One wrong move or turn, one fork in the road, a path not tread or wandered -- we've got a million ways to say we're all one fuck up away from spinning totally out of control, and The Swerve sits it right there plainly in its title. On the outside, the up and front side, Holly (Azura Skye) has a life to be admired -- she's a teacher with a good looking husband and a couple of solid young boys. But almost immediately our feelers feel that something's wrong -- spindly like a straw doll with eyes so sunken they're coming out the other side she's the picture of mental exhaustion.
Get to know her family for a minute and you'll get why. The good looking husband's flirting and/or more with every woman that walks into the cruddy little supermarket he manages and can't seem to bring himself home from, and her kids are ungrateful little shits who resemble the morning after pill with legs the longer you look at them. It's not clear which came first though -- is Holly just broken by the terrible people around her of is she herself the poison that's seeped into every crumb of existence?
It all comes to a head as the film's title comes true, both metaphorically and really quite literally - never has a film had so much fun taunting you with close-ups of steering wheels, and the tension pays off as Holly's dead-eyed sleepwalking bleeds into her every day. From there's it's just a tumble of fabric catching up with the threads that've been yanked -- her knuckles, red and raw, tell the story her forthright state of mind refuses to.
The Swerve is a slow-burn that earns its place at the table fully on the beautifully broken shoulders of Azura Skye, an actress who should be given good and proper roles to dig around in like this more often -- I've loved what she's capable of ever since her lopsided smile spelled doom on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and she brings that off-kilter exhausted wrongness all over this flick. Add in the great Ashley Bell in a small but precise turn her unbearably aggressive sister and The Swerve wrings horrible pathos out from its claustrophobic vise.