Tracker Pixel for Entry

​‘Hatching’: Bergholm’s Fledgling Feature Takes Flight

Cinema | April 25th, 2022

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Finnish filmmaker Hanna Bergholm’s feature debut “Hatching” is a satisfying creature-feature delight. A coming-of-age, body horror nightmare with a sharp sense of social critique and a nose for the adolescent challenges of complicated mother-daughter relationships, Bergholm’s film critiques the contemporary obsession with self-centered personal branding and the pursuit of clicks, likes, and followers. Better yet, Bergholm commits to the old-fashioned practical effects of 1980s classics like “Gremlins,” “Re-Animator,” “The Fly,” and “Society,” channeling their great monsters as well as their satirical commentary.

Preteen Tinja (Siiri Solalinna) and her little brother Matias (Oiva Ollila) mirror their parents (Sophia Heikkilä and Jani Volanen) in both attire and carefully-groomed behavior. The affluent family members live together in a house that resembles the set of a color-coordinated pastel magazine shoot more than it feels like a home. Mother’s desire for perfection extends to her avocation: the production of “Lovely Everyday Life,” a video blog/web series capturing and curating seemingly every activity of the nuclear unit for online consumption. The idyllic facade, instantly recognizable as forced and phony, is shattered when a large crow smashes through a window, raining down havoc along with an expensive chandelier.

That ill omen is the telltale harbinger of change. Tinja, who recoils at her mom’s treatment of the avian intruder, ends up rescuing and hiding an unhatched egg in her bedroom. Soon, the girl’s secret has grown to enormous size. Once the inhabitant of the shell emerges, Bergholm develops an archetypal doppelganger exercise, using Tinja’s impossibly weird correspondent – equally grotesque and pitiable – to work out a psychological examination of womanhood. To say any more would certainly spoil some of the fun, much of which is derived from the brilliant work of animatronic specialist Gustav Hoegen and the makeup designs of past Oscar nominee Conor O’Sullivan.

No kid wants to let down a parent, and Tinja’s personal ordeal is magnified by her participation in competitive gymnastics, an ideal vehicle to embody the liminal state between girl and woman. Screenwriter Ilja Rautsi uses the confusion of puberty to build an increasingly tense psychological cage for Tinja, illustrated by the protagonist’s discovery of self and her danger to others. All the parts of the puzzle fit together without sacrificing a sense of mystery and wonder which occasionally recalls, albeit less operatically and without the labyrinthine extradimensional arcana, “Twin Peaks” and its tragic heroine Laura Palmer. Both stories effectively communicate the Janus-faced demands of keeping up appearances when darker and more disturbing things are hidden just out of sight.

Bergholm commits to lots of daylight and sunshine, another key choice that differentiates “Hatching” from so many horror contemporaries. The daytime scenes can be deeply unsettling, and Bergholm stages a particularly effective sequence at the house being restored by the extramarital lover of Tinja’s mother, a carpenter/handyman played by well-known Finnish actor/musician Reino Nordin and coded with all the masculinity (and a wink) that accompanies the stereotype. A few dissenting voices have argued that the central metaphor of “Hatching” plays out with a heavy-handed obviousness, but for my money, Bergholm’s commitment to – in her own words – “powerful stories about female emotions” – yields handsome dividends.

________________________

YOU SHOULD KNOW

The limited theatrical release of “Hatching” starts April 29. IFC Midnight has set May 17 as the on-demand date.

Recently in:

By Olivia Slyteroslyter.g@cord.eduPhotos by Sabrina HornungFor months, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has been asking the heavy question “Should the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade be overturned?” On May 2nd,…

MayKenny Wayne Shepherd KWS creates genre-defining rock n' roll.Fargo Theatre, Sunday, May 1,…

Thursday, May 26, 5-7 pm, on view May 26-July 7   Spirit Room Gallery, 111 Broadway N, FargoDennis Terhak attended Moorhead State College after serving four years in the Marine Corps. He spent 25 years wielding a brush, working as…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comOur opinion: It’s not a matter of pro-life or pro-choice, it’s anti-womanI hate to admit it, but aside from the Women’s March in 2017, I hadn’t attended a rally or a march since the Bush…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com If You Want a Free University Education, Why Not Go to Europe?Why are President Joe Biden and the White House in some kind of sleep mode? Very little is getting done! We can’t afford to go back…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.comPhoto by Rick GionAs you may have read, the Hotel Donaldson and the Hodo Lounge are transitioning to the ownership group that runs the Blarney Stone Irish Pubs in North Dakota. Although feelings seem…

By Michael Str!ke  michaelstrike.solo@gmail.comThe word noise can mean so many different things. But here in Fargo, our Noise scene is thriving as what many…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.com Novelist/screenwriter/director Alex Garland has earned a sizable and devoted following over the years. His previous two feature directorial efforts, “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation,”…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comArtwork: Woodcut by Danielle Gravon titled "Allegory of Fargo Winter I"On June 18, the Rourke will be holding their 62nd annual Midwestern Preview, the date celebrating the opening anniversary of…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comCharlie Berens is a man of many hats. The creator of the “Manitowoc Minute” is a newsman, comedian, writer and musician. We had the opportunity to speak with the Wisconsin native about his new…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comLehr Mayor and Council Members Donate City Salaries To Save Legion HallEvery rural community has at least one social space that holds multiple generations of memories and has remained a social…

Hukun provided his responses via email. “I live in downtown Fargo. Downtown living makes everything accessible and convenient! I love taking my kids to Lindenwood, and enjoy the food at Rugsan on 13th Avenue. I also like shopping…