Évolution (2015) – Movie Review

Today Mother Nature blessed cursed my Northeastern home with another snow storm, leaving us with probably a foot/foot and a half of snow on the ground. School was canceled yet again, and I was afraid to leave the house because I have no money and nowhere to be, so my parents would be questioning me beyond belief before I could even try to get out the door. So, what did I do instead? I stayed in bed until two-thirty PM, sleeping until about twelve thirty. Then I spent the rest of the day moping around and watching movies on Netflix and feeling like time is never going to move any faster than a snail’s pace.

I was browsing through my list to find something I haven’t yet watched and a foreign film with a spooky ambiance stood out to me. It’s called Évolution, a film directed by Lucile Hadžihalilović in 2015. It follows a young boy named Nicolas, living with his mother near the sea in a small village. Mystery unfolds when he finds a dead body in the water, and it uncovers some dark secrets about the place where he lives and the people he’s surrounded by. It’s not so much a horror movie, but more thriller-like and psychological, with splashes of body horror and the ever-striking thought of “Just…why?!”

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This film is very beautiful, with epic shots of the sea and strategically illuminated sets that give every scene an eerie, uneasy feeling (It actually won two “Best Cinematography” awards at international film festivals). The women in the film had such an off-putting presentation and the boys always brought youth and innocence back into the mood of this movie. The whole time you watch, you are constantly standing beside Nicolas, asking yourself what to do next in this world of constantly evolving questions.  Although it is slow-burning and at times has very little dialogue, the movie kept my eyes glued to the screen, wondering what will come in sequence.

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I’ve always loved French films and I really enjoyed this one for it’s beauty and underlying themes that Hadžihalilović incorporated into her films, including this one. If you’d like to read more about her and her career, take a look at this article that I found while researching the movie prior to writing this. I want to see her other films, and maybe one day I’ll write about them too.

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