(2015) d. Lucile Hadžihalilović


Continuing our steady stream of 21st Century Euro horrors (KILLBILLIES, WELP), we spent late last night with 2015 French thriller EVOLUTION.

Hadžihalilović’s film is the story of 10 year old Nicolas and what might be happening in his seaside town, an otherworldly place populated only by women and boys. Sketching visions of another place he couldn’t possibly know, Nicolas starts to question the orthodoxy of his life and mystery illness. His growing acts of resistance disrupt the town’s maternal authority to discover its horrible secrets.

EVOLUTION uses body horror conventions – body change, clinical interference, horror hospitals, squelching effects – in gentle ways, seeking to unsettle rather than shock and startle. It’s a vivid coming of age fairytale that warns of the battle for our reproductive rights. The monsters want control of our bodies. We can’t let them have it.

“Shall I tell you a secret?”

Hadžihalilović’s beautifully crafted nightmare thoroughly deserves a blu-ray release in the UK. This is a film where the wet and warped visuals drive our emotions as well as the film’s plot, resulting in a mesmerising landscape that lingers long in the memory.



  • Overcoming his fears, Nicolas pounds a starfish against a rock, violently removing one of its sucker-laden limbs.


  • EVOLUTION is available in the UK on DVD and iTunes (in HD).
  • The Guardian gives good interview with director Lucile Hadžihalilović.
  • Hadžihalilović’s first feature film INNOCENCE (2004) — “a look inside an offbeat boarding school for young girls” (IMDb) — is well worth a look.
  • EVOLUTION was distributed in the UK by sadly missed Metrodome. Read about their 2016 passing at The Skinny or go deeper into their demise with Stephen Follows.

Featured images: EVOLUTION (2015).

radiant circus

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