Director: Lucile Hadzihalilovic
The French film Evolution, by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, has very little dialogue and a camera that remains static; but what it lacks in movement and language, it tremendously makes up for in atmosphere and abstraction.
Evolution is the story of a curious boy named Nicholas, who after finding a dead body in the ocean, begins to question and experience the mysteries of the peculiar town which he inhabits. Opening with a medley of gorgeous underwater shots, the viewer is instantly brought to an unfamiliar world. However, what exists along the shore proves to be even more bizarre. The film has a tremendous way of keeping the viewer in the dark, allowing the audience to discover many of the mysteries alongside Nicholas. What starts as a coming-of-age drama quickly becomes a horror that notions to the reality of living in a male-dominated society, one which enforces family expectations on women.
Running at only 81 minutes, the film stands as a testament to the resurgence of art house horror— emphasis is placed on mood and atmosphere, rather than freights and gore. The only downside is that the film leaves a lot to be desired in terms of world building, partially due to the filmmaker’s decision to leave a lot of questions unanswered. Perhaps disassociation is more important than clarity.
After a year of hitting the festival circuit, “Evolution” is now available to rent and purchase on multiple sites, including Amazon and iTunes.
If you enjoyed this movie, we recommend…
Eraserhead (1977) – David Lynch
Cemetery of Splendor (2015) – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Eyes of My Mother (2016) – Nicolas Pesce