Gaspar Noe may be the face of New French Extremity, but his wife, Lucile Hadzihalilovic, is no stranger to savage, transgressive films. Playing a part in the likes of I Stand Alone (as producer) and Enter the Void (as a writer), her second directorial effort, Evolution, bows at the Seattle International Film Festival, and delivers her own surreal, unsettling cinematic nightmare.
Like a parable set in a potential future, alternate reality, isolated enclave, or maybe just a fever dream, Nicolas lives in an idyllic seaside town inhabited solely by young boys and their mothers. As the kids are subjected to bizarre medical experiments, the women engage in erotically charged rituals on the beach.
In a methodically paced story, breathtakingly photographed and awash in understated tension, Nicolas digs into his surroundings and uncovers the sinister truths underlying this stunning body horror sci-fi picture that’s subtler than you might expect, though still plenty twisted and haunting. [Grade: B+]