Vivarium (2019) reviews and overview

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[Total: 5   Average: 3.2/5]

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Vivarium is a 2019 nightmarish science-fiction feature film about a couple looking for the perfect home, who find themselves trapped in a mysterious labyrinth-like neighbourhood of identical houses.

Directed by Lorcan Finnegan from a screenplay co-written with Garret Shanley (Without Name), the movie stars Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later), Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland and sequel) and Jonathan Aris.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …mildly reminiscent of mother! in its exploration of how cyclical repetition can lead to chaos and psychic breakdowns […] For audiences willing to embrace its artificial staginess, its consideration of the mundane and its dark sense of humor, however, Vivarium is well worth the trip out to the burbs.” Bloody Disgusting

” …not a predictable cabin fever movie about a couple fracturing over clearly not being ready to raise a child yet. Instead, it sticks in the mode of dismantling perceived joys of this chosen lifestyle, reaching a wonderfully trippy conclusion that is all at once confusing, life-draining, and darkly cynical.” Flickering Myth

“There are many moments of dark humour to be found amidst the mysterious goings on and a wry observation about the seemingly never-ending turnover of estate agents. Director Lorcan Finnegan and fellow screenplay writer Garret Shanleyhave crafted a magnificently eccentric and unusual world which, frustratingly yet somehow perfectly, leaves many questions unanswered.” For Your Films Only

” …a great premise is dulled down to a feature-length movie with too much weirdness and dark humor. The first thirty minutes are outright terrifying and could have used the ordinary couple to the fullest extent, but the lack of character development and unexplored mysteries don’t give the movie anything to dig into.” Goomba Stomp

“In every single aspect, it is wacky as hell and it really wants you to know that. A majority of this film uses this quality in an exceptional way. The repetitive nature of it wanting you to know it’s strange is good until this leads to the film faltering by its second half a bit too much to consider it fantastic.” Keith Loves Movies

Vivarium is a daring, adventurous feature sophomore feature debut, with an incredible sense of science fiction-horror, which perfectly encompasses both the real and surreal, that unfortunately concludes with a dissatisfying whimper.” On the Clock

“The script can be a little on-the-nose, but it does offer some hilariously literal metaphors for the hell of parenthood which it would be a shame to spoil. Middle-class suburbia is also in the crosshairs, with Yonder becoming a prison of repetitive architecture and domestic mundanity.” One Room with a View

“The film builds its creepy world not just with disturbing visuals but the questions they inspire and is bound to inspire vastly different reactions in turn. Through focused storytelling, expansive imagination and some calibrated madness, Vivarium becomes a wild ride within the confines of a nightmarish lifestyle.” RogerEbert.com

“Right through to its uncompromising ending, Vivarium casts a creepy spell and further establishes Finnegan and Shanley as a team with imagination and command of their craft to spare.” Rue Morgue

Release:

Saban Films is distributing Vivarium in the USA, whilst worldwide distribution is being handled by XYZ Films.

Cast and characters:

  • Imogen Poots … Gemma
  • Jesse Eisenberg … Tom
  • Jonathan Aris … Martin
  • Olga Wehrly … Young Woman
  • Danielle Ryan … Mom
  • Senan Jennings … The Boy
  • Eanna Hardwicke … The Boy
  • Molly McCann … Molly – Mousey Girl
  • Shana Hart … Woman

Production companies:

  • Fantastic Films
  • Frakas Productions
  • PingPongFilm
  • XYZ Films

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