Are you kind to birds? If a bird flew in your house, would you kill it? Or care for it until it died of natural causes? You might think twice about your answer once you watch the trailer for IFC Midnight’s Hatching, the directorial debut from Finnish filmmaker Hanna Bergholm that premieres virtually at Sundance next week and is headed straight for your nightmares when it opens in theaters and on-demand April 29.
The story follows 12-year-old gymnast Tinja (Siiri Solalinna), whose perfectionist mommy-blogging mother is, shall we say, not nice. She’s overly demanding of Tinja, and when a bird gets into their house one day, she takes it out of Tinja’s loving arms and snaps its neck right in front of her. Like I said, not nice. But don’t worry! The bird folk always get their vengeance. Tinja finds the strange bird’s egg in the woods and hides it in her room, making a promise to care for it. Then, the egg grows until it’s practically the size of her (if this ever happens to you, run away.) Eventually, it hatches into a baby bird-esque monster that becomes her best friend but also requires her to regurgitate bird seed for it to eat. Obviously there are some very thoughtful and powerful metaphors happening here about familial relationships and female empowerment. There’s also a very important lesson about being kind to birds because birds will get you.