Film review: ‘It Hatched’ mixes horror with comedy

Icelandic tale at Austin Film Festival features a demon in the basement


The Icelandic horror film “It Hatched” screened on opening night at the Austin Film Festival, and it screens again Oct. 25 at 10 p.m. at the Galaxy Highland.

If you’re a night owl and like horror movies that have some comedy, too, then this might be worth your time.

Directed by Elvar Gunnarsson, “It Hatched” deals with a young couple, Mira and Pétur, who move to a remote home in Iceland. They think they might open a bed and breakfast for bird watchers, but folks in a nearby village sort of snort at the notion. And when you see the house that they’ve bought, you won’t immediately want to visit.

The young man was an engineer back in the States, but his sperm count was low, perhaps because of job stress, so the move to Iceland is related to a desire to start a family.

Trouble brews when they accidentally unleash an ancient Icelandic demon from a hole in their basement floor. The demon harasses them with night terrors, and inexplicably, Mira becomes pregnant. But this is not a normal pregnancy. She lays a big egg, and it hatches, and she thinks it’s just wonderful, and the husband thinks she’s going crazy.

To say any more would lead to spoilers. But let’s just say that strange characters show up to give their opinion of the hole in the floor. And some of them think that the baby must be demonic — and should never be allowed to leave the premises.

The film stars Gunnar Kristinsson and Vivian Ólafsdíttir. Kristinsson gets more than a few laughs by displaying a hapless desperation.

The director co-wrote the screenplay with Ingimar Svensson and Magnús Ómarsson. The director also acted as the director of photography and wrote the original film score. And that’’s saying quite a lot since this is his feature film debut.

The cinematography in the home is relatively grainy and foreboding, but some of the shots of the fjords are gorgeous.

The idea of a woman laying a demon egg isn’t groundbreaking, but this offbeat little film has its merits.

Charles Ealy
Charles Ealy
Charles Ealy is a former movies editor for The Dallas Morning News and Austin American-Statesman.

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