Imagine being trapped, held against your will, in a house and a neighbourhood that is weird and creepy. Actually that’s our reality right now, but take it one step further and imagine that there is simply no escape – and what you have then is Vivarium.
Vivarium literally means an enclosure, container, or structure adapted or prepared for keeping animals under semi-natural conditions for observation or study or as pets; like an aquarium or a terrarium. In the new scary and disturbing science fiction movie ‘Vivarium,’ Tom and Gemma (Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots) are being observed, studied, but by whom they, nor we, don’t know. Before this they were just a young ordinary couple looking for a house to buy. Gemma was a teacher, while Tom was a DIY man. But one day they walk into a real estate agents office and meet an odd, clean cut and crisp robotic salesman named Martin (Jonathan Aris) who is more than happy to show them a house at a development called Yonder. Once they get there, everything looks and seems perfect; homes all alike in an environment with round clouds and blue skies, while the house Martin shows them is perfect, almost too perfect. But Martin disappears while Gemma and Tom are looking around the home, and they get into their car and realize there is no escaping the neighborhood. It’s then that their young idyllic future turns into a nightmare as they are forced to live in the house in which they can’t escape from, where food, and a baby boy, are delivered right to their doorstep, to create one happy family.
‘Vivarium’ shows a young couple right at their most vulnerable, put in a situation they simply just can’t escape from. Director and writer (with Garret Shanley) Lorcan Finnegan has a keen eye for detail, and as the mystery builds, so does the nightmare of the whole situation. Without being bloody and violent, Vivarium, is just downright scary, but more chillingly as perhaps because it seems all too real.
Vivarium is available on the following digital platforms:
Curzon Home Cinema
Review by Tim Baros