Combustible Celluloid
With: Siiri Solalinna, Sophia Heikkilä, Jani Volanen, Reino Nordin, Oiva Ollila, Ida Määttänen, Saija Lentonen
Written by: Ilja Rautsi
Directed by: Hanna Bergholm
MPAA Rating: NR
Language: Finnish, with English subtitles
Running Time: 86
Date: 05/06/2022

Hatching (2022)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Bird Bleeder

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In the vein of films like The Brood and Basket Case — and even featuring some goopy practical effects! — this body horror from Finland feels a tad sparse, but its icy design and icky parallels between the mother and daughter character make it a fascinating watch. Teen Tinja (Siiri Solalinna) is a gymnast, pushed hard by her mother, but lacking any natural gift for it. Her mother (Sophia Heikkilä) keeps a vlog showing how cheerful the family is, while openly having an affair with a handyman. When the mother kills a bird that has entered the house, Tinja finds an egg near the trash where the bird corpse was dumped. She begins caring for the egg, which grows in size, until it hatches a nasty-looking bird creature. The creature begins to evolve into a doppelganger of Tinja — called Alli — that acts out her darkest desires. The movie doesn't go as far with this idea as it might (there's not much of a body count), but the psychological theme of primal urges versus proper behavior is explored in a neatly clinical way. Viewed as part of the 65th SF Film Festival.

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