Vivarium – More Like Valium

Rating (2 out of 5)

Summary: I love a movie the pushes the edge and forces me to think. But that movie must have good story movie also has to have a basic story that interests me. “Vivarium” has an interesting idea but the story is dull. I didn’t care about the main characters. There are gaps in the story that leave you a little confused. Then you are bombarded colors and sounds, and then the movie ends. Story matters a lot, and it is missing here.

Plot: Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jessie Eisenberg) are searching for a starter home. While visiting a house in a new community for the couple ends up trapped in a house raising a strange baby boy.

Details: On the plus side, the introduction is nice and quick. If you are paying attention you will understand the bird analogy to be used through the rest of the movie, which is semi-interesting.

After the introduction and the couples first valiant attempts at escape, the story soon stalls. The relationship between the couple wasn’t developed, and their evolvement around the boy was unexplored thoroughly. Without that underlying context, the rest of the film was a jumble.

For example, they boy is delivered in a box to the house. Then 98 days later the boy is the same size as an 8 year old. The boy is a terror, but they don’t explain anything between the boy arriving and day 98. Did they try to teach him better behavior, or did he always scream?

Exploring the division between the couple as they tried to coop with the situation had possibilities. But the division wasn’t ground in a previous unity or strong affection. I needed that baseline of couple collaborating and loving each other, so I wanted the couple to succeed. This would have made the ending so much better.

The ending was rather flat and predictable. I was disappointed. “Vivarium” is art without the substance.