Directed by Lorcan Finnegan
May 18, 2019
Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) and Gemma (Imogen Poots-her name sounds like the name of some bad comic strip character) get trapped in the development from hell.
After watching this movie I am left with one question: what was the point of it all? A vivarium is “a place, such as a laboratory, where live animals or plants are kept under conditions simulating their natural environment, as for research” per Dictionary.com and that helps to understand what is being done to the characters by fails to explain why beyond what can be gleaned from the ending. Vivarium was 90 minutes of events and at the end there was really no point revealed other than to raise a real estate agent that suckered another couple into checking out the supernatural development to raise yet another real estate agent. That was it.
I do not care that the characters did not make it out. I do care that there was no reason given for what was going on. There was not even a reason alluded to. At best you can surmise that the point of it all was to trick people into coming to wherever this place was to raise real estate agents which would be fine if this film was darkly comic but it is not.
It is clear from the get-go that the kid that appears in the box is some type of miniature version of the agent that they meet in the beginning. This makes you think something bigger is going on at this office then just tricking people. The child grows quickly, and things just get a little weirder as the story goes along. But there is nothing. No payoff with no possible explanation on what is going on and what the point of it all is. It was clear the end was coming when Jesse Eisenberg found a body bag at the bottom of his hole he was digging.
Of all the places his cigarette could’ve landed to expose soil and of all the places he could’ve dug a hole he picked the one spot that after spending days upon days digging straight down he would encounter a relatively fresh body. Huh? That is way too much coincidence.
The only real indication of anything is at the very end when Gemma is chasing the now grown child around. Or at least she tries to after attempting to take him out with a pickax. He lifts up the sidewalk and crawls under and she follows. He disappears into a room and that is the last she sees of him for a while. What follows is her stumbling through an apparent set of other individuals trapped in a similar development in varying stages of their capture but again no real explanation or allusion as to what’s going on. Why were these all separated?
And then Gemma dies and the weird kid goes off to the real estate office and disposes of his predecessor. The end. But not exactly. One other couple does show up and then the movie does end.
I do not mind movie where the central character(s) are screwed in the end. It is not my favorite type of ending but so long as it makes sense in the context of the story and there is a point to it all. The problem here is that there was no ultimate point to this movie. At least not a point that I see that makes the story worthwhile.
Vivarium is not a good theatrical release. It is not even worthy of direct to video. It is more like a weirder episode of the original Twilight Zone but those at least had a point. It is 90 minutes of film that in the end goes absolutely nowhere. Skip it!