Fans of weird science fiction movies can rejoice, as Jesse Eisenberg‘s new film Vivarium is set to land on Amazon Prime on July 11th. Directed by Lorcan Finnegan and written by Garret Shanley, the pic follows a couple (Eisenberg and Imogen Poots) as they try to buy a home together. A creepy estate agent brings them to “Yonder,” a vast complex of identical but empty houses, and promptly disappears. The couple soon realizes they’re trapped in the estate, supplied with food but unable to destroy the house or leave. And their only chance of escape is to complete a seriously bizarre task.
Vivarium premiered in Cannes in 2019 and had a limited cinematic release in Ireland back in March. It probably would have gone on to a limited domestic theatrical release, too, but, well, you know what’s going on in the headlines. As such, Amazon scooped it up and made it available to rent or buy a few months ago. Audiences found it incredibly weird and it blew up on social media and now, in just a few weeks, it’ll be available to all Amazon Prime subscribers at no extra cost.
Critics also seemed to enjoy this strange tale. It’s currently sitting at 71% on the Tomatometer and reviews praised the performances of Jesse Eisenberg and Imgoen Poots, the strength of the core idea, the gorgeous visuals and the bizarre twists and turns. Plus, let’s face it, a surreal sci-fi movie about developing cabin fever from being trapped at home is extremely 2020.
I could forgive some viewers for wanting proper escapism rather than a funhouse reflection of their current situation, but I’ll certainly be tuning in for Vivarium, as it seems like the kind of high-concept imaginative thriller set to push all my buttons. Plus, it sounds a lot like Charlie Kaufman’s perpetually underrated Synecdoche, New York, and I’ll always be down for something like that.
See you on July 11th.