Director: Lynne Ramsay
Talent: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
Release Date: February 27th 2012
Evil offspring have long featured as a device to frighten audiences; although they usually appear in some supernatural capacity, removing the anxiety that this brood may really exist. Nine years since her last feature, Lynne Ramsay offers a portrayal of adolescent malevolence that is firmly positioned in the world we live in; it is enough to horrify, and to turn viewers off the idea of parenthood.
Tilda Swinton is Eva, a mother trying to grapple with the sociopathic behaviour of her son, Kevin. The film harasses romantic notions of ‘family’, locating the source of horror within the home. Eva exudes a palpable sense of confinement, in both her house and in her role as mother. She must cope with the aftermath of an atrocity which her son commits. Details of the incident are gradually revealed through her fragmented memories. This splintered narrative is saturated with sensuous images which lend a visceral quality that is both beautiful and chilling. Seemingly irrelevant snippets become overwhelmingly significant by the film’s end, unifying in a breathtaking finale.
Words: Elaine Brennan-O’Dwyer