For causes too complicated to delve into right here, horror as a style has proved an adaptable car for marginalised teams to discover the tensions between mainstream society and its discontents. So there was a wave of female-centric horror movies made by ladies, a renaissance in horror specializing in race because of Jordan Peele and others, and every kind of scary movies addressing ethnic identification by administrators far and broad.
Swallowed, a really low-budget sci-fi/physique horror with an out-and-proud homosexual angle, could immediate viewers to surprise why there aren’t extra queer-themed horror flicks. The Starvation (1983) and Ginger Snaps (2000) spring to thoughts, but it surely appears as if the pickings are distinctly slimmer than in different areas.
On condition that novelty, it could be nice if Swallowed might be really helpful with extra enthusiasm. Alas, whereas there are a couple of high-quality parts, comparable to Cooper Koch’s lead efficiency, the script by director Carter Smith is simply too undernourished, in order that after a robust opening act, the movie loses momentum. The setup establishes that Koch’s Ben, a comely younger chap relaxed along with his homosexual identification, is planning to go away the small Maine city the place he has lived for years and search his fortune in Los Angeles by pursuing a profession in homosexual porn. On his final night time, he events along with his dearest pal, Dom (Jose Colon), a straight man who loves Ben in a profoundly platonic manner (a lot to the chagrin of Ben, who has clearly at all times been in love with him).
However Dom is a additionally little bit of a screw-up and, by way of a mixture of poor judgment and timing, he and Ben find yourself being coerced by Alice (Jena Malone), a gun-toting exhausting lady, into swallowing some dodgy-looking parcels that they assume are parts of heroin or cocaine inside condoms, for smuggling functions. Seems that the little slug-like thingies the boys swallow should not standard medicine however dwelling bugs which have aphrodisiac properties if harvested appropriately, however which trigger grave hurt in the event that they hatch whereas contained in the couriers’ our bodies. All of it results in some icky sequences the place Dom and Ben both attempt to poop out the bugs or fish them out of one another’s orifices with greased-up fingers.
Smith is certainly on to one thing along with his exploration of sadistic energy dynamics and unrequited need. However the place a viewer may anticipate a couple of extra layers of symbolism and subtext to counterpoint the movie, it turns on the market’s probably not something right here aside from a juvenile need to shock and scandalise.