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What would happen if you mixed art house cinema with the kind of body horror every David Cronenberg fan loves? The result would look something like “Evolution.” The second feature from French director Lucile Hadžihalilovic arrives 12 years after her debut, and it’s a mesmerizing and maddening coming-of-age horror movie that has the look of a beautiful nightmare.
The story centers around 10-year-old Nicolas (Max Brebant), a young boy living in a remote seaside hospital where he and several other children are subjected to an alarming medical process. Their mothers provide no answers as to what’s going on, and neither does Hadžihalilovic, though she carefully brings the puzzle pieces together to form an enigmatic whole that seriously gets under your skin.
In his review of the film, IndieWire Critic Eric Kohn called the film the year’s “wildest coming-of-age movie.” “Hadzihalilovic is all too eager to up the WTF factor at every turn, to the point where it almost feels like she’s trolling for stunned reactions,” he writes. “But that’s ultimately what makes the movie’s journey worthwhile.”
Be sure to give “Evolution” a try on VOD this week. You’ll never forget it.