Dir. Hanna Bergholm
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
It's ironic that some of the most disturbingly graphic horror films are also the most beautiful. When we take a look at THE CURE FOR WELLNESS, ANTIVIRAL, SAINT MAUD, TITANE, A BANQUET, MIDSOMMAR to name a few, there's a series of recent films that display a sense of awe with their gore.
HATCHING adds itself to that list and is a mesmerising breakdown of coming-of-age against a backdrop of pressure and influence from the outside.
A young gymnast, who tries desperately to please her demanding mother, discovers a strange egg. She hides it and keeps it warm, but when it hatches, what emerges shocks them all. Mother and daughter Sophia Heikkilä and Siiri Solalinna have a magnetic chemistry and one that becomes slowly untethered over the events of HATCHING. Both really share the powerhouse performances of family drama, turmoil and the ultimate degree of acceptance of a mothers desperation to keep their daughter while also maturing them enough to take on the world. The films closing moments are a horrific realisation of human transformation and the forming of a new chapter in parenthood that is more terrifying than any horror film... teenagers!
Hanna Bergholm's bold film not only gives us some of the most horrifying imagery of the past year but also delivers it in a blend of mindbogglingly symbolic fashion. The stresses on young Tinja are quickly apparent and the symbolism of the cracking egg mirror that of her mind questioning the events unfolding but unlike SAINT MAUD, CENSOR and even MEN, HATCHING plays into the physical world with terrifying results.
Päivi Kettunen's set design is matched perfectly with Jarkko T. Laine's cinematography often jarring the divide between people and furniture to the extent that questions the very fabric of what it means to be human. HATCHING deserves credit for not only delivering some of 2022's best fairy-tale horror but by also providing some of the most emotional and mesmeric heartbeats of modern cinema.