The Scariest Things Podcast Extra: An Interview with Swallowed Director Carter Smith

Scary DVDs! Woo!
Carter Smith, director of Swallowed. Mark Patton and Cooper Koch.

Carter Smith joins the Scariest Things to talk about his new film, Swallowed, a thrilling body horror shocker with queer themes that took the Overlook Film Festival by storm. Get the behind-the-scenes input on this independently filmed labor of love.

You can check out our ★★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ review HERE.

In 2008, Smith was plucked out of near obscurity by Dreamworks to direct what would become a modern classic survival horror feature, The Ruins. That was a multi-million dollar effort with an international film shoot, with massive sets and big-budget effects. Fast forward to 2014, and Carter Smith is back with the queer-themed drug-run-gone-wrong body horror film, Swallowed. In contrast to the multi-million dollar international feature that was The Ruins, Swallowed is a triumph of independent film production. It is curiously the opposite path that many directors take, in that the blockbuster came first, and the indie came second.

It is a film that almost by necessity was a self-funded grassroots effort that, given the audacity of the themes and the execution. It allowed Smith to take a lot of risks with the plot and themes which paid off brilliantly. A major studio may have rounded off the edges that make this movie as potent as it is. This is a proudly Queer horror film, written and directed by a proudly gay director, and handles the sexuality in the film in a very brazen but sophisticated and multi-tiered way. Apropos that it got its premiere at the beginning of Pride Month, and it leaps to the forefront of LGBT horror. In celebration of Pride Month, we have updated our dead list of the best in queer horror, and have now included Swallowed on the list.

But the film is much more than that. At an event when we also saw David Cronenberg’s latest Crimes of the Future was showing, Swallowed’s body horror was much more effective. Be warned, this is not a film for the squeamish, but for those of you who have a strong stomach, you will revel in the proceedings. There is a very high yuck factor involved.

It’s a highly personal film and Carter, a self-professed shy man, opens up to discuss this remarkable achievement, peeling back what it meant to do this film and how he did it, and what it meant to him. The film is making its way through the film festival circuit, and of course, it is best seen in a theater filled with horror fans who can react en masse.

Congratulations, Carter, on getting your film released, and we wish it all the success in the world!

Eric Li, Mike Campbell, and Carter Smith at the Overlook Film Festival.

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