Vivarium is a supernatural suspense film that is one of the more bizarre ones I have seen even for this genre. Lorcan Finnegan serves as director for this screenplay written by Garret Shanley. Finnegan and Shanley also share story credits. Apparently Finnegan had done some short film previously from which this current piece is based. It’s a small cast with Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots. Jonathan Aris and Eanna Hardwicke are a couple of other cast members of some note.
So the story starts off with a young couple in the market for a new house and meet a very unusual real estate agent where they are introduced to a suburban housing development known as Yonder. The houses are even more eerily alike than most suburban neighborhoods these days. The couple known as Tom and Gemma find themselves abandoned at the house and cannot find their way out of the unusually labyrinthine neighborhood. Then the box with the baby inside arrives, and their stay gets even weirder.
There was a real effort at something original here, which I appreciate. There are times where the film drags a little, but Eiesenberg and Poots give pretty convincing performances. It’s hard to be too critical of some the decisions written considering the concept is so bizarre. Not too many answers are given by the time this film ends, but I somehow found that fitting.
Anyway, it was a pretty interesting move to have a suburban setting to be distorted in something so nightmarish. This film isn’t the first one to play with that notion, but this particular one was one of the better efforts.