Film Review – Vivarium

SNACK at The Glasgow Film Festival 2020


You’re unlikely to find many outright stranger films this year than director Lorcan Finnegan’s brilliantly bewildering high concept sci-fi mystery. The plot takes you woozily down a twisted rabbit hole as it follows young couple Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) who while house-hunting are taken to a suburb that appears to all look identical. When the odd-acting estate agent disappears, they soon find they are trapped in a labyrinthine neighbourhood that seems to never end. It’s one of those films where it’s better not to know any more than that going in, as it houses a great many unsettling, quietly horrific treats. Poots and Eisenberg are both excellent as the increasingly maddened couple and the film can be enjoyed purely as a “what the hell is going on?” Cube meets Pleasantville oddball mystery or as a deeper allegory about everything from the mundanity of suburban living to the systemic failure of government for its population just ready to be dug up from the eerily pristine surface. A peculiar gem.

Vivarium is released on March 27th.


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