayal and Escape

One afternoon, Hunter overhears Richie speaking with her psychiatrist on the phone, and realizes Richie has bribed the doctor to tell him what was discussed in Hunter's therapy sessions. This sends Hunter into a panic, and she swallows a miniature screwdriver. Luay finds her choking violently, and calls 9-1-1. After undergoing surgery to remove the screwdriver, Michael and Katherine arrange to have Hunter committed to a psychiatric hospital for the next seven months until she delivers the baby, threatening that Richie will divorce her.

A Desperate Flight

Luay, who has warmed to Hunter, allows her to flee into the woods, and stages it to appear as though she had escaped. Hunter hitchhikes to a motel and calls Richie, who begs her to return. She explains she had rushed into their marriage and pregnancy to make him happy.

When she refuses to come back, he chastises and insults her.

Hunter smashes her cell phone and spends the rest of the night watching television and eating soil from outside.

Seeking Closure

The next day, Hunter hitchhikes to the home of her biological father, William Erwin. At William's house, he is celebrating his birthday with family and friends. He and his wife Lucy assume Hunter is the parent of one of their daughter's friends, but she privately reveals her true identity to William.

During an emotional conversation, William professes his shame for raping Hunter's mother.

Hunter asks him if he is ashamed of her and whether she is like him, which he denies.

A Painful Decision

Having obtained closure, Hunter visits a clinic and is prescribed medication to induce an abortion. She takes the pills while eating lunch in a food court and experiences the abortion in a public restroom.

This final act represents Hunter's ultimate reclaiming of her own body and autonomy.

Discussion topics

  • 1) How would you summarize the story of "Swallow" and what do you think are its main themes or ideas?
  • 2) In what ways does "Swallow" challenge traditional gender roles and societal expectations? How does this contribute to the overall message of the film?
  • 3) How does the film explore the concept of control and autonomy? Do you think Hunter's actions are a form of rebellion or self-destruction?
  • 4) How does the setting of a wealthy suburban home contribute to the story? What commentary, if any, do you think the film is making about privilege and societal pressures?
  • 5) "Swallow" is often categorized as a psychological thriller. How does it utilize suspense and tension to engage the audience? How does it compare to other films in the genre?
  • 6) The film touches on themes of mental health and trauma. How does it portray these issues, and do you think it handles them responsibly and accurately?
  • 7) How does the use of visual symbolism, such as the objects Hunter swallows, enhance the storytelling and deepen our understanding of her character?
  • 8) "Swallow" has been praised for its cinematography and visual style. How do the visuals contribute to the overall atmosphere and mood of the film?
  • 9) The film explores the concept of conformity and the pressure to fit into societal norms. How does this theme resonate with you personally, and do you think it is relevant in today's society?
  • 10) How does the relationship between Hunter and Richie evolve throughout the film? What do you think the film is saying about love, support, and acceptance?
  • 11) "Swallow" has been described as a feminist film. In what ways does it challenge traditional gender roles and empower its female characters?
  • 12) How does the film address the topic of control over one's own body? Do you think it successfully conveys the importance of bodily autonomy?
  • 13) The ending of "Swallow" is open to interpretation. What do you think happens to Hunter after the events of the film? How does this ambiguity contribute to the overall impact of the story?
  • 14) How does "Swallow" explore the concept of identity and self-discovery? Do you think Hunter's journey is relatable or unique to her character?
  • 15) What do you think the film is trying to say about the pressures and expectations placed on women in society? How does it challenge or reinforce these notions?
  • I have imagined continuations for 'Swallow'. If you are interested in knowing what will happen, check the link below or in the sidebar.

    Final reflections and implications

    So, you've just finished watching the movie Swallow, huh? Well, buckle up because we're about to dive into the depths of this psychological thriller and unravel its intriguing story.

    From the very beginning, we are introduced to Hunter Conrad, played brilliantly by Haley Bennett. She seems to have it all – a loving husband, Richie (Austin Stowell), a beautiful home, and a seemingly perfect life. But as the movie progresses, we quickly realize that there's more to Hunter than meets the eye.

    Hunter suffers from a condition called pica, which compels her to swallow inedible objects. At first, it seems like a bizarre habit, but as the story unfolds, we come to understand that it's her way of gaining control over her life. In a world where she feels trapped and suffocated, swallowing objects becomes her escape, her rebellion against the expectations placed upon her.

    As we delve deeper into Hunter's psyche, we witness the dark secrets that lie beneath her seemingly idyllic existence. Elizabeth Marvel portrays Katherine Conrad, Hunter's controlling mother-in-law, who adds another layer of complexity to the story. Katherine's presence looms over Hunter, suffocating her even further and pushing her to the edge.

    But it's not just the performances that make Swallow a captivating watch. The cinematography and direction by Carlo Mirabella-Davis create a sense of unease and tension throughout the film. Every shot is meticulously crafted, drawing us further into Hunter's world and making us question our own perceptions of reality.

    As the movie reaches its climax, we are left with a myriad of emotions and questions. What does it truly mean to be free? Can we ever escape the expectations and constraints placed upon us by society? Swallow forces us to confront these uncomfortable truths and challenges us to examine our own lives.

    In the end, Swallow is not just a movie about a woman with a strange habit. It's a thought-provoking exploration of identity, control, and the lengths we go to find our own sense of liberation. It leaves us pondering the complexities of the human mind and the power of our own desires.

    So, dear reader, as you reflect on the story of Swallow, I leave you with this: What would you be willing to swallow to break free from the chains that bind you?

    SWALLOW Official Trailer (2020) Haley Bennett, Thriller Movie

    Tip: Turn on the caption button if you need it. Choose 'automatic translation' in the settings button if you are not familiar with the english language. You may need to click on the language of the video first before your favorite language becomes available for translation.

    Maybe you just want to understand the story and ending:

    Swallow explained / understanding the ending and story - TH1 2020

    If you are looking for a different ending, this is the article for you:

    Swallow / alternative ending - TH1 2020

    Or maybe you haven't watched it and are trying to figure out if the movie is for you:

    Unraveling the secrets, a woman's descent into darkness - TH1 2020

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