Reviews

Vivarium – Review

Home buying is a tentative prospect for any young couple. Trying to find your dream house in this climate is a minefield of background checks, shady landlords, and awful market prices. What’s worse is the shifty estate agents who try to sell you anything and everything in order to earn a couple of bucks.  They’ll squeeze you into the tiniest spaces or try and make you take the weirdest home. Especially if you live in the city.

Now imagine if you were sent to the suburbs, in an isolated estate, with no clear escape. That’s what happens in Lorcan Finnegan’s Vivarium.

Starring Jessie Eisenberg and Imogen Poots, Vivarium revolves around young couple Tom and Gemma who are looking for their first home together. When an estate agent takes them to Yonder, a mysterious suburban neighbourhood of identical green houses that they instantly hate. However, when they try to escape, they find themselves hopelessly trapped. Forced to live inside the insidious home – can Tom and Gemma ever find home again?

It is hard to talk about Vivarium whilst trying to not give away elements of the story. After all, toe-curling expeditions into the weird heart of science fiction revels truly in the secrecy. However, Finnegan’s weird cabin fever of a film is a devilish treat. Finnegan directs this unpredictable horror with a queasy atmosphere that will slip down your spine.

Image result for vivarium film

Home buying is a tentative prospect for any young couple. Trying to find your dream house in this climate is a minefield of background checks, shady landlords, and awful market prices. What’s worse is the shifty estate agents who try to sell you anything and everything in order to earn a couple of bucks.  They’ll squeeze you into the tiniest spaces or try and make you take the weirdest home. Especially if you live in the city.

Now imagine if you were sent to the suburbs, in an isolated estate, with no clear escape. That’s what happens in Lorcan Finnegan’s Vivarium.

Starring Jessie Eisenberg and Imogen Poots, Vivarium revolves around young couple Tom and Gemma who are looking for their first home together. When an estate agent takes them to Yonder, a mysterious suburban neighbourhood of identical green houses that they instantly hate. However, when they try to escape, they find themselves hopelessly trapped. Forced to live inside the insidious home – can Tom and Gemma ever find home again?

It is hard to talk about Vivarium whilst trying to not give away elements of the story. After all, toe-curling expeditions into the weird heart of science fiction revels truly in the secrecy. However, Finnegan’s weird cabin fever of a film is a devilish treat. Finnegan directs this unpredictable horror with a queasy atmosphere that will slip down your spine.

The large scale of the torment is excitingly done. Bravo to the set design team and this glorious crazed vision of suburbia and suburban expectations. The haunting home replicas that sprawl never-ending in this modern day are unforgettable, looming within the story and almost constantly on screen.

Imogen Poots carries the film. Her performance is expertly good. She reacts and responds to her environment in brilliant ways. As she cowers and loses her mind in this sudden maze, her taut emotions keep you invested in her character. She is brilliantly likable and understandably breakdown in this new hellscape. Poots continues to produce outstanding performances like this then she’ll be on track for awards and celebration.

Unfortunately, Jessie Eisenberg is very under-utilised. Though you believe in their love, he doesn’t have a lot to do here which is a sad waste of his indie talents.

Vivarium struggles to keep up the bizarre nature throughout the film and its allegory is heavy handed. However, Vivarium is a unique treat and within Poots’ performance, it really comes alive. Whilst its soft weird nature may not be for everyone, there is a spine-tingling tale here.

The large scale of the torment is excitingly done. Bravo to the set design team and this glorious crazed vision of suburbia and suburban expectations. The haunting home replicas that sprawl never-ending in this modern day are unforgettable, looming within the story and almost constantly on screen.

Imogen Poots carries the film. Her performance is expertly good. She reacts and responds to her environment in brilliant ways. As she cowers and loses her mind in this sudden maze, her taut emotions keep you invested in her character. She is brilliantly likable and understandably breakdown in this new hellscape. Poots continues to produce outstanding performances like this then she’ll be on track for awards and celebration.

Unfortunately, Jessie Eisenberg is very under-utilised. Though you believe in their love, he doesn’t have a lot to do here which is a sad waste of his indie talents.

Vivarium struggles to keep up the bizarre nature throughout the film and its allegory is heavy handed. However, Vivarium is a unique treat and within Poots’ performance, it really comes alive. Whilst its soft weird nature may not be for everyone, there is a spine-tingling tale here.


Vivarium is available on VOD from 27th March

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