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Vivarium the Hell Am I?

Score: 6|10 Cheeseburgers

Set with a sort of aloof character undertone, Vivarium offers another take on the concept of purgatory. The best thing to keep an eye out for is what's on the tv's throughout the film. Watching the character behaviors and performances, I began to wonder how the plot twists would evolve, and evolve they do. However, these characters are not reasonable people, but hey, maybe that's how they ended up in a place like this. There are some interesting curve balls that Director/Writer Lorcan Finnegan weaves by us, especially moments that take sharper turns. It gets really dramatic for not really making too much sense, which becomes disturbing if you let it sink in. The longer you watch it, the more you feel like you're watching an extremely twisted, melancholy, comic strip adaptation.

Still from "Vivarium"

The performances are good enough for what they need to be, but I stand by what I wrote before; these are not reasonable characters, nor do they portray common logic. Their development is scarce. The metaphor was extremely tangled up in random metamorphosis. I wouldn't have been surprised to find out that Zack Galifinahkis was involved in this somehow, but he was not. Jesse Eisenberg was pretty heavily invested though. There are some moments in his performance where I don't know if I should have been laughing. Then again, this movie has a lot of that going on. We see a range of emotion from Imogen Poots, though oddly paced throughout her arc.

Still from "Vivarium"

The stuff that plays on TV's was good. There's a few things that still haunt me in a David Lynch kind of way. All in all, it is an entertaining series of events which take place in a mostly confined space in terms of location. The creative use of the limited, bland and basic repetitive environment throughout the film was fascinating to watch unfold. I couldn't decide if I was frightened or curious.


It does not take long into Vivarium to start feeling a little creeped out. From the character arcs to sound effects, to behavioral patterns, to Imogen Poots' wardrobe, this movie is one strange assembly. The cinematography by D.P. MacGregor is like a William Eggleston photograph on repeat, and I mean that in a positive way. The bland and repetitive backdrop made for some interesting visual opportunities. Who knows, the longer you watch it, the stranger it gets. It fits the perfect profile of a fascinating cult classic.

William Eggleston Photograph "Ugly"

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