The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

'Vivarium' Is Wonderfully Disturbing

Janeen Mathisen

Posted on August 22, 2020 19:00

1 user

You won't regret giving this one a watch.

Despite some minor flaws, Vivarium is a spine-tingling movie with a unique premise and a twist on the premise that viewers won't soon forget. Thanks to brilliant cinematography, the world is hypnotizing and unforgettable; long after viewers finish watching, the unsettling emotions this movie's atmosphere gives will remain long after. Vivarium does not spoon-feed the audience answers, but lets viewers create their own conclusions, which makes the experience more engaging, memorable, and disturbing, as one's imagination suddenly becomes an adversary.

While house hunting, protagonists Gemma and Tom are trapped in monochrome, never-ending suburbia. Normally, survival movies put characters in harsh environments, but this does the exact opposite with the question of, "How would you survive if your prison was too perfect?" With no clue of who trapped them or why they are forced to raise a baby with the promise of freedom once he is grown. But the baby is far from a normal human, and so Gemma and Tom are forced to endure its spying, questioning, inhuman and impersonal presence as they try to escape. Sequestered in their separate roles of feminine caretaker and masculine breadwinner, which they have no choice but to perform, they begin to drift apart physically and emotionally when the circumstances for a united front couldn't be direr.

Altogether, this movie is riveting and creepy, an excellently-dark parody of suburban life. However, the singular thing it's sorely lacking is a believable, loving bond between Gemma and Tom. In the 2005 movie Fun with Dick and Jane, the bond between the main characters is at the center of motivation for everything they do. Their actions make sense. Although Vivarium is tonally and thematically different, Gemma's and Tom's lack of chemistry does, admittedly, make the movie's emotion a little flat. That's not to say the actors couldn't have pulled it off, for they are great here — rather, the blame goes to the screenwriters and director, unfortunately.

Despite this minor stumble, the movie as a whole is so captivating and creepy you won't be able to stop watching it, or thinking about it when it ends. The premise of being surrounded by complete and utter silence, with no one around, worms its way into viewers' minds. Being someplace perfect doesn't sound so bad at first — until it suddenly is, as the marvelous spontaneity and beauty of life is smothered to death, forcing humans to exist in a place not designed for them, but only to mimic what it means to live.

Vivarium is a film that pulls viewers in and doesn't let go, not even when the credits have finished rolling. With symbolic cinematography and chilling details that ignite the imagination, give this a watch on Amazon Prime and get lost in the maze for yourself.

Janeen Mathisen

Posted on August 22, 2020 19:00

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: mySA

Also this week: Indie sci-fi film ‘The Vast of Night’ premieres on Amazon Prime.

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest