Dominique Fishback as Dre on Amazon Prime Video's Swarm

Swarm Review: A Horrific Dream You Soon Won’t Forget

The new Prime Video series features a killer lead performance.

On Instagram alone, Beyoncé has more than 300 million followers. She’s a legendary artist and has cemented herself as one of the greatest performers of all time. Her show-stopping talent has caused her fans to dub her Queen Bey. Her BeyHive is willing to come to her aid against anyone that would stand against her in online spaces. Swarm, Prime Video’s new mini-series from co-creators Janine Nabers (Watchmen) and Donald Glover (Atlanta), examines what would happen if the Beyhive’s counterattacks weren’t just stings from a comment section or Tweet but literal stabs to the chest. 

Those looking for profound commentary from Swarm on the fan/celebrity dynamic may leave the seven episodes feeling disappointed. However, what one can expect is a compelling character piece that’s unsettling, dreamlike, and anchored by a magnetic leading performance from Dominique Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah). 

Fishback stars as Dre. She’s a young woman who is a super fan of the talented pop star Ni’Jah. “She is not like everybody else. She knows what we’re thinking, and she gives it a name. She’s a goddess,” she says of the singer in episode one. After experiencing a traumatic loss, Dre begins a dark journey to see Ni’Jah in concert. A spree of murder begins as she targets anyone who disrespects the singer along the way. 

The central force making Dre work as a character is Dominique Fishback. This series gives her everything but the kitchen sink to play with as far as a range of emotions. She devours each minute on screen just as intensely as Dre seems to devour snacks throughout the series. 


Why exactly does Dre devour sweets? It’s never truly explained, but sometimes characters that intrigue you are ones you don’t know every detail about. With Dre, the creative team and Fishback create a delicate dance between giving you enough of her backstory that’s enough to keep you transfixed by the character but not so much as to numb Dre’s horrific murders. 

The strange elements give the series a kind of loose dreamlike quality. For example, in one episode Dre meets a supporting character who owns a pet skunk. In the background of his apartment, you can see a painting of a skunk in a dress. Those familiar with “Alligator Man” and the unique characters and scenarios in co-creator Donald Glover’s Atlanta will feel right at home with Swarm

The series includes a cast of impressive supporting performers including Kiersey Clemons, Paris Jackson, Damson Idris, and Billie Eilish. The key supporting characters in Swarm are each interesting in their own right, each bringing out a different side of Dre, thus aiding Fishback in her multi-dimensional performance. 

Prime Video’s Swarm purposefully manages to both reel you in as a viewer and keep you at a distance in regards Dre. This, combined with its bursts of unique characters and elements, gives it a floaty, dreamlike quality across its seven episodes. Fortunately, with an incredible lead performance from Dominique Fishback and shocking acts of violence, Prime Video’s Swarm is like a dream you’ll wake up from, but soon won’t forget. 


Swarm is now available for streaming on Prime Video.