A Unique Spin on the Horror Genre
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 27m
Director: Hanna Bergholm
Writer(s): Ilja Rautsi
Cast: Siiri Solalinna, Sophia Heikkilä, Jani Volanen
Where To Watch: Releasing in select theaters on April 29th
I’ll be honest; traditionally, I’m not a massive fan of the “body horror” subgenre. I wasn’t a fan of last year's film TITANE which rubbed many people the wrong way. I usually don’t like “strange” for being strange, and I felt that the “body horror” films often stray down that path. Thankfully that was not the case here. Side note, I had thought that co-lead actress Sophia Heikkiläwas American actress Chelsey Crisp (she wasn’t, but they may well be cousins!)
I have an extensive list of great things to say about the film; I’ll start with the one negative that I had. I’m a firm believer in less is more, especially in horror films. I will stand by the fact that I think A QUIET PLACE would be one of my favorite films of the last decade had they not shown the creature at the end. I believe that your imagination will always do more with less information. That’s not a knock on the film; I realize that today’s audiences especially like to see everything and have everything explained, so I get why studios go that route.
Now onto the good; I was very impressed with the visuals in the film. This includes not only the creature but also the cinematography and set design. Horror usually takes a backseat when it comes to set design. I won’t soon forget Siiri Solalinna’s (Tinja) bedroom, which has to have some of the most iconic wallpaper ever.
The acting in the film was terrific as well. This was Solalinna’s first acting role, and she nailed it, especially considering the challenges she had to face in this role. The film was fascinating, I think that it was a group effort, and the more profound meaning behind it all got to me. I usually don’t try to dig beyond the surface level on films (I enjoy the experience.) This one left me thinking and pondering even after the credits rolled. I believe that it’s a parallel between growing up and the battles children face while trying to please their parents as the “perfect” child. I may be looking deeper than I should, but it made sense.
I mentioned above that less is more, and that’s true, but I loved the “in-between” version of the Tinja/Alli creature. Tackling two characters in a film as your first role had to be an incredible challenge. I thought it was well done and had a unique feel. That ending! Wow, I LOVED it; I don’t think I’ve appreciated a twist that much in a long time (I mean, at least what I perceived to be the twist… “moth-er.”) I alluded to this in the main body of the review, but the directors own words say it better than I can “For me, it was also very important that this creature — this monster — was not just evil. Although we say, “evil doppelgänger,” the creature is not evil. It represents all the things that the girl doesn’t want people to see — all her disabilities, sorrow, neediness, fragility, or wanting for love.”
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One thought on “A Unique Spin on the Horror Genre”
Adding to the list. I didn’t even hear about its release! I am excited now though!!!