Hatching (Pahanhautoja) is a 2022 Finnish horror psychological thriller written and directed by Hanna Bergholm. This is her first full-length feature film. The story is centred on a family where the daughter is pushed hard by the mother to compete in a gymnastics event. One night, the daughter finds an egg which she nurtures, and when it hatches, their lives are turned upside down. It’s a good film with solid acting, but the final scenes leave you craving for more closure. Here’s the plot and ending of the movie Hatching explained; spoilers ahead.
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Where To Watch?
To find where to stream any movie or series based on your country, use This Is Barry’s Where To Watch.
Oh, and if this article doesn’t answer all of your questions, drop me a comment or an FB chat message, and I’ll get you the answer. You can find other film explanations using the search option on top of the site.
Here are links to the key aspects of the movie:
Hatching can be seen either as a literal creature feature or an allegory for terrible parenting powered by the need to appear perfect. Let’s start from the top.
Hatching: What happened to the mother?
The mother was once a figure skater who won many awards. A scar on her leg shows that she had a terrible accident that ended her career. Over the years, she got married, had a family, and found success in vlogging. But because he’s always in the public eye, she’s constantly under pressure to make her life appear perfect. But the reality is far from it; her family is a wreck.
I couldn’t make anything of the husband’s character. One would question why he is still around. He didn’t seem to care that his wife was cheating on him with Tero. Neither is he a great dad to the kids; he can barely have a conversation with his daughter. Perhaps his wife is making a lot of money being an influencer, and he was happy as long as the wealth came in.
The younger kid, Matias, is a brat, and both parents seem to have no control over him. It also appears that he’s an ignored child. The way Matias would see it is that his mother is constantly gifting and focusing only on his sister.
The daughter, Tinja, is her mother’s second attempt at a life of trophies. Whether Tinja likes it or not, her mother pushes her hard to compete and win in the upcoming gymnastics tournament. You get the vibes of Nina’s mother from this woman. The mother’s focus is also on the live tournament coverage for her social media audiences. It’s clear that she’s driven by dopamine and not because the event is right for her daughter.
Hatching Movie: Plot Explained
Hatching begins with a crow entering the house and ruining a perfect take for the mother’s vlog. After catching the bird, the mother decides to wring its neck and kill it rather than releasing it out the window. That’s cold! This scene sets the mood for the entire film – behind the rosy picture in the videos, there’s a lot of gloom, much like in the lives of people that are driven by social media.
Although Tero is introduced as the homewrecker who’s going to ruin the family, it appears to be an open secret that the mother is with Tero. Tinja is shocked when she first finds out, but her father seem to be okay with the arrangement. Tero is actually a decent guy who tries to tell Tinja to not be so hard on herself.
What is the bird creature in the movie Hatching?
If you consider this film a creature feature, then sure, the bird monster is real. It appears to be a telepathic mimic that initially protects but eventually consumes its own hatcher and takes their place in the real world. But I don’t think that’s what the film is that shallow; there is a metaphorical angle.
While Hatching is a chilly horror movie, it presents an allegory. Tinja is only 12, and her mother puts immense pressure on her. While the other girls live a regular life, Tinja either practices or exercises to stay fit for the competition. Her breakfast is minuscule as her mother tries to reduce excess fat from her already skinny daughter. Tinja is likely bulimic and is frequently throwing up. All of this causes Tinja to have a psychological breakdown causing her mind to hatch and nurture a monster. The vomiting episodes lead her to imagine herself feeding the beast.
The size of the egg represents the Tinja’s growing mental issues. You can see that the egg is significantly bigger when she finds out her mother is having an affair. Finally, the egg becomes gigantic when her mother announces that she’s in love with Tero and is going to move in with him. The egg cracks. Tinja’s mind cracks.
Hatching: Who killed the dog and is hurting people?
The bird creature is the killer, but if we consider this to be a manifestation inside Tinja’s mind, then Tinja is the one going around hurting people. Her annoyance with the dog makes her kill it. The neighbour, Reetta, is competing with her for the last spot in the gymnastics event, so she mauls her. Tero’s baby gets more attention from her mother, and she wants to kill it. But does she actually do it? Well, as the movie plays out, it becomes more evident that it’s not her.
Tinja names the creature Alli, and over time we see the monster taking the shape of Tinja. According to director, Hanna Bergholm, the monster shown in Hatching is a metaphor for Tinja’s mental state. The younger brother sees Alli at night. Tero sees Alli when he tries to enter Tinja’s room. Tinja’s father sees Alli on the lawn, and finally, the mother encounters Alli in the climax.
Is this proof that the creature was real all along?
Tinja falls down in the competition and injures her wrist, stopping Alli from killing the baby. Up until this scene, Hatching puts the doubt in our minds if Tinja and Alli are two different people or just multiple personalities. But Tero sees Alli leaving from the window, and at this time, the mother is driving back home with Tinja. Soon as they arrive, Tero confronts them. If this confrontation happened anytime later, we could say – though the movie makes it look like Alli’s attacks happen while Tinja has seizures, they actually occur at two different moments. Tero’s confronting Tinja and her mom makes for solid evidence that the creature is indeed real.
Hatching Movie Ending Explained
The ending of the 2022 movie Hatching sees the mother accidentally killing Tinja. Alli drinks Tinja’s blood, completes her transformation and stands up, saying, “mother”. We can either see this as a mimic fully emerging or this moment is the psychological slaying of a child’s mind but the latter is less likely.
Because of evidence from certain scenes in the film, we could consider that the monster is real and now stands in the place of Tinja, and the family is shell shocked. Just like they covered up for the neighbour’s dead dog, they’d probably bury Tinja in the lawn and move forward with their lives if Alli doesn’t devour them first.
On the other hand, we could see the climax as a child’s mind disintegrating, unable to withstand the physical and mental stress. The child lashes out at her mother for being so controlling and constantly blaming her. Tinja’s sane side fights the monster she’s turning into, but it is a monster she has hatched and nurtured; she cares for it. The climax is a metaphor that shows the mother’s action kills the child’s innocence, and only the monster survives. While this works for the final scene, Tero’s confrontation makes this impossible.
Hatching: Final Thoughts: Was the monster all real or not?
Based on the events in Hatching, it appears the monster is real, however, that does lead to inconsistencies. Hatching is a great film that seemingly shows us a monster and then makes us believe it was Tinja developing a split personality and finally concluding that it was the monster after all and leaves us with an abrupt ending. The film gives contradicting vibes of both supernatural and psychological natures. To elaborate…
The way the dog was decapitated makes it difficult to believe that a supernatural force was not involved. It did not look like something a 12-year-old could do. On the other hand, the amount of blood that would have been there on the bed and in the room would have been excessive and not something the dad could have mistaken to be menstrual bleeding.
The way Reetta was mauled looked like she was attacked by a wild animal, not a 12-year-old. The fact that Tero saw Tinja leaving his baby’s room even though she was with her mother at the competition makes it hard to dispute that Tero saw the monster, Alli, trying to hurt his baby. And yet, it’s hard to believe that Tero simply broke up with the mother even though she has video evidence of Tinja at the competition. It was a live stream!
In the climax, the mother discovers that her daughter has an insidious doppelganger, but her reaction is rather calm and composed. She arms herself and her daughter with a kitchen knife to go take down a supernatural beast that can rip a dog’s head right off. The family’s response was more in line with a child having a meltdown and them not knowing how to react to it.
As you can see, the film has a lot of contradictions, but if you’d ask me if the creature was real? I’d say yes because the movie has a lot of evidence that points in that direction, but I really wish it weren’t because the way the characters in the movie react is not in line with what was going on.
What were your thoughts on the plot and ending of the 2022 movie Hatching? Leave your comments below so we can discuss!
Barry is a technologist who helps start-ups build successful products. His love for movies and production has led him to write his well-received film explanation and analysis articles to help everyone appreciate the films better. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time.
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