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

You don’t need to speak Finnish to understand the kind of social media presence the influencers put at the heart of director Hanna Bergholm’s psychological body horror Hatch have created for themselves. It’s blonde, blue-eyed, and fixated on performing “tradition” in a way that makes you wonder what their whole deal is is — especially when the ring lights are off and the cameras are gone. Hatch‘s is happy to introduce you to her ideas about what drives these types of personalities and how life is very unhealthy for your followers. But the film does this with the express intent of leaving you troubled by how horrific the portrayal of dysfunction is.

Hatch tells the story of Tinja (Siiri Solalinna), a 12-year-old gymnast who works just as hard as her unnamed mother (Sophia Heikkilä) to make sure their family’s channel of highly edited ‘candid’ home videos is a success. While Tinja is not the best gymnast at her local club, she does her best to keep up with her peers as her presence on the team is an important aspect of how she is presented online.

Tinja’s hyperactive brother, Matias (Oiva Ollila), and their unnamed guitar-enthusiastic father (Jani Volanen) are also featured in the Household livestreams, beaming at each other like good-natured members of a nuclear family. But Hatch makes it clear that the channel, like almost everything in their lives, is the domain of Tinja’s mother, a woman who regularly broadcasts almost everything about their daily lives to hide how deeply unhappy she is. While a captive audience is all Tinja’s mom thinks she wants, she doesn’t understand how she’s always had that in her daughter, and her inability to see that reality is a big part of what Hatch moving.

Because everything about Tinja’s family is a bit out of the moment Hatch introducing them for the first time, it almost feels natural when one afternoon in a whirlwind of screeching and feathers a large crow suddenly bursts into their living room. While everyone but Tinja freaks out, you can see how the bird’s arrival is the kind of truly coincidental event that a content enthusiast like Tinja’s mother might, under other circumstances, recognize as something worth sharing with her followers. But instead of pulling out her phone or helping her daughter release the bird once Tinja has caught it, Tinja’s mother business-like breaks the animal’s neck with precision. Hatch can be carefully marked.

Hatch is not so much about Tinja’s mother, but how Tinja, after a lifetime of learning from the woman and dutifully playing the part of an obedient daughter, feels suffocated by the falsehood that characterizes her loved ones. Tinja can’t admit that the bird’s death worries her, because she knows it would be tantamount to contradicting her mother. That’s also why Tinja doesn’t tell anyone when the supposedly dead crow starts calling to her from the forest and why she’s hiding the strange egg she finds while searching for the bird.

Just as Tinja can’t share her feelings with her family, she can’t see how strange it is when she starts putting the egg in a teddy bear and only takes it out when she needs to calm herself by comforting. the. What she can clearly see, however, is how quickly the egg begins to grow as she opens up to it, and before long, cracks begin to form in the thing’s thick, mottled shell.

the unveiling of HatchThe monster is as sickening as it is terrifying and best experienced with as little indulgence as possible. What makes that particular scene and the role the creature plays? HatchSolalinna’s story works so well, but Solalinna’s terrifying and subtle acting as a girl so used to sublimating her feelings that coming face to face with a monster is like a wake-up call. The thing that comes out Hatch‘s 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 her presence.

When Hatchfocuses solely on Tinja and her new boyfriend, the film plays almost like a stark tribute to Mamoru Hosoda’s Digimon Adventure movie and other kid-friendly franchises about young people bonding with magical creatures hatching from eggs and ready to fight. There is a softness and vulnerability between Tinja and the creature that speaks of how desperately the characters need each other and how knowledgeable Hatch‘s team of puppeteers were able to bring the practical monster to life.

By making you look closely at the creature early on, Hatch frees itself to become much more artsy, as it reflects the monster’s evolution and growing habit of sneaking out to kill whatever it wants. As Tinja and the monster get closer, cameraman Jarkko Laine’s shots become increasingly striking and experimental, creating a disorienting and dreamy atmosphere that feels like an extension of the main characters’ minds. Hatch accentuates that dreaminess with sobering memories of how crushing Tinja’s life was before the monster.

You can more or less see what form the final act of the film will eventually take. But that doesn’t stop Hatching from succeeding, as it’s not a movie particularly interested in surprising you – its horror is based on sticking around in the most terrifying moments, showing you every horrifying detail. .

Hatch also stars Reino Nordin, Saija Lentonen and Ida Määttänen. The film will hit select theaters on April 29.

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