Regarding its genre, the 2019 film Swallow serves as a psychological thriller. As its main character develops an obsession with consuming inedible and deadly items, there is an underlying theme of body horror as well.
In the 70s and 80s body horror movies relied on very graphic images and special effects to showcase terror, but now the trend is changing. In modern horror, atmospheric tension can arise from the human body even with psychological elements. Fans who appreciate SwallowThe approach to showcasing the self-destruction of a lonely woman can find many other films that work in similar veins.
Content Disclaimer: Mentions of violence and eating disorders.
ten Slither (2006) – Available on Prime Video
To glide is essentially a throwback to the grotesque classic body horror movies as it revolves around an alien parasite that infects a sleepy South Carolina town. The central character is Grant Grant, a wealthy businessman who shares an unequal relationship with his wife, Starla. Eventually, the parasite (using Grant as a host) falls in love with Starla and even takes care of her, arousing her suspicion.
Even if the magnitude and the threat in To glide are very different from SwallowThe emphasis on marriage and its disintegration is crucial in both films. Even in Swallow, protagonist Hunter Conrad develops his eccentric drinking habits after feeling isolated and estranged from her husband.
9 Owner (2020) – Available on Hulu
One of the most acclaimed horror films of 2020, Possessor takes place in a world where assassins can take control of the bodies of others to carry out their missions. By performing repeated punches like this, one of these assassins begins to detach from his own identity, which leads to chaos.
Possessor made an interesting watch for those who enjoyed Swallow mostly for how both films subverted the body horror genre, adding a New Age aspect to it. Psychological chills play a vital role in both films, overcoming the influence of violence and fear.
8 Hunger Point (2003) – Available on DirecTV
No hunger is an original lifetime TV movie that delves into the toxic notions of the “perfect female figure”. When a middle-aged woman wants her daughters to have slender bodies, she forces them to go on extreme diets. She tests their limits as one girl ends up having an eating disorder while the other falls into a web of self-harm.
In Swallow, Hunter’s condition is self-imposed, but the obsession and self-destruction the character goes through matches that of the mother and daughters in No hunger. Therefore, this underestimated lifetime production is thematically similar to Swallow.
7 Raw (2016) – Available on Tubi TV
A coming of age horror drama, Raw covers the descent to destruction of a young veterinarian student after a change in her eating habits. Even though the college student is portrayed as a dedicated vegetarian, the taste of meat changes her entire life as she develops a toxic fascination with the flesh.
The two Raw and Swallow basically cover similar concepts of food obsession. For Swallow‘s Hunter, an object like a marble acts as a trigger while Raw’s Justine triggers her addiction with a rabbit kidney. None of the movies offer straightforward answers and feature characters rooted in reality.
6 Taxidermy (2006) – Available on here TV
Taxidermy is a surreal version of the body horror genre with a hint of satire and socio-political commentary. The film deals with three generations of Hungarian men. One falls prey to his hallucinations and indulges in bestiality as his son’s aspirations to become a speed eater wreak havoc on his body. The last in a line is a taxidermist so obsessed with his art that his own body becomes a subject.
Dark comedy is definitely not an easy watch, but genre fans might have a good time. The recurring theme of obsession, eating and self-harm is also akin to the ideas behind a movie like Swallow.
5 Thinner (1996) – Available on Paramount +
One of the many films based on the books by Stephen King, Thinner talks about a lawyer who is cursed with weight loss. While the protagonist is elated at first, he must find a cure before he disappears.
ThinnerThe mix of horror and comedy makes for a grim adaptation of Stephen King. The premise also continues to act as a satire on weight loss and health fads. Ultimately, the moral is basically how dangerous too much of something can be. In Swallow, the situation can be contrasted with Hunter’s food trends. While the lead in Thinner struggling to preserve his body, Hunter is busy destroying his.
4 The Skin I Live In (2011) – Available on HBO Max
While body horror films have dealt with self-destructive obsessions, this classic Pedro Almodovar film focuses on how one can become obsessed with other people’s bodies. A clinical thriller, the storyline features an unstable plastic surgeon who uses a threatening woman as a lab rat. The goal of his experiment is to create indestructible human skin, a quest that affects both characters on deadly levels.
Just like Swallow, The skin i live in is a realistic take on the toxic fascination people can have with their bodies (whether theirs or others). In the first movie, Hunter knows her constant eating would hurt her, and in the same way, the latter’s Vera Cruz is well aware of how she is being used by the surgeon. Yet the two women find themselves trapped in their mental traps.
3 In My Skin (2018) – Available on Hulu
Esther is a woman with a seemingly perfect life on the surface. But that all changes with a minor leg injury. Fascinated by the blood on her own flesh, she engages in a spiral of self-harm. The physical and mental upheaval she is going through is both artistic and haunting.
This premise looks like Swallow except the personalities of their main characters. Fatal self-harm addiction is still commonplace and adds a disturbingly realistic twist to the body-centric subculture of horror and thrillers.
2 Manger Raoul (1982) – Available on Criterion Channel
In the center of Eat RaoulThe story of s is that of a middle-aged couple who hatch a ploy to attract swingers and kill them. The couple take money from their victims while their acquaintance Raoul gets rid of the bodies. Problems ensue when Raoul sells the bodies to dog food companies. What follows is a downward spiral of adultery, violence and cannibalism.
Fans of Swallow would have some similar elements to marvel at, including an unstable marriage and unconventional eating practices. For Swallowmain character, consuming inedible items doesn’t seem like a big deal. A similar case arises in the third act of the “delicious” cannibalistic movie when eating human flesh becomes quite normal for the couple’s guests.
1 Ravening (2019) – Available on MovieSaints
Friends, a.k.a Voracious, is an Indian film in the Assamese language that portrays an unconventional romance with eating habits as the main plot point. Just like Raw, the film is about a vegetarian doctor who shares a relationship with a young student fascinated by meat eating habits in different cultures. Even though their bond is not sexual, their love is rooted in eating meat together.
It’s fascinating to see how the vegetarian evolves into a flesh-thirsty lover, turning romance into obsession. Voraciousthe unique perspective of on human relations and obsession is sure to impress those who enjoyed Swallow.
NEXT: 10 Movies That Explore The World Of Body Horror
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