Fantasia 2019: Vivarium

Vivarium (2019) 1h 37min | Sci-Fi | 18 May 2019 (France) Summary: A couple looking for the perfect home, find themselves trapped in a mysterious labyrinth-like neighborhood of identical houses.
Countries: USALanguages: English

A couple finds themselves trapped in a suburban neighbourhood in Vivarium. Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) are a young couple looking to buy a home. They come across an odd realtor named Martin (Jonathan Aris), who convinces the couple to take a good at a house in a new housing development called Yonder, consisting of rows of identical green coloured houses. However, Gemma and Tom soon find out that they are unable to leave the neighbourhood and to further complicate the situation, they are left a rapidly ageing child to take care of.

Vivarium is a science fiction story by director Lorcan Finnegan. With a plot that seems straight out of The Twilight Zone, Gemma and Tom find themselves trapped in a suburban hell and having to care for an increasingly creepy boy. Slowly, the situation causes Gemma and Tom to grow apart, with the latter becoming obsessed with digging a gigantic hole in the front yard.

It is fairly obvious that one of Lorcan Finnegan’s goals with Vivarium was to literalize the hells of suburban living. However, while this story would make for a great episode of The Twilight Zone, the plot seems a bit stretched out for a feature. In addition, both Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg don’t really have much to do, other than become increasingly frustrated and worn out by their situation. Ultimately, Vivarium is a suburban science fiction tale that I wish was executed differently.

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).