Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s ‘Evolution’ Opens this Friday!

Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s Evolution Opens this Friday!

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Patience pays off! After watching Evolution at Fantastic Fest in 2015, we’ve been eager to see it again, as well as hear what larger audiences have to say about it. And now that’s finally happening this holiday weekend thanks to IFC Midnight.

Filmmaker Lucile Hadzihalilovic (director/writer of Innocence and occasional collaborator of Gaspar Noé) offers up a dark new entry to the body horror genre. Set on a small Mediterranean island, Evolution depicts a mysterious village populated by mothers and sons. No fathers or young girls are present, nor is their absence explained. Preteen Nicholas is told by his mother that he’s sickly, a side effect of growing up. He must regularly take an unidentified medicine to keep him well as he prepares to change, as she likens puberty to the way a reptile or mollusk molts. Soon Nicholas and his friends are in a hospital, all undergoing the next stage of the treatment for their mysterious ailment. The treatment entails some sort of procedure on their stomach. No one is giving them answers until a young nurse who takes a liking to Nicholas begins to help him unravel the bizarre and seemingly sinister goings-on in the village.

With its gorgeous cinematography and exotic location, Evolution hooks viewers with first shots. The mysterious surrounding the characters unravel, but Hadzihalilovic doesn’t offer easy answers. She’s constructed a film that begs to be watched more than once. She provides us with images though their meanings aren’t exactly clear. We’re outsiders to the world she’s brings to life and must accept the challenge to learn its foreign ways. I’m excited to make future trips into to this strange island and explore it some more.

Evolution opens in theaters this Friday, Nov. 25th, in New York at the IFC Center and Film Society of Lincoln Center, in Los Angeles at Cinefamily, as well as airing on VOD. Check it out if you need a break from your family; it’ll certainly give you a new perspective on them.