In another example of Euro-Horror, Hatching is a remarkably effective monster movie. Filmed in Finnish, and set in Finland, it’s a remarkable parable about families and what we reveal to the world. An affluent family consisting of Mother, Father, Tinja, and her brother Matias, live in a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood and Mother prospers with a blog about the ideal family life. She videos the family, especially Tinja as she prepares for a gymnastics competition. Then a crow gets into the house, causing chaos and bringing the true nature of the perfect family to the surface. When Mother breaks the crow’s neck, reality seeps through the internet myth of perfection. Tinja, disturbed by what happened to the bird, locates its egg and brings it home to care for it.
Mother, it turns out, has been having an affair. Father is shown as caring, but ineffectual. Matias has anger issues. Meanwhile Mother drills Tinja in gymnastics practice until her daughter’s hands are raw and bleeding. The egg grows. Mother confesses to Tinja that she’s in love for the first time and for real. She begins spending weekends at her lover Tero’s house. The now huge egg hatches into a Tinja-sized bird-like creature, sparsely feathered. As Tinja psychologically bonds with the creature, she hides it in the house and it becomes clear that what each feels what the other feels. Over time the bird begins to become Tinja’s double, doing those things her “perfect daughter” image would never allow her to do.
The story is a parable. Families uphold facades while the world pays to see perfection that doesn’t really exist. Tinja isn’t terribly fond of gymnastics, but Mother drives her to compete. Father knows about Tero, and pretends to be okay with the affair. Mother spends her love elsewhere while her perfect family crumbles. The monster in the movie is the revealer of truth. The truth doesn’t broadcast well on the Internet, which prefers fiction passed off as fact. Although the story itself could never happen, it is a probing tale that delves into psychology and the price we pay for not being honest about ourselves. I won’t spoil the ending here, but let’s just say reality seldom works out the way that we hope it will. Euro-horror has been producing some impressive films the past few years that demonstrate the intellectual side of horror quite well. This may be offer body horror—without becoming slashers—because they have messages waiting to hatch.