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.
|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|
|Tinja/ Alli||Siiri Solalinna|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
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.
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.
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.
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 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 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 is the new neighbor who seeks to befriend Tinja, even though they are rivals in gymnastics.
Alli is the name given to watch hatches from the egg Tinja has been taking care of.
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.
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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