A film that really gets under your skin generally has less to do with what happens so much as how it feels, a theory that would seem to bear itself out in the trailer for Evolution. What’s happening here? Some kids are being held at a seaside medical facility, one of them finds a starfish, and then later has to get an injection. Doesn’t sound like much, but there’s something truly disquieting about the way it all comes together on screen. After seeing it at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, The A.V. Club’s A.A. Dowd gave it a B, describing it as “beguiling” while admitting that the word feels off “for something so frequently gross and eerie, but Hadzihalilovic casts a singular dreamlike spell.”
This is Bosnian-French writer-director Lucile Hadžihalilović’s first feature film since 2004’s surrealist coming-of-age fairy tale, Innocence. After premiering in the Vanguard section of the 2015 TIFF, it opened in French theaters in March. Evolution will begin playing in both U.S. theaters and on VOD beginning November 25.