Hatching finds horror in grotesque acts of self-care and violence

You don’t need to speak Finnish to understand what kind of social media presence influencers are at the center of director Hanna Bergholm’s psychological body horror Hatching created for themselves. It’s blonde, blue-eyed, and obsessed with ‘tradition’ in a way that makes you wonder what all their agreement is all about. is – especially when the light rings are off and the cameras are absent. Hatchingis happy to share his thoughts on what drives these kinds of personalities and how living for his followers count is deeply unhealthy. But the film does this with the express intention of leaving you disturbed by the seriousness of its portrayal of dysfunction.

Hatching tells the story of Tinja (Siiri Solalinna), a 12-year-old gymnast who works just as hard as her unnamed mother (Sophia Heikkilä) to ensure that the family’s channel of highly edited “candid” home videos is a success. Although Tinja isn’t the top gymnast at her local club, she strives to keep up with her peers in large part because her membership in the team is an important aspect of how she’s portrayed online.

Tinja’s hyperactive brother Matias (Oiva Ollila) and their unnamed guitar-loving dad (Jani Volanen) are also featured in the family’s live streams, where they beam at each other like well-behaved members of a family. a nuclear family. But Hatching makes it clear that the channel, like almost everything else in their lives, is the domain of Tinja’s mother, a woman who regularly broadcasts almost everything about their daily lives in order to hide how deeply unhappy she is. While a captive audience is all Tinja’s mother thinks she wants, what she doesn’t understand is how she’s always had this in her daughter, and her inability to see that reality is much of what is happening. Hatching moving.

Because everything about Tinja’s family is a little off right now Hatching introducing them for the first time, it seems almost natural when a large crow suddenly bursts into their living room one afternoon in a whirlwind of screams and feathers. While everyone except Tinja freaks out, you can see how the bird’s arrival is the kind of truly serendipitous event that a content-obsessed like Tinja’s mother might, under different circumstances, recognize as something worth sharing with its followers. But rather than pull out her phone or help her daughter free the bird once Tinja catches it, Tinja’s mother snaps the animal’s neck with precision. Hatching take care to highlight.

Hatching isn’t so much about Tinja’s mother as it is about how, after a lifetime of learning from womanhood and dutifully playing the role of an obedient daughter, Tinja can’t help but feel suffocated by the falsehood that defines her relatives. Tinja can’t admit that the bird’s death bothers her because she knows it would contradict her mother. This is also the reason why Tinja doesn’t tell anyone when the presumably dead crow starts calling her from the forest and why she hides the strange egg she finds while searching for the bird.

The same way Tinja can’t share her feelings with her family, she can’t see how strange it is that she starts storing the egg in a teddy bear, only taking it out when she needs to calm down by comforting this. What she can clearly see, however, is how quickly the egg begins to develop once she begins to open up to him, and it’s not long before cracks begin to form. in the thick mottled shell of the thing.

The revelation of HatchingThe monster of is both nauseating and terrifying and best experienced with as little mess as possible. What makes this scene special and the role the creature plays in HatchingThe story that works so well, however, is Solalinna’s hauntingly subtle performance as a girl so used to sublimating her feelings that coming face-to-face with a monster is something of a wake-up call. the thing coming out of HatchingThe egg is grotesque and often difficult to look at, but more importantly, it is real, like nothing else in Tinja’s life, and she can’t help but feel enlivened by his presence.

When HatchingFocusing solely on Tinja and her new friend, the film almost plays like a dark homage to Mamoru Hosoda. Digimon Adventure film and other kid-friendly franchises about youngsters bonding with magical creatures that hatch from eggs ready to fight. There’s a sweetness and vulnerability between Tinja and the creature that shows how desperately the characters need each other and how expertly HatchingThe puppeteer team of was able to bring the practical monster to life.

By letting you get a good look at the creature early on, Hatching frees itself to become much more crafty as it depicts the monster’s evolution and growing habit of sneaking around to kill whatever it wants. As Tinja and the monster grow closer, cinematographer Jarkko Laine’s shots become increasingly gripping and experimental, creating a disorienting, dreamlike atmosphere that feels like an extension of the minds of its main characters. . Hatching punctuates this reverie with sobering reminders of just how overwhelming Tinja’s life before the monster was.

You can more or less see what shape the final act of the film will ultimately take. But that doesn’t stop Hatching from succeeding because it’s not a movie that’s particularly interested in surprising you – its horror relies on dwelling on its most terrifying moments, showing you all the gruesome details.

Hatching also stars Reino Nordin, Saija Lentonen and Ida Määttänen. The film will be released in select theaters on April 29.

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