A watchable, if unpleasant thriller that plays out like an episode of Outer Limits comes from director and story collaborator Lorcan Finnegan.
Vivarium has Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots (both in last year’s The Art of Self-Defense) as unmarried couple Tom (a gardener) and Germma (a schoolteacher) looking for their first residence.
Well, they get it by way of weird, obnoxiously mocking realtor Martin (Jonathan Aris). Number 9, to be specific, is part of ‘Quality Ready Homes Forever’ gives them an inescapable suburban struggle that each will deal with in their own way. Angry and obstinate in a particular case.
An obsession with front yard digging, as well as “raise him and be released” instills psychological stress of the parental and surreal. Of a plasticky, two-story soulless, sterile existence with no neighbors, not to mention taste or smell.
The mystery works off of a parasitic mother bird and cuckoo in the prologue in a darkly, prophetic way as a vanished realtor comes to roost. If only the plotting could have sustained itself from an intriguing set up.