28 June 2016



This is a highly unusual film. I wasn't surprised to find out that it was directed by a woman, given all the images of childbirth and related procedures it throws up. I don't mind telling you, I had a bit of trouble finding it on the Internet prior to doing this review.

When you type in the words 'evolution' and 'horror film' together you get a canned history of the genre, haha. Not that that's not useful, but in this case I just wanted to make sure I was spelling the director's name correctly...!

The lady is French film-maker Gaspar Noé's partner, by the way, though which kind of partner I'm not entirely sure. Film-making or romantic...? Answers on a postcard, please!

Either way, Gaspar Noé is the chappie responsible for the rather outrageous movie LOVE which came out earlier this year. It actually featured full-on real sex, much to the interest of the elderly couple sitting next to me in the cinema that Saturday lunchtime. They weren't the only ones who'd never seen anything like it in their lives before...! Ah, the French. Sooooo delightfully uninhibited. Maybe we Irish should be more like them. Loosen up a bit. Do us good.

There was another film called 'EVOLUTION' released sometime in the early 'Noughties (2001?) which I'm absolutely certain I went to see in the cinema. A sci-fi comedy, perhaps? It definitely starred beautiful actress Julianne Moore and David Duchovny from THE X-FILES. It might have been something to do with dinosaurs or aliens or both and I think there were a couple of gross-out moments in it. Other than that, I don't remember too much about it. Maybe that's just as well...

My point in bringing it up is as follows. I probably would have chosen a different name for this French-language body horror film we're discussing now, quite simply because the word 'evolution' is already spoken for so many times over. Let's not forget Charles Darwin and his Origin Of Species, for one thing! Maybe a touch more originality as regards the title, just to make it stand out more...?

Other than that miniscule gripe, the film is mostly fine as it is. I'm sure the director and everyone involved are breathing a huge sigh of relief that it gets my seal of approval, haha. That's not to say, of course, that EVOLUTION isn't one of the strangest horror movies you'll see this year, because it is. Exceedingly strange, that is. Let's delve into it a little more.

The film revolves around a small coastal community living in plain whitewashed houses in an undisclosed location. We're inclined to think it's somewhere in France, as everyone's speaking French. Not an illogical assumption to make, methinks. The community is an exceptional one.

Where are all the men, for one thing? Where are the little girls? Only women and their young sons aged around ten or twelve seem to inhabit this mysterious coastal or maybe even island village. Why isn't there any furniture other than the basic necessities? Why are their living conditions so sparse and grim? Are they poor or are material surroundings simply not important to them compared to the bigger picture?

And do the islanders not have any contact with the outside world? Why do the women, all mothers of young sons, all dress the same in their drab brown dresses? And why are the children made to eat such disgusting-looking food? These are all questions that will crop up for you before you've been watching the movie for too long.

The lead boy is called Nicolas. Certain momentous things happen to him in the film that would be hard for any child to have to deal with. The first thing occurs when he sees a dead boy under the water when he's out swimming.

Nicolas is practically a water-baby, he's in the water so much. The images of the sea are utterly gorgeous. Hats off (everything else too, if you like!) to the cinematographer. Even the bright red starfish that adorns the dead boy's body is picture-perfect.

The second thing is, in a way, even more disturbing. Nicolas sees his mother and the other women engaging in some kind of weird sexual ritual down at the beach in the dead of night. Would that be more disturbing for a lad than finding a dead kid in the ocean? For some pre-teen boys, I reckon it just might be...!

Thirdly, Nicolas is taken to the grim, no-frills-whatsoever local 'hospital' where the nurses, all women, perform a number of bizarre experiments and procedures on him and on some of his friends that will probably make you feel very uncomfortable indeed. I know I felt uncomfortable, anyway, although maybe that was the director's intention. You know what these directors are like. Always trying to push that bloody envelope...!

What are the nurses doing? Why do they watch those instructional videos over and over again?
Just what are they trying to achieve in that bleak pile of bricks and mortar that passes for a hospital? And why are they lying to the kids about their friends?

 Nicolas, with only his drawings and a red-haired little nurse to keep him sane, finds himself with more questions than answers. A bit like the viewer by this stage in the proceedings, haha.

METRODOME, from whom I've seen some excellent movies in the recent past, are releasing this mysterious and beautifully-shot horror film for Home Entertainment purposes this June. It's well worth the eighty or so minutes of your time, though you might find some scenes a little disturbing.

There's that word again. Disturbing. I've used it three or four times already in this review, which is supposedly (or should I say 'supposably...?') bad English. Well, when they invent another word that means the same thing and is just as effective, I'll be happy to use it. Until then, the word disturbing's gonna be putting in a few extra shifts. And it had better not come crying to me about more money, heh-heh-heh. In this economy, it's lucky to be getting the work...!


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


 You can contact Sandra at:


No comments:

Post a comment