With her second feature, Lucile Hadžihalilović crafts a complex and unsettling body horror set on a mysterious island, inhabited only by boys and young women.
The strange, symbiotic, maternal relationship between the boys and women is never spelled out, but the suggestions are terrifying, ending up in the realm of an amphibious Alien.
Brebant gives a fearless and sensitive lead performance, all the more incredible for his central role in the plot, which pulls no punches because of his age.
Manuel Dacosse’s cinematography is mesmerising, with a masterful use of darkness and negative space, reminiscent of Under the Skin.
At times, concrete answers might be more useful than bold ideas, but the brave new world Hadžihalilović creates in Evolution is fascinating enough – even in its theoretical limbo – to be an unforgettable experience.
CAST: Max Brebant, Roxane Duran, Julie-Marie Parmentier, Mathieu Goldfeld
DIRECTOR: Lucile Hadžihalilović
WRITERS: Lucile Hadžihalilović, Alanté Kavaïté
SYNOPSIS: Evolution is a coming-of-age story combined with a terrifying body horror about a boy who finds himself the subject of some amphibious experiments.