Too often, sci-fi thrillers end up with an absence of actual thrills thanks to an overreliance on old tropes. But once in a while, we’re treated to a wildly inventive new sci-fi thriller that restores our faith in the genre, and the new movie Vivarium is looking like it’s going to be one of those restorative films.
The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots as a young couple who are looking to purchase their first home together. Their search leads them to an extremely creepy and almost robotic realtor (Jonathan Aris), who takes them to a very odd suburban neighborhood. You’re probably used to seeing suburbs where all of the houses look the same, but in this development, they all look exactly the same. As in, they are completely indistinguishable from one another. After the couple are shown the home, they find that it contains a baby with a note stipulating that they are unable to leave the home until they raise the child. The pair soon discover that escaping the home is literally impossible, leaving them to become reluctant parents to this strange kid.
In the clip below from Bloody Disgusting, the couple first tours the house with the realtor, and it’s obvious from the start that something is very off.
The movie’s plot is quite obviously a commentary on capitalism, societal norms, and the American dream, but one that’s done so in an inventive way. Vivarium certainly looks unlike any film we’ve seen before, and that alone is enough to pique our interest. The movie is streaming now on-demand, and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 12.