If you enjoyed the sci-fi thriller Vivarium, you probably want to watch more movies in the sci-fi/horror genre. The following 10 best films, like Vivarium, give out surreal and creepy vibes. The mind-bending themes and strange visuals will keep you at the edge of your seat.
All About Vivarium
|Release Date||May 2019|
|Film Distributor||Vertigo Releasing|
|Running Time||97 minutes|
This sci-fi horror stars Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg as a young couple looking for their first home. A strange real estate agent tours them in a house within a cookie-cutter suburb. The new housing development was peculiar and mysterious and exuded some creepy vibes.
The problem begins when they cannot escape the maze-like hell no matter how hard they try. They just kept driving around only to end up in the same house. Then as they settled into the home, a baby in a box arrived at their doorstep.
Alien forces might be behind these strange occurrences. These unexplainable creatures even asked them to raise a peculiar child who grows fast. While this movie has science fiction elements, it is also a story of isolation, paranoia, and fear of the unknown.
This creative take on suburban life has stunning visuals and the right amount of existential drama. It has dark, comical moments that turn into horror and despair in the middle. It keeps the audience thinking as every scene unfolds.
Several metaphors related to modern society and scientific theories make it more interesting. The suburban background is a stark contrast against an alien invasion, giving it an artsy atmosphere.
Most viewers believe this movie requires more profound analysis, unlike the classic in-your-face sci-fi films. There are several comparisons to the depreciation of today’s society. It also touches on materialism, spiritual twilight, and existentialism.
You could write an entire book of theories filled with the metaphors used in this film and how they all intertwine together.
The surface metaphors are pretty standard about living in modern society while using the horror aspect of an alien species combined with our everyday lifestyles, which lends. The cinematography, color lay, and the musical scoring all contribute to this film’s surreal and chilling atmosphere.
If you’re into horror and mystery, the following films might make for a fun movie night.
1. Cube (1997)
English 1h 30m IMDb
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Stars: Nicole de Boer, Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett
Six strangers from different backgrounds end up in a cubic prison. There’s a scientist, a cop, an architect, a math genius, an escape artist, and a brilliant person with autism.
This giant cube has thousands of cells, some even booby-trapped. The people inside need to combine their skills to escape this strange prison. Each has a part in figuring out what leads them to a sinister place. However, one person may have some information about the whole structure, which he refuses to share with the group.
Several audiences believe that despite the low budget, this film managed to offer a visual masterpiece. Its original concept was way ahead of its time in the 90s. Its claustrophobic nature is similar to Vivarium.
It reveals how being trapped in an unknown place will bring out the worse in people. The movie invokes fear and uncertainty that will keep you hooked until the end.
2. In the Tall Grass (2019)
English 1h 41m IMDb
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Stars: Laysla De Oliveira, Avery Whitted, Patrick Wilson
Siblings Carl and Becky venture into a field of grass after hearing the cries of a lost young boy. They wanted to rescue him, so they entered the seemingly innocent field.
It was too late to realize they were trapped in a sinister maze where unknown forces disorient them. Unable to contact the outside world, they do their best to find each other and survive the dangerous field. However, it appears that getting found is worse than being lost.
This movie, adapted from a Stephen King novel, has breathtaking visuals and an entertaining premise. Its cinematography and sound effects contribute to the overall feeling of dread. Additionally, the overall styling provided an atmosphere that gave its audience goosebumps.
Aside from the movie’s technical aspects, the acting was also very effective. Patrick Wilson gave an excellent performance and gave justice to the script. Overall, this movie is best watched in the dark and has full surround sound.
3. 1408 (2007)
English 1h 44m IMDb
Director: Mikael Håfström
Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack
John Cusack plays Mike Enslin, a skeptical and cynical writer. He investigates supernatural occurrences in graveyards, hotels, and other haunted locations. It was his mission to debunk these mysteries and prove believers wrong.
He travels from LA to New York to do some research for his latest book. He wanted to spend one night in the infamous room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel. The room was never available to guests due to several murders. He soon discovered that the guests who had checked in had no chance of coming out alive.
The movie is another adaptation of a Stephen King novel, so it does not disappoint. It may have started slow, but the intensity builds up to a heart-stopping climax. John Cusak performed exceptionally as a jaded writer whose personal life is as tumultuous as the room. Samuel Jackson’s acting made the film more powerful.
4. The Platform (2019)
Spanish 1h 34m IMDb
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Stars: Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan
The Platform, a big hit at the Toronto Film Festival, is a highly gory movie in the same genre as Vivarium. This directorial debut of Spanish director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia revolves around a mysterious prison with such indescribable atrocities.
There’s a descending platform with an obscene amount of food allotted for everyone. However, the prisoners can decide if they will consume everything or leave some for the people below. This wild condition becomes a fight for survival or an opportunity to unite.
It’s a dystopian take on social conscience, communist paranoia, and capitalist arrogance. As brilliant as the theme may be, some critics say it has an unoriginal concept. The movie makes up for this minor flaw with brilliant acting and excellent production design.
While this movie falls in the sci-fi/horror genre, it has several violent and gory scenes that may not sit well for the faint-hearted.
5. The Void (2016)
English 1h 30m IMDb
Director: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski
Stars: Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Ellen Wong
The story began when Police Officer Carter rescued a bloody man from a deserted road. He brings him to a hospital where only a skeleton staff works on the night shift. What was supposed to be a simple call of duty turned out to be a nightmare.
Several cloaked figures surrounded the building and trapped the people inside the hospital. The cult-like villains forced the staff and patients to go on an insane spree as they tried to protect themselves. Carter discovered a hospital basement where he thought they would be safe. However, it leads to what seems to be a gateway to hell.
The movie treads the same storyline as Vivarium since it reveals the turmoil of being trapped. It’s a brilliant take on the sci-fi and horror genre but without the usual jump scares. Viewers said that the movie’s atmosphere had left them scared for days.
6. Without Name (2016)
English (United Kingdom) 1h 33m IMDb
Director: Lorcan Finnegan
Stars: Alan McKenna, Niamh Algar, James Browne
This movie revolves around the story of Eric. This land surveyor needs to measure an ancient forest for a land developer. Aside from fulfilling an assignment, he also went to the woods to escape his crumbling marriage.
His mysterious client invites him to his cabin. He agreed to run away from his dull, suburban home and be with his mistress (his surveying partner). Things become worse when shadows intrude within the moss and mist-covered forest. Eric’s psyche starts to unravel as obtrusive locals try to mess with his mind.
Without Name is another sci-fi horror movie directed by Vivarium’s Lorcan Finnegan. The film immerses the audience in a surreal atmosphere peppered with spectral auras.
The viewers are in for a visual treat as the forests become dark and bright. Dreams and reality merge, resulting in a mesmerizing treat for the senses. In Finnegan’s tradition, the movie leaves so much to the imagination.
7. The Stepford Wives (2004)
English 1h 33m IMDb
Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick
When successful TV network president Joanna Eberhart (Nicole Kidman) was fired from her job, she suffered a nervous breakdown. This event led them to transfer to an upper-class, gated community in Stepford, Connecticut.
When they’ve settled, she became good friends with a strong-willed writer named Bobbie. They realized there’s more to the weirdly perfect wives in the community than meets the eye.
Even their picture-perfect lifestyle and marriage seem off. Much to Joann and Bobbie’s surprise, there’s horror lurking behind the doors of Stepford Men’s Association and the Stepford Day Spa.
This movie portrays the same modern-day suburban struggles as Vivarium. The Stepford community, though picturesque, harbors a dark secret. The contrast between the bright colors and cinematography and the profoundly unsettling film is brilliant.
It tackles resentment in marriage and how it grows into something horrific. As always, Nicole Kidman provided a stellar performance worthy of the Oscars.
8. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
English 2h 17m IMDb
Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon
Roman Polanski’s classic masterpiece raises the bar high for horror movies. Rosemary, played by Mia Farrow, moves into an old apartment with her husband. The gothic building holds many sinister secrets and is known to have a mysterious past.
The tenants raise suspicion with their odd and scary behavior. When Rosemary becomes pregnant, she begins to experience weight loss and severe pain. Her husband dismisses her concerns, leading to a tumultuous end.
Like Vivarium, this movie explores a young couple’s thrill of choosing and moving into their first apartment. It shares the same shock factor, even if the circumstances lead to a predictable ending. The director cleverly inserted the right amount of drama amidst all the chaos.
It revealed the husband and wife dynamics within stressful and terrifying events. Mia Farrow gave a delicate yet powerful performance. No wonder this film has become iconic and appeals to many generations.
9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
English 1h 55m IMDb
Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum
The movie begins as Matthew Bennel’s friends complain that their family members have been acting strange. They denied everything and made excuses when authorities questioned their behavior. It seemed that unknown “invaders” replaced the original body with another being.
As these creatures multiply, Bennell realizes that he and his loved ones must escape the body-snatching. His resolve intensified when he witnessed a “replacement” in action.
This first remake of the 1950s film has created a cult following even among the present generation. The excellent production value and camera work captured the terror and mystery behind the invaders. It was a classic masterpiece made more interesting with Donald Sutherland and Leonard Nimoy’s acting.
The director built up the suspense creatively, which kept viewers wanting more. It proved that horror films don’t need much violence and gore to elicit terror. This classic is a visual treat worth watching over and over again.
10. Coherence (2013)
English 1h 29m IMDb
Director: James Ward Byrkit
Stars: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon
Eight friends at a dinner party witness a disturbing chain of events after an astronomical anomaly. A passing comet influences strange occurrences that make them question their trust in one another. Each person tries to bring their perspective to the situation, but others don’t always well accept the results.
The fun gathering turned into a twist of bizarre events. The characters undergo strange behavioral changes as the night progresses.
This movie proved that it’s possible to make an excellent film on a low budget. It has several film festival awards and accolades under its belt. Like Vivarium, it has Twilight Zone feels that is utterly disturbing.
This unique take on sci-fi movies created a psychologically thrilling environment that the audience loved. The plot, acting, and direction were exceptional. The fear, paranoia, and mystery built up beautifully towards a mind-bending climax.
Sci-fi movies have always had a strong following. Mixing it with horror elements gives it an exciting twist. The fear of unknown entities, strange places, and sinister characters create a cinematic masterpiece.
The 10 best movies like Vivarium delve into the human psyche. It explores what brings people to the brink of insanity and how relationships can crumble due to traumatic events.