Haunting, evocative and deeply disturbing Evolution transports you into nightmarish world full of shadowy imagery and vividly vicious scenes keeping a vice like grip on you with its high level of tension till you emerge the other side unsettled and unsure what you have just experienced.
As far as its story is concerned it takes place on a small island where the only residents are women and young boys. Living a stark and simple life one child named Nicolas (Max Brebant) gets a shock when he sees the dead body of another boy deep underwater while swimming.
His mother (Julie-Marie Parmentier) disciplines him and forbids him going out to look at the corpse again but Nicolas becomes obsessed and disobeys her getting himself further into trouble. Telling him that he is ill his mother sends him off to a hospital where he must have an injection in his stomach however there is something much more monstrous going on in the decaying building he is forced to stay in
With the help of Stella (Roxane Duran) a kind nurse he befriends Nicolas sets about finding out the female run facilities secrets but what awaits him is a terrifying revelation that will change everything he knows about his quaint and quiet life.
Completely open to a multitude of interpretations director Lucile Hadzihalilovic who co-wrote the script and story perfectly crafts an otherworldly environment appearing to be both post-apocalyptic and out of all time and space while still feeling strangely familiar.
Every element of the film is infused with creeping dread from the lack of bird song and ambient sound to the impassive cold acting of the collective mothers to the bare and basic homes devoid of all personalisation and decoration to the full on Freudian fantasies and scenes of Cronenberg body horror.
Each part of the perfectly crafted film adds up to a horrifying nightmare dealing with ideas and images of birth, death, procreation and puberty as if seen through then confused eyes of a child desperately trying to figure out how the adult world works.
Although low on dialogue the characters are still engaging and well realised and Max Brebant hugely emotive face translates every feeling of fear, anger and confusion that he suffers through creating a strong bond between the audience making the later more upsetting scenes even more powerful.
Challenging, daring and guaranteed to stick with you for a long time Lucile Hadzihalilovic proves with Evolution that she is a master at bringing our dark dreams to the screen forcing us to face our primal fears whether we want to witness them or not.