‘Hatching’ Reveals Monsters Come in All Shapes | Sundance 2022 Review

The Finnish horror film Hatching could easily be the best and most terrifying film that I’ve seen at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, as it reveals monsters can come in all shapes and sizes.

After initially missing out on a screening ticket to see Hatching, I jumped on the opportunity to see this film when more became available, as the premise interested me from the moment I saw it in the festival’s catalog. The story, directed by Hanna Bergholm, follows a teenage girl who discovers a mysterious egg in the woods and decides to hatch it, with devastating consequences.

As deeply thrilling as this film is, I feel there should be a word of warning for anyone who goes to see this film in future. Aside from the bloodier moments in the film, there is another aspect of the film that was often deeply upsetting for me and that’s the emotional trauma suffered by one of the main characters. For personal reasons, I found myself badly triggered by these moments. I would advise anyone whose suffered emotional abuse in the past to be wary when going to see Hatching, especially if you desire to avoid triggering incidents.

That being said, as upsetting as those moments are, it didn’t take away from the fact that Hatching is a truly horrifying story about monsters. What really take the film to the next level in my opinion is how there are multiple ways to interpret the story. On its surface, Hatching can easily be enjoyed as a straight-out monster story, one that is very well written and deeply unsettling as horror should be. However, it is also possible to interpret the story of Hatching as a not-so-subtle metaphor about adolescent rebellion and confronting the changes that come with growing from a complacent child into an adult. Taken in this direction, the actions of the “monster” take on new meaning, and I feel like the viewer will notice something new every time they watch.

Another detail that will stick with viewers and certainly stuck with me is Hatching’s core message about how monsters come in all shapes. I was struck more than once while watching this film that you can have a perfect appearance and be a heartless monster, just as bad or even worse than the real monsters encountered in the story. This is a story that forces you to redefine for yourself what it means to be a monster and as uncomfortable as it made me it’s also one of the best parts of the story.

Finally, the last detail I want to mention in Hatching is its commentary on what it means to be a mother. No, it’s more than that, the film is really providing a stinging commentary on what it means to be a parent in general. While the “mother figure” is focused on the most, the lesson could easily be applied to father figures as well. It’s a major component of the story and one that stuck with me for a long time after the credits rolled.

Hatching is nightmare-inducing but for all the best reasons. It is by far the best film I’ve seen at the Sundance Film Festival this year and I can’t recommend this film enough once it hopefully becomes generally available later this year.

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Armed with a PhD. in Musicology, Becky spends much of her time blogging about movie music on her blog Film Music Central when she isn't otherwise occupied watching movies and her favorite anime series.