Uncanny horror from Lucile Hadžihalilović with shades of HP Lovecraft and David Cronenberg.

Film Review by Rachel Bowles | 16 Feb 2016
Film title: Evolution
Director: Lucile Hadžihalilović
Starring: Roxane Duran, Julie-Marie Parmentier, Max Brebant, Nissim Renard
Release date: 6 May
Certificate: 15

Ever since writer-director Lucile Hadžihalilović teased that she was working on an original feature over a decade ago, fans of unsettling Gallic cinema have been waiting with baited breath. The resulting Évolution makes for a fittingly uneasy diptych with her debut, Innocence (2004). Where that earlier film brought the uncertainty of postmodern cinematography and storytelling to a traditional gothic, female-centred tale, Évolution is a queer science fiction body horror in the vein of Lovecraft and Cronenberg.

Nic (Max Brebant), a young boy on the cusp of adolescence, lives a simplistic, littoral life in a mysterious, austere village populated by other uniform mother-son pairings. Haunted by the visceral sight of a dead boy’s decomposing body that Nic discovers while diving, his mother tries to comfort him. “The sea makes you think horrible things,” she says. This consolation is prophetic: as Nic’s mère and la mer blur, a most disturbing vision of conception, birth and child-rearing unfurls. 

Evolution screens in Glasgow Film Festival: 20 Feb, GFT, 8.15pm | 21 Feb, GFT, 11am

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