1hr 54mins

Adapted from the experimental artist and writer Brian Catling’s novella, in her latest film Lucile Hadžihalilović (Innocence, Evolution) crafts an exquisitely unsettling atmosphere that paces between the creeping surrealism of an uncanny puzzle and the shadowy logic of a nightmare.

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Lucile Hadzihalilovic
Strong gory images

In the dark confines of a gloomy apartment, a young girl called Mia (Romane Hemelaers) has her teeth made from ice.

Her brittle bite is re-inserted daily by Albert Scellinc (Paul Hilton), the girl’s increasingly unstable guardian; the teeth are created by pouring the girl’s saliva over a dental impression which is then, methodically, placed in a dingy freezer.

It soon becomes apparent that despite Albert’s strained assurance that ‘everything is as it should be’, this routine arrangement is about to unravel.

What follows is a looping disorientation of troubled memory and darkening ambiguity, unravelling between the haunting simplicity of a nursery rhyme and the unhinged symbolism of dream analysis.

An ominous tone-poem from the inimitable, otherworldly mind of Hadžihalilović, Earwig provides generous nightmare fuel for those who like their cinema straight from the unconscious.

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