Thanks to reader T for recommending Vivarium in which a young couple go shopping for a house… forever. Bwahaha, etc.

The film has a 5.8 rating on IMDB and even my favourite film critics, Mike and Jay, who are normally open to Twilight Zone– and Star Trek-like conceits, gave it a lukewarm reception. But it’s pretty good! It captures the fear of spooky suburbia quite well for me.

It is Escapological in that the characters are literally trying to escape a situation, but it’s also about a fear of mediocrity and settling and the pressure to embrace the suburban, boomerish dream.

It probably rings especially true to people with kids or those who feel a pressure from others to reproduce. In the film, the couple’s baby is delivered to them in a cardboard box as if from Amazon. The baby grows supernaturally quickly into a superbly creepy child to whom they struggle to relate. They don’t really know where the child came from or how it grows so fast or what kind of person or situation perpetuator it’s turning into.

I like also that the new suburban development to which they’re moving is called “Yonder.” As in, “over there,” “out of it,” a name grounded in the thinking of the Escapologist who wants out of The Trap or the system but doesn’t want to leave urban life completely.

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Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at www.wringham.co.uk/about.

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