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Austin Film Festival Review: At Its Best, “It Hatched” Is Generic; At Its Worst, Unbearable

Written by: Adam Vaughn | October 27th, 2021

Film poster: “It Hatched”

It Hatched (Elvar Gunnarsson, 2021) ½ out of 4 stars.

Elvar Gunnarsson’s It Hatched not only reeks of unoriginality, seemingly copying the bizarre style of films such as Midsommar or Lamb, and other chilling, dramatic stories. On top of its bland storytelling, the production value and awful execution deprive the movie of any cinematic appeal, making it an utter flop. It Hatched tells the story of a newlywed couple moving into a new, remote home in Iceland. No sooner do they arrive than the husband opens an ancient burial tomb found in the basement, causing a chain of ghostly, demonic events to plague the couple, including their newborn child … who has been born out of an egg! As the baby develops, stranger and more sinister supernatural occurrences torment the parents, leaving the two to fight for their lives against powerful forces.

Unfortunately, It Hatched skirts any quality right away, as it is immediately afflicted with terrible dialogue, consistently awkward and uninspired pacing, weird lighting and coloration, and some of the most uncomfortable cinematography choices I have ever seen. If It Hatched were intended to be experimental in nature, it lacks any of the hyper-creative impression that avant-garde-styled films often contain. Instead, the way director Gunnarsson presents his material simply feels insincere, so bad that it makes fun of itself at every turn. The acting is horrendous and the direction lacking; pushing through the story’s premise and delivery is the equivalent of pulling teeth. When a film literally misses on every production value, it’s hard to even admire whatever ambition and spirit may lie behind Gunnarsson’s vision.

The egg baby hatching in IT HATCHED ©Hero Productions

It almost feels like a fun student film that just barely passes for a coherent cinematic experience. With a beautiful Icelandic setting to work with, Gunnarsson creates the most ridiculous content possible, not at all scary enough to be called horror, and not quite funny enough to be a true comedy (nor does the film seem to want to be funny). It’s a miracle this film made it out of the cinematic box to be screened, and it’ll be an even bigger miracle if it sees the light of day beyond.

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Adam Vaughn is a graduate of the Film & Moving Image program at Stevenson University, with a focus in Cinematography and Production. He also has a minor in Theater and Media Performance. Adam works as a freelance photographer and videographer, focusing his craft on creating compelling photographic and cinematic imagery. Adam is excited to join the Film Festival Today team and explore the world of cinema and visual arts.

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