BHFF 2019 review: ‘The Swerve’ is striking and complex.

The Swerve

East Coast Premiere
USA | 2019 | 95 Min | Dir. Dean Kapsalis

High school English teacher Holly (Azura Skye) has always taken the stress and thanklessness of motherhood in stride, but a dark secret weighs heavily on her. The sudden appearance of a mouse and a betrayal by her self-absorbed husband send her spiraling down into catastrophe as she wreaks total havoc on her life. THE SWERVE is an epic, tenacious showcase for Skye, who shreds through the screen flailing for a lifeline in director Dean Kapsalis emotionally crushing feature debut. —Joseph Hernandez

This was the film that punched me in the gut at this year’s Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. The Swerve is a build-up of agony. Long-suffering in silence. Pasted on smiles. This film is essentially how it often feels to be a mother. Dean Kapsalis has given us a truly gutwrenching character in Holly. Azura Skye is simply devastating in this role. The quiet anguish is palpable. As a mother of two toddlers, I can attest to the isolation and loneliness of living for other people. The despair that can come with a mother’s inherent guilt. This story goes beyond the normal realm. Betrayed by a selfish family, Holly just wants to be acknowledged. As her behavior escalates we wonder where the lines actually blur. Therein lies the genius of this script. The ending is so powerful is was physically painful to watch. The Swerve is an eye-opening and unique film. It will stick with me longer than it should.

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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