Fantasia 2019: “Vivarium” Director Lorcan Finnegan on the Terror of the Suburb

Lorcan Finnegan, Vivarium Lorcan Finnegan, Vivarium (Fantasia 2019)

Welcome back to More of a Comment, Really…, a weekly interview podcast hosted by Clint Worthington! Every episode will feature interviews with actors, filmmakers, producers, and more, giving you the skinny on the latest films and TV.

(This podcast is part of our coverage of the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival.)

It’s Fantasia season over at The Spool, as the Montreal-based genre film festival gives us access to all kinds of spooky new treats from independent filmmakers and foreign outlets alike. One of the most exciting films to come out of the fest is Vivarium, a haunting high-concept headscratcher from Lorcan Finnegan (Without Name) about a young couple (Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots) lured to a mysterious new housing development called Yonder, only for them to get lost within its confines.

Minimalist science-fiction hellscapes are a particular passion of mine, and Vivarium looks to carry all the appropriate Twilight Zone/Black Mirror vibes to explore the homogeneity of suburbia, not to mention the anxieties of taking such a big leap in a budding relationship, all through a starkly horrific lens. The production design is stippled with endless rows of eerily identical McMansions, lit with foggy dread by Finnegan’s DP MacGregor, a haunting stage for the drama on display.

Luckily, I got to speak to Finnegan about all these concerns – how Vivarium got started, working with A-listers like Eisenberg and Poots, and just what scares him so much about suburbs. Along the way, we also dig into how it feels to work on your second feature, and how that can change (or confirm) a filmmaker’s process. Take a listen to our podcast below.

(More of a Comment, Really… is a proud member of the Chicago Podcast Coop. Thanks to Overcast for sponsoring this episode!)


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