Vivarium: Tragic And Disturbing Movie
Have you ever watched a movie so scary, tragic and disturbing that left you with a lump in your throat, hours after viewing? The last movie that did that was Annihilation, but yesterday I watched an equally disturbing movie. Vivarium is the name and I have conflicting thoughts about it.
Let me start from the beginning. Vivarium is about the tragic story of Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) and Gemma (Imogen Poots). A young couple that’s on a hunt for a house in suburbia. But when they actually get an estate agent, and when he takes them to a new development housing project called Yonder…. They’ll get more than they’ve hoped for. A lot more.
Yonder is an infinite Cul-de-sac where every house is exactly the same, and there’s no end of that identical seemingly idyllic suburban life. They’ll get stuck there, like in some weird Black Mirror/Twilight Zone episode. And on top of that, they’ll get a baby to raise. No, they won’t conceive, but they’ll get a baby delivered in a brand new cardboard box. One big happy family right? Hardly.
That baby is growing very fast in a short amount of time, that baby is mimicking them, that baby is growing up to become even more annoying child, and that baby will eventually be responsible for their demise. It lacks any emotion and sympathy. It doesn’t process dreams an also is incapable of imagining things. He’s the child brought straight from the depths of hell.
The first half of the movie is fairly repetitive. The couple sets up a nice routine as they finally resign to the fact that they’ll be stuck in this new environment. But, there’s a shift in dynamics too, as the movie progresses and as the child becomes more vicious and annoying. For instance, Gemma is slightly more attached and defensive about the child’s well-being.
Despite the fact that she constantly repeats that SHE’S NOT HIS MOTHER. I guess the protective, nurturing nature is the motherly instinct kicking in for a short while. Tom, on the other hand, is much more reserved, distant and cold towards the child. He even tries to harm the child on several occasions, but Gemma intervenes every time. If you thought this was freaky, wait until you watch the end.
The end is really the fucked up part. Frankly, it’s the end that’s scariest the most. I was having Goosebumps all throughout the movie, but the end really kicked me in my gut. Spoilers! It was aliens after all. Yonder is actually an alien experiment of human nature. Set in the most mundane and sterile environment like a suburban housing project. And I guess Tom and Gemma were victims of alien abduction. For real.
They were brought to the human-like vivarium and experimented on, like in some bizarre episode of X-Files. But the thing is, as the movie nears the end we found plenty of similarly desperate couples stuck in worlds just like theirs. Miserable people, stuck in a loop with no possibility of an escape and with an identical child to raise. Like the one that Tom and Gemma had.
If you are fans of psychological horror/SF movies than this is the perfect one of you. It’s scary, depressing and very disturbing. But it’s also very well directed and with great performances from Jesse and Imogen.
Oh and from the alien kid as well. Can’t forget about him.
Watch it!. And tell me what you thought of it. Did you loved it or hated it? I want to know.