“I’ll show you the everyday life of a Finnish family and how lovely it can be.”Mother
The best horror uses metaphor to allow us safely to explore genuine anxieties through a layer of abstraction. Whilst Hatching‘s use of bird-related body horror and the pressurised environment of competitive gymnastics has strong visual parallels with Black Swan, its focus is on the nature of adolescence, interpreted as the literal birthing of a new identity. Siiri Solalinna is captivating as Tinja, a girl struggling to deal with an overbearing mother, the discovery that her parents’ marriage is not as idyllic as it seems, and the confusion and rage this produces in the hormonal body of teenager. Most affecting are the scenes in which Tinja tries to comfort and care for the angry creature, soothing it after expressing her disgust at something it has done — it is a wonderful depiction of puberty and the sense of shame at the uncontrolled outbursts it can produce. Director Hanna Bergholm clearly wishes to make a separate point about the artificiality of lifestyle blogs through the character of Tinja’s mother but, whilst accurate, it feels rather on the nose when compared to the nuance of Hatching‘s central adolescence metaphor.