A spellbinding feminist horror film tops new DVD releases for this week.
“Swallow”: Seemingly effervescent Hunter (the brilliant Haley Bennett) is swept out of working retail and into a comfortable life with a wealthy family via husband Richie (Austin Stowell). It quickly becomes evident that he and his boundary-free parents (Elizabeth Marvel and David Rasche) see her as less of a human being and more of a prop, while she’s largely stuck at home with domestic tasks and ennui.
So when mom Katherine gives Hunter a self-help book, “A Talent for Joy,” after Hunter becomes pregnant, Hunter reads a tip about doing something unexpected every day and turns to props of her own. It starts as a compulsion: She swallows a marble. Then onto a thumbtack, a battery, each new object compounding the risk.
Bennett is mesmerizing, her facial expressions so masterfully exposing the addiction cycle: the boredom, the initial compulsion, the fight against temptation,…