Ran almost a year ago VIVARIUM already in the program of the Fantasy Filmfest. Now the suburban grotesque starring Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots isn’t getting a regular cinema release, but at least it’s getting a home cinema release in United Kingdom. And you shouldn’t miss this one. We reveal why in our review.
There is a picture of the house hanging in the house. Naturally.
For a long time, “Vivarium” has been a primarily atmosphere-driven thriller that draws its basic tension primarily from the question of what exactly this scenario is supposed to lead to. Who is behind it? What is the purpose of this structure? And what will happen to Tom and Gemma? However, from the second half onwards, the two suddenly have to deal with raising a baby that is unfamiliar to them, which not only ages at an absolutely unnatural speed, but also shows no visible emotions, suddenly starts screaming uncontrollably at its parents or at them – in the truest sense of the word – imitated with incredible precision, the Lanthimos parallel appears again: with films like “The Lobster” or “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” he introduced the human order and all its sometimes more, sometimes less sensible conventions absurdum; In “Vivarium”, Lorcan Finnegan, who is also responsible for the script, examines the suburban idyll, which many people interpret as the norm, for its inherent harmony and exposes it as a hamster wheel with his film. Of course, not without the much-needed humor: despite all its bite, “Vivarium” is also an incredibly funny and – more importantly – wonderfully consistent film. As an allegory of human existence, it is perhaps even a tad too consistent; Finnegan deprives his audience of any possibility of interpretation when he concludes the story without any ambiguity. But “Vivarium” does well not to rely on subtlety here – after all, it isn’t life either.
Conclusion: With “Vivarium”, newcomer Lorcan Finnegan creates a scenario that is both oppressive and extremely entertaining, which makes the viewer thoroughly rethink the idyll of the standardized suburb with father, mother and child.
“Vivarium” is available on DVD and Blu-ray from June 12th.