Vivarium (2019) Review

Vivarium is an incredibly underwhelming movie with a decent cast and an ok story. The movie is about a young couple whose house search lands them to a neighborhood they can never escape. It is here that they are given a child to raise. Being trapped slowly begins to take a toll on the couple’s relationship and, well nothing really happens.

After they are settled in the house and are given a child to care, they sort of fall into the motions rather quickly. Each person has a task they must complete for whatever reason, and it incredibly boring to watch. Each day starts with dealing with breakfast, but each time they change the scene ever so slightly to show that the situation is taking its toll on their relationship. The problem is, it doesn’t matter. It is so boring that you stop caring about watching people doing chores. I wish they did a better job at creating more tension and hopelessness. It doesn’t feel like that they are trapped here, instead it just feels like you are watching a couple take care of a kid when they don’t want to take care of the kid. Yeah they get upset with each other and they become unexplainably obsessed with whatever task the aliens programmed them to do, but this doesn’t create the tension nor does it create the creepy tone this movie needed to be successful.

The biggest issue with the movie is that the plot doesn’t make sense.  There is no reason for them to be there, there is nothing to explain why they are there. Nothing to explain what the aliens are doing. It seems that they had a concept for a movie, but it was never fully fleshed out to create cohesive story. They get to the neighborhood and start doing chores and dying because reasons. They add a lot of scenes for the sake of adding a creepy seen, but they add nothing to the film. They go as far as heavily suggesting that aliens are behind the whole plot, but they never do anything with them. It is incredibly difficult to talk about this movie because of how shallow of a plot it has. Clearly most of the budget was used to create this weird suburban prison because so much time is spent showing how creepy this world is, but so little time is spent on the actual plot of the movie.

The worst part of the film is the foreshadowing. In the first five minutes, the movie goes out of it’s way to summarize the rest of the movie. A cuckoo takes over a nest and now this new mama bird is tricked into raising the parasite. Oh and Jessie Eisenberg buries the babies for whatever reason. There is no reason to watch it passed this point because the rest the movie is a more drawn out and boring version of this scene.

I wanted to like this movie. I have seen some cool culty creepy movies about suburbia that have always been my favorite but was instead incredibly disappointed. I wish they did more with the aliens. I wish it wasn’t so drawn it out and they actually acted like natural humans who were trapped rather than robots programmed to take care of this alien kid. I wish they had spent a little more time explaining how anything in this world worked so I can understand the severity of their situation. Instead you get chores the movie and I don’t recommend this to my worst enemy. Skip it.

 

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