Friday, May 8, 2020

Movie Review: “Vivarium”

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: R
Run time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Gemma (Imogen Poots) and her boyfriend Tom (Jessie Eisenberg) are looking for a new home. While browsing one afternoon they meet Martin (Jonathan Aris) who assures them he has the perfect development. However, this house becomes “waaaaay” more than they were expecting.

Martin shows the two to Yonder; an idyllic development where every house looks exactly the same. As they begin to tour the house, #9, (they are only thinking of buying), they notice a few things that are off, like a welcome home gift already in the kitchen. Martin tells them this is not a starter house and that this house is forever. He then disappears. As Tom and Gemma try to leave, they keep getting turned around and end up back at house #9. Even on foot, they find themselves unable to find the exit.

After they realize they cannot escape, Tom sets fire to the house. This does not work; #9 is indestructible. From here on out things just get weirder and weirder. Tom and Gemma get – not have – a child. As time goes on, Tom and Gemma become overwhelmed and frustrated.  Tom makes a discovery while smoking one day and he begins digging a hole. The child does not make things easy and screams a lot. Tom has the idea of killing him, but Gemma prevents him from doing so. There are a lot of points in this movie where bizarre events occur.

We fast forward an indeterminant amount of time, where the child is maybe in his early to mid-twenties. That’s just a guess. Tom is still digging. Gemma now agrees that they should have tried to get rid of him all those years ago. Tom has slowly been getting sicker and sicker, and one day the child brings a package to Gemma that lets you know what Tom’s future is.
How does this end?

Do Gemma and Tom get to leave the development of Yonder?
What about the child? What happens to him?
And Martin? What happened to him?

I had no to low expectations for this movie and it was a rental. But I thought this was a fantastically disturbing thriller. There are a lot of twists and turns. For the most part, I did not find it all that predictable. I like that there were so many strange things about the child and that, from the start, it was obvious this isn’t a normal neighborhood, if you can call it that. The plot is fairly fast paced with minimal moments lagging. I wanted to know where the movie was going and when and how Tom and Gemma were going to escape Yonder. Find out if Yonder is right for you by renting this well-done thriller.

Spoiler: Yonder isn’t right for you, don’t move there – trust me.

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