Vivarium | Chicago Reader
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Vivarium

On the surface, Vivarium may seem like just another takedown of the suburbs, a location filmgoers have come to expect as the setting for criticizing conformity, if not the backdrop for white savior shenanigans. But unlike other entries in the former category (Suburbicon, The Stepford Wives), Vivarium leans into science fiction to depict the dystopian utopia. Set specifically in Yonder, which is proudly advertised as “Quality family homes. Forever.”, young couple and house hunters Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) quickly discover “forever” becomes quite literal when you’re trapped. Even worse, they’re given a peculiar child (Senan Jennings and Eanna Hardwicke), who ages as rapidly as a dog, to raise. This tight cast does wonders for the bland setting, keeping things tense every turn of the way. If you liked the cult class Cube, you’ll dig this, and if you haven’t seen it consider this a double-feature recommendation.

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