Pica is a condition wherein a person feels the compulsion to eat non-food substances, sometimes substances that are toxic or dangerous. There are numerous kinds of this disorder, some linked to things like mineral deficiencies. I am reviewing this movie—which isn’t really a Horror movie at all, though it did make the rounds on the Horror circuit, where it won rave reviews, and deservedly so—because I theorize the still-undiagnosed thing, the condition linked to the compulsion to consume blood that is experienced by sanguinarians, is closely linked to this particular kind of pica. No mineral or vitamin deficiency can explain the compulsion to swallow things like pushpins, though. That’s the kind of pica the heroine of this movie suffers from.
After marrying into a family of utterly unlikable and utterly bland rich Socs (reference to THE OUTSIDERS here), her pica sets her apart, and in an ironical way; it makes her something they are not and could never be: interesting. The debut effort from writer/director Carlo Mirabella-Davis, SWALLOW rocks a powerhouse performance from Haley Bennett (from works like THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN and, proving she’s no stranger to Horror, Joe Dante’s 2009 film THE HOLE; she also stars in THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME with future Batman Robert Pattinson and current Spider-Man Tom Holland).