Vivarium

15 DVD

You don’t full realise the enormous impact of a global pandemic until you’re smack in the middle of one. Not only are many of us struggling with the concept of self isolation (although, if you think of it more as quality alone time, it certainly takes the edge off), but the global economy is taking a huge hit.

One sector hit badly is the housing market. With every one told to stay home, it makes it a tad tricky to move into another one. If you are one of those in the process of selling, or are considering it, then this curious indie title may just help you decide to put the whole thing on hold.

boom reviews vivarium
Users found the new visual Tripadvisor rating system more helpful.

Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) are a young couple hoping to take the next step and move onto the property ladder. But with the economy as it is, finding the perfect home is becoming increasingly difficult.

Still, undeterred, they decide to pop into a local estate agent. It’s there that they are introduced to Martin (Jonathan Aris), who is enthusiastic to show them around a new property development called Yonder, which could be just what they’re after.

With Martin keen to show them the property, they follow him in their car to the estate. It’s there that he shows them around number 9, which initially looks promising. The viewing quickly takes an odd turn however, when Martin disappears into thin air.

Deciding that the viewing must be over, they decide to leave. But Leaving Yonder soon becomes a trying challenge, with the couple finding themselves the new occupants of number 9, whether they like it or not.

boom reviews vivarium
Home schooling soon started to take its toll.

There’s a slightly disturbing irony watching this particular title as this specific time, in self isolation, about a couple who can’t escape from their home. Prophetic even. Making it all the creepier.

Director Lorcan Finnegan’s film is compelling from start to finish, as the seriousness of this young couple’s predicament becomes ever sharper. And as an indie project, with obvious financial restraints, Finnegan does remarkable well with his limited resources, in creating his troubling world. It may not be a special effects tour de force, but he cleverly creates his remote dystopian vision with flair and definition.

Perhaps he is helped, in part, by a familiar theme, elements of which can be found in various stories, everything from the classic TV show The Prisoner to The Truman Show and The Twilight Zone. There’s enough here however, to make it its own.

One of the most disturbing parts comes by way of the character simply know as the young boy. Senan Jennings manages to imbue a tangible sensation of terror in his role, which may well haunt you for some time after.

It’s certainly an atmospheric piece, that although trails out somewhat towards its end, it still manages to evoke a sense of menace throughout. So much so that, under current conditions, you may not want to watch it alone.

we give this three out of five