You know what I hate most about movies? Is when they are weird just for the sake of being weird. When they have no (or at least it doesn’t hint at or show) allegory or even a little bit of an ambiguous message. They are just weird because the screenwriter and director decided to smoke a joint together and try to come up with something “original.” That is VIVARIUM in a nut shell. A helluva premise that is completely ruined because it is just weird for the sake of being weird, and there is nothing metaphorically sound around the entire thing to merit any of the weirdness that takes place. So it looks like this week I’m probably going to have three new reviews for you. This, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, and possibly Ozark Season 3 (if I can finish it before the week is up). I’m really hoping this is my last negative review, as I’ve been a total negative Nancy as of recently and want you all to be able to watch something that I think is worthwhile to you and not just a complete waste of fucking time. Now while this isn’t a complete waste of fucking time, I think the film really not having a point, and the fact that it is a pretty dark tale of forced isolation, in a time that we are having to isolate ourselves and not really caring for it to much, I do think that this is a film that most of you probably won’t want to, and probably don’t need to watch right now. And it’s definitely not worth a $6.99 rental (mine was free because I used Disney points to secure a free Fandango now rental).
Vivarium, without trying to go into any spoilers (are they spoilers though if the film doesn’t make any sense and is just weird as shit?) is about a couple (Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots) that goes house hunting in this really weird neighborhood, where all the houses are green and look exactly alike. Their strange realtor leaves them there, and when they try and leave this neighborhood, it just makes the circle back to the house they were looking at. Basically, they are trapped and there is no way out. They get a baby in a box that says “raise him and you will be released” and this child is no ordinary child, somehow the couple still ends up making love even though they are in a bad place, yada yada yada, the movie ends on a depressing and weird note that didn’t make any sense nor did I care for it to make sense. The problem isn’t just the weirdness that made no sense. I didn’t like either of the two characters, even though Poots’ character does have redeeming qualities about her. And I fucking hated the kid. Needless to say the baby ages faster than most, but the kid has a dubbed over adult voice that is trying to imitate a child. And it makes weird screams. And I wanted to stab my eardrums out with a screwdriver just to make sure I didn’t heard it anymore. The film is very annoying to say the least.
And the most annoying thing about it is that it goes absolutely nowhere. It has all these threads, all these different puzzle pieces to make it seem like it is going to have an intriguing and thought provoking, unpredictable ending. A completed puzzle where you had no idea what the image was going to be until you settled that very last piece into place. Nope. While it has an ending, there is nothing behind it other than a dumb twist you can see coming from a mile away. I guess I have to go into semi spoilers but it never reveals really a reason why the couple are isolated in this square block of a neighborhood. Who the baby/child is doesn’t end up revealing any sort of purpose for being. It’s all just weird…for the sake…of being weird. And I hate that shit. Probably why I don’t care for cult classics such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. BECAUSE NONE OF IT MAKES ANY FUCKING SENSE. At least the TV series Lost had some kind of metaphorical ending behind it, even though they didn’t answer every little single weird thing behind the island. Vivarium makes no sense, and I don’t think it wanted to. They probably didn’t even think about the answers. The guy that came up with the story, and the director (not familiar with any of Lorcan Finnegan’s work) probably asked each other, “but why this?” and they both came up with the same answer, “who cares?” They probably had some answers but then that just led to more questions so they just said fuck it and kept on making the movie. Well, I don’t like this movie that much, and will definitely take a temporary spot on my worst films of 2020 list so far. The acting is good, and the premise is good, but all that potential is lost in a vast sea of dumb weirdness that only the filmmakers will ever truly understand. And that’s a paradoxical shame.