Best described as coming-of-age body horror, Hatching is just as much about the monster as an independent thing as its connection to the lead.


Director(s) Hanna Bergholm
Screenplay By Ilja Rautsi
Date Released (In Theaters) 4/28/2022
Genre(s) Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Young Adult, Non-English (Finnish), Family
Duration 1 Hour and 26 Minutes
Content Rating Not Rated
Noted Cast
Tinja/ Alli Siiri Solalinna
Mother Sophia Heikkilä
Father Jani Volanen
Matias Oiva Ollila
Reetta Ida Määttänen

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Film Summary

The level of pressure Tinja is under is immense. Her mother has desires for her to be a top-performing gymnast not only to go further than she did as a figure skating athlete, but it also makes good content for her mother’s blog. That alongside featuring Tinja’s father and brother, Matias, and the ruse that they are one happy family.

But, as a neighbor, Reetta, moves in and shows herself as a better athlete, and the pressure builds; Tinja finds herself latching onto this being whose egg she found near a bird her mother attempted to kill. Tinja takes care of the egg, even after it hatches this monstrous-looking thing, for it imprints on her and slowly but surely seems to feed from her. Not just in the form of what she vomits out, but also taking on her looks and mannerisms like a child. One who is willing to go from being momma’s little baby to perhaps taking on momma itself.

Things To Note

  • Reason(s) for Film Rating: Cursing (Some, mostly in anger), Violence (Violence Against Animals, Body Horror – blood, decapitated animals, animal to human transformation, harm to children), Sexual Content (Hearing the mother moan), Miscellaneous (Drinking)
  • Coming of age body horror in Hatching means Tinja coming of age, in terms of losing her sense of innocence and having her parents put on a pedestal, and the body horror comes in since Alli, who can represent Tinja’s transition from an innocent child to teenager, having to evolve from how Tinja feels inside to a more evolved form of herself which is more true to who she is, not how her mother, and others, have made her feel.

Character Descriptions

Tinja (Siiri Solalinna), Mother (Sophia Heikkila), Father (Jani Volanen), and Matias (Oiva Ollila) taking a picture for Mother's blog
Tinja (Siiri Solalinna), Mother (Sophia Heikkila), Father (Jani Volanen), and Matias (Oiva Ollila)

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Tinja

A young gymnast, Tinja is just doing what her mother wants the to do and tries her best to keep her happy, even if it means sacrificing her own happiness.

Mother

A former figure skater turned notable blogger, Mother is struggle to get back to happy, and finds a way through living a double life.

Father

Father knows Mother isn’t happy, but at this point, he’d rather spend more time on his toys than try to really work on his marriage.

Matias

Matias is Tinja’s little brother, who is jealous of the attention she gets, so he does what he can to take her down a notch in the eyes of their parents.

Reetta

Reetta is the new neighbor who seeks to befriend Tinja, even though they are rivals in gymnastics.

Alli

Alli is the name given to watch hatches from the egg Tinja has been taking care of.

Review

Highlights

It Allows Both A Simplistic View & Complexity

Hatching can be seen in one of two ways. Either the egg, which becomes Alli, is a reflection of all the suppressed stress and rage that Tinja doesn’t express, or it is a being that, after its mother is killed by Tinja’s, simply latches onto Tinja because she takes care of it, clothes it, and feeds it. Then, in terms of all the anger and rage, it is because it’s reliant on the people that killed its mother, and knows it needs them to survive. You can look at this movie by taking either path and get something interesting.

If you see Alli as a manifestation of all Tinja can’t do because she lacks control over her life, this is a coming-of-age story. One in which Tinja reconciles with her negative emotions through Alli and exits being a child and begins the process of being a teenager. That is, questioning her parents, rebelling against them, finding her own voice, and seeking out what makes her happy, not what would make her mom happy.

However, if you see Alli as an independent entity, then it is just a bird-like being that imprints on Tinja, and just as Tinja protected it when it was growing up, it wants to protect her. Hence, it treats any threats to its mother’s comfort as things that need to be observed and potentially killed. After all, if mommy is unhappy and stressed out, she can’t be a good mother, and all Alli wants is Tinja to be happy. If not, to keep Tinja alive long enough for it to be capable of independence.

On The Fence

The Lack Of Character Development For Most Characters

Hatching is less of a, let’s dig into Tinja’s trauma, or that of her family’s, and see how it is creating this monster, or even opens the door for them to be welcomed. It’s mostly a film where everything is a reaction, and we don’t explore much about what happened before. Why did the mom stop figure skating? We see a scar, so we assume an injury, but that’s the end of that story.

Why is it that the Mother is faking her life? It’s hard to say. We’re not told about the good times with the dad or the bad. We just see what it is now and don’t really get much to have an opinion on him. Yes, you could easily villainize the mom due to her portrayal, but there is this inkling there is more there.

Which is a constant feeling throughout the film. There is more to everyone, but there is a wall up that just doesn’t break down. Even with Tinja, and all she is going through, it never gets to the point where you can do more than recognize the pressure she is under. Heck, even with her friendship with Reetta, we don’t get beyond that wall and understand who Tinja is or who she wants to be. She remains on the brink of cracking open and becoming someone new.

Overall

Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Hatching is the kind of movie that could do more, but even without living up to its full potential, it doesn’t disappoint. Rather, it feels like it hones in on what was advertised, this creepy-looking monstrosity, and everything else it could explore falls to the wayside a bit. This isn’t to say you can’t see the deeper themes the film wants to explore through Alli’s evolution, but while that connection is clear, I wouldn’t say it is at that level where it elevates this film to be more than a coming of age body horror film.

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On The Radar


Ratings

  • Recommended: Some of the best-seen movies we have ever watched and mentioned to friends, family, and strangers as films that need to be seen.
  • Positive (Worth Seeing): Whether you’ll have to go to the movies, download, or stream, movies of this category are worth your time and money with few, if any, qualms from us.
  • Mixed (Divisive): Due to this movie having a few quirks, of which may work for some and for others be a problem, we believe your enjoyment of this movie will depend on your taste.
  • Negative (Acquired Taste): While one or two elements kept us going until the end, unfortunately, we’re of the opinion this film never reached the potential it was marketed to have.

Special Categories/ Tags

  • Indie: By our definition, independent films are films you have to seek to find due to limited availability or lack of a marketing push.
  • Film Festival: Featured in this tag are films and shorts which were discovered thanks to various film festivals, so some of the productions may not have wide availability but still may deserve to be on your watch.
  • Shorts: Be it ten or fifteen minutes, or a half-hour, these quick teases or films get right to the point, often show the potential of filmmakers and the actors who have joined them in their journey.
  • Ending Spoilers: Trying to remember how a film ended, or want a different take on the ending, then check out the "ending spoilers" category. 
Title Card - Hatching (2022)
Hatching (2022) – Review/ Summary
Overall
Highlights
It Allows Both A Simplistic View & Complexity
Disputable
The Lack Of Character Development For Most Characters
80


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I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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