Vivarium Review


Vivarium is a sci-fi horror- a very bleak movie starring Imogen Poots and Jessie Hensiburg played the young couple who go crazy trying to find their own house, as they continue the search for a home they take a look at “yonder” number 9 which is identical to every other house in the area it is all built the same. they try to leave they just keep going back to the start no matter what they do they can’t escape. They are delivered a baby boy in a box and are told they must raise the child to be released. In 98 days the child grows extremely quickly (faster than the national debt) it imitates them doesn’t sleep, this gives the idea that kids are like sponges they take everything and they mimic and imitate the parents this is shown in a grotesque way to show how most parents don’t really realise it’s happening, but this movie showing the child grows extremely quickly and acts in sinister ways the entire movie to cause a lot more tension the movie gives you enough clues to piece together metaphorically and literally. The boy leaves and comes back with a book which could foreshadow school or any outside forces that might influence him, and shows the tv with weird spirals playing and a monotone noise to represent the subliminal messages being into his mind, I.e. that’s how he’s learning everything. they get processed food delivered straight to their home meaning they are never meant to leave. Her partner occupies the time with gardening which is very telling for a lot of people in this metaphor of going to work every day and feeling like they are just digging them self’s a hole of death, loneliness or despair. Showing the uncertainty by amplifying reality and the idea of mortgages that people really try so hard to get one and what it comes down to is you work really hard to buy something and then spend your life paying it back and then die.

It’s really interesting to see the corporations trying to take over natural settings and build up stuff we see this with the very grim ending of this story with her being out into a body bag alive by the child they surrogated and brought up, by the end of the movie tom (Jessie Heisenberg) finds a body in the hole he’s been digging during his gardening shortly after he dies this could be the imagery that he found his own body in the hole and how he died so shorty after meaning he found his own body in the hole and inevitably dug himself to death.


During the movie as well, you enter this world with a bunch of colours representing family’s that have struggled the same torment (trapped in an unhappy household) this is a string theory that they are all in different frequencies so they never noticed each other but are all living alongside each other



This movie is contrasting because in the movie “without name” a guy is sent out to the forest to collect data for a unethical developer which is similar to vivarium because the developer is studying its captees, with “without name” the forest fights back where as vivarium is the reverse of that it’s trying to trap people instead of repel them meaning the developers setup something complete artificial this is referred to as ‘echo horror” that the more we try to fight with nature.


At the beginning of the movie there’s a life cycle of a cuckoo that shows baby birds in the nest with a surrogate mother taking care of the young before the young baby’s push her out of the nest this foreshadowed the movie because they are stuck surrogating the baby boy.


This movie puts forward a message of society’s fears of being stuck in a suburban house raising a child. The idea of the social contracts that young people buy into that you haven’t got a real choice and your expected to do these certain things and take these certain steps.

They set out to create the most terrifying monster that would haunt people in their 20s and they realise it’s the fear of settling down in a suburbia with a family, in addition it has shown this year due to corona the youth have demonstrated that they are more scared of being trapped inside.


People living in these places and not knowing their neighbours not knowing their children eating processed food and slowly becoming isolated to society inevitably losing their mind.


Previously I’ve watched a lot of horrors but mainly paranormal activity’s this attacks more of you irrational fears that you can then scare yourself further with your imaginations for example being scared of the dark this is very ghostly whereas vivarium is other worldly its more scientifically with the idea based of real life’s fears everyone might face but exaggerates them and makes them more grotesque to bring those real life fears into a context that becomes a lot more sinister but still down to earth


They are similar because paranormal horror movies are supernatural and vivarium also has supernatural tendency’s but playing on different fears people may face ns real life compared to a supernatural fear

Was there anything unexpected about what you saw/experienced?

I wasn’t expected for the. child they surrogated to be so cold and just using them and abusing them until they inevitably die this was a shock to me because they brought up and loved that child and for when it gets older to just toss them aside as if they are nothing this is based on the fear that your children will turn against you and hate you after you trap yourself in a suburban life and love them unconditionally and then they still turn against you and see you as the enemy.


I liked the idea of what are people actually afraid of? What if they create this monster of living in the suburbs stuck in a house there trying to pay off and becoming alienated from their children and friends not understanding with what’s going on with technology, so metaphorically it covering all the despair that we go through because of all society’s pressures and the responsibility’s they impose on us.


Narratively you have these beings who end up becoming a full life circle they were able to use these surrogates (innocent trapped people) to raise them and then they grow up the people die and they go back to the estate agent and wait for the next innocent people come in searching for a house. The truth of the bleakness of the film is that for the majority of society they don’t get the chance to make that choice and that’s the cathartic element of the film that’s what makes it an effective horror film.


I didn’t really like the idea of the scientific factor of the movie I found it slightly confused with how this surrogated child perhaps wasn’t really human I feel it could have been out across in a different way because viewing it confused me but did successfully make me feel nervous and grossed out



I would take away with me the idea of corporate 9-5 developers creating housing complex to maximize profits, sometimes house developments end up being abandoned after or unfinished but people would have already bought a house so it would end up with a hundred houses and one person living there.



People living in these places and not knowing their neighbours not knowing their children eating processed food and slowly becoming isolated to society inevitably losing their mind.


The director said about the movie “with vivarium it was always about what a place would be like if it was completely removed from nature as people are removing themselves further and further from nature and it bringing sickness and anxiety and all that kind of stuff along with it”


Overall, it’s an interesting story that can multiple different meaning- if you’re having trouble looking for a home, if you’re having trouble staying at home the pressures of meeting society’s expectations when there’s these huge businesses trying to trap you inside their maze.

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