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Siiri Solalinna appears in <i>Hatching</i> by Hanna Bergholm, an official selection of the Midnight section at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Movie Reviews

[Sundance ’22] ‘Hatching’ review: Unique fantasy-body horror tale takes on adolescence

Twisted maternal instincts.

Hatching is a creature feature screening at the Sundance Film Festival. Tinja and her family live a perfect life. At least, that’s what it looks like on their social media channel. Once the camera phone stops recording, things are nowhere near as impeccable as they look. When Tinja decides to  take nurse an egg she finds in the woods, it leads angry feelings being brought into the open. 

The film is filled with grotesque moments. From animals being crushed by rocks to decapitated bodies, Hatching can get pretty gory. The most disgusting thing is Alli, the creature that emerges from the egg. If the malformed aviary features are not bad enough, its eating habits will surely garner a reaction. Hatching does not rely solely on gross out moments, however. The immaculate facade of Tinja’s home life is juxtaposed with the ugliness of Alli. It is jarring to transition from bright rose filled gardens to a giant bird-like creature that hides under a bed.  

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The lighting also is a way to showcase the different types of horror in Tinja’s life. The darker moments seem obvious. She is dealing with Alli’s animalistic desires. As it turns out, the desires are a result of happens during Hatching’s brighter scenes. As the plot progresses, it turns out that Tinja is harboring some grudges. It seems it is not so much Alli’s urges but Tinja’s feelings that is the source of everything that is happening. 

At least, that seems to be what Hatching is going for. The relationship between Alli and Tinja is never fully explained. Alli is definitely acting as a surrogate at times, but there are also moments that are based on her own choices. It takes away some of the film’s mystery when Alli seems more of an indiscriminate killer than a young girl’s pent up anger brought to life.

hatching

Siiri Solalinna appears in Hatching by Hanna Bergholm, an official selection of the Midnight section at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by IFC Midnight.

The closing moments will leave many questions. It is in these moments that a prevalent theme comes nearest to fruition. Throughout the film, there is one person that Tinja should harbor ill feelings towards. This means that person would also be one of Alli’s targets. The final seconds of Hatching will have audiences wondering what Tinja truly feels. While there are no definite answers, it further showcases the complexities and emotions of an adolescent.

The Sundance Film Festival is online January 20- January 30. Tickets can be purchased and a full lineup can be found here.

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