Vivarium (2019) Script




Today we are going to pretend to be trees.

We're gonna be tall, wonderful, green trees with really long branches and lush leaves.

So, if you'll stand up for me.

[imitates wind blowing]

What's that noise? Can anybody hear it?

Wind. [gasps] Wind.

[all imitate wind blowing]

And then suddenly... there's a storm. [kids laughing]

[imitates wind howling]

[indistinct chatter]

Bye bye. Bye.

[woman] Hey. Hi.

How's the house hunting going?

Yeah, uh, it's okay, I mean, it's just been going on and on.

Well, take my advice, pounce now, market's going through the roof.

Yeah, we're gonna drop and see estate agents later, so...

[woman] Well, don't get left behind, Gemma.

[chuckles] Okay, bye.

Who did that to the poor baby birds?

I don't know.

Maybe it was a cuckoo.


Because it needed a nest.

Why doesn't it just make its own nest?

Because that's nature, that's just the way things are.

I don't like the way things are. They're terrible.

Well... it's only horrible sometimes.

[woman] Molly.

Bye, Ms. Pierce. Bye.

[Tom imitates wind blowing]

[Tom] Hey there, little lady. Come a little closer.


Nah-ah! Come on, Mr. Tree wants to get to know you.

Ah, there you go. There you go. [groans]

[groans] My bark.

[Gemma chuckles] [Tom grunts]

Hey. Hi.

Mm. So, how am I at the tree game?

Yeah, you're pretty mediocre. That's good.

[sighs] Sad little things.

It's cruel.


Okay, there you go.

[imitates wind blowing]


[chanting] [Gemma chuckles]

Hey, come on. Show some respect.

Did you knock them down? No, I did not knock them down.

I am a professional. Come on. How dare you?

Professional weirdo. Yeah, but professional.

Professional. [continues chanting]

[Tom] I'm gonna get my own wheels one day.

Just you wait, I'm gonna have, like, a big, you know, muddy gardener's van.

[Gemma] Sounds delightful. [Tom] Yeah.

Are you gonna change your T-shirt?

What? Your T-shirt.

[Tom] Seriously? Yeah.

[Tom] Shit. [Gemma] You stink.

[shop bell rings] [indistinct chatter]

[Tom] Yo, seriously. Your mom, she's the worst offender, too.

[Gemma] She's hardly over there.

[Tom] She's there all the time.

[Gemma] Well, she came with the apartment.

[Tom chuckles] Yeah. [footsteps approaching]


We're just, um... looking... Yeah.

...for something... And you are?

I'm Gemma. This is my boyfriend, Tom.

Hey, what's up?

Gemma and Tom, lovely to meet you.

It's lovely to meet you too, Martin.

Yonder is a wonderful development.

Both tranquil and practical, it has all you'd need and all you'd want.

And as for the prices, it's no wonder these houses are getting snapped up. [laughs]

[Tom snickers]

I know what you guys are thinking.


But there's more to Yonder than what you see in these images.

We've lovely people, all sorts of people ready to move in.

It's going to be a diverse community.

Something different, a nice blend.

Where's it located?

Near enough.

And far enough.

Just the right distance.

[gasps] We could take a look if you like.

[Tom] Hmm. Do you have a vehicle?

Ah, shit. Unfortunately... Yes, we do, outside.

Good. I'll get my keys. You can follow me.

[Tom sighs]

We could arrange an appointment at a later date if you'd prefer.

But like I said, homes at Yonder may not be available for much longer.

[Tom] All right. It's not exactly what we're looking for, but, um...

I suppose it's... Worth a look?

Good. We're all happy, then.


[snickers] Jesus.

Martin, you are one strange and persuasive motherfucker.

Oh. Ready.

[Tom] Yeah, ready, yeah. [Gemma] Ready.

["Rudy, A Message to You" by Dandy Livingstone playing]

♪ Stop your runnin' about ♪

♪ It's time you straighten Right out ♪

♪ Stop your runnin' around ♪

♪ Making trouble in the town ♪

♪ Ah ♪

♪ Rudy ♪

♪ A message to you, Rudy ♪

♪ A message to you ♪


Okay. Here we go.

♪ A message to you, Rudy ♪

♪ A message to you ♪

♪ You're growing older Each day ♪

♪ You want to think Of your future ♪

♪ Or you might Wind up in jail... ♪

[car beeps] Okay.

Let's get this over with. [car door opens]


Welcome to Yonder. [Tom] Thank you.

Number nine.

[door closes]

Many homes have the pretense of being ideal.

But these homes really are ideal.

Please go through.


It's... [Tom] Yeah.


The living room. A room to live in.

Memories will be made in the ample spaces between these walls. [chuckles]


[Tom snickers]

It's good, it's good. [Gemma chuckles]

I love it. I love the single hue.

A welcome tipple. [chuckles]

I'm... I'm driving. [Tom] Mm.

Perhaps a strawberry. Oh, no. I'm... I'm driving.

Blue for a boy.

You've got it all worked out.

Number nine is not a starter home.

This house is forever. [Tom] Hmm.

A perfect environment for a young family.

Do you have children?

[Gemma] No. Not yet.

[imitates Gemma] No. Not yet.

The master bedroom.

[Tom] Yeah.

[Martin] If you follow me to the back garden.

A haven of nature.

It's good, it's nice here.

[Gemma] Yeah. If you wanna... live here, it's a lot of space.

So, when're people due to move in?

[Tom] Huh?

[Gemma] Martin?



[Tom] Nope.

His car's gone. Huh?

His car's gone.

Good. Now, let's get the fuck out of here.

[car door opens]

[car door closes]

Okie dokes. [car engine starts]


That guy was so strange. Yeah.

Wait. No, no, I don't think this is the right way.

Yeah, this is the way we came in.

[Tom] No, is it?

[Gemma] Yeah.


What? You think it was back there?

Yeah, I think it was back there.

Let me just see what's around here, though.

[Tom] Number nine again.

Did we just do some kind of loop?

[Gemma] What the fuck?

Wait, did we... Did we leave the door open?

How've we just...

You want me to drive?

No, I'm good. Yeah? You're good?

'Cause I think we're literally going in a circle.

[Gemma] Tom.

All right.

Give me the wheel.


What difference is that gonna make?

Okay. Come on. Give me a go.

[Gemma] You wanna go? Yeah.

You wanna go on the car? [Tom] Yeah.

What are you? Six? Yeah, I'm six.

Come on, just move over. [Gemma sighs]

Fine. [grunts]

[grunting] I'll give you a go.

A little go of the car.

[seatbelts fastens] Okay. Let's go.

Do you have your phone?


[Tom] Anything?

No, there's no coverage on either of them.


Tom. What?

[Gemma] Number fucking nine again.

Hmm. Fuck this.

Ooh, you're not doing that in my car.

I'm opening the window. [window opens]

You're such a jerk.

One second, I'm stressed. [Gemma scoffs]

[Tom inhales]

[window closes] Okay, let's go. Thank you.


[Tom] Number nine.

Why the fuck do we keep seeing number nine?

I haven't seen a single car. There's nobody here.

[Gemma] If I see another row... [Tom] Okay, who the fuck...

...of green houses... ...would live in this place?

...I'm gonna lose my mind.

[Tom] This shit is not possible, okay?

It's not possible. [Gemma] We got in here...

[overlapping speech]

[Gemma] Tom, we have gone this way.

I have gone this way that's... [Tom] All right, no, no, just...

Just let me figure this out... ...where you took the wheel.

[overlapping speech]

[Gemma] Please, can you just listen to me once I think we should take a left.

[Tom] I know what I'm doing. [Gemma] You've done this, like, five or six times now. [Tom] I know what I'm doing.

I know what I'm doing. [overlapping speech echoes]

[Gemma] It just goes on and on and on.

[car engine stops]

[car engine sputtering]

[sputtering continues] [fuel indicator dings]

It's empty.

Oh, my God. [Tom sighs]


[Gemma's voice echoes]


[Gemma's voice echoes]

[footsteps approaching]

Let's go inside.

No taste.

[whispering] I've never heard such silence.


Come here.

All right. Hold the base with your foot.

Be careful.

[Tom] Okay. [exhales]

[Tom grunts]

[Tom grunts]

Well, what do you see?

Tom, what do you see?

Hey, maybe... Maybe we should follow the sun.

We'll... We'll cut through gardens, we'll jump over fences, what... Whatever it takes, all right?

We're... We're gonna get out of here.

[Tom breathes heavily]

[Tom pants] Are you okay?

[Tom panting]


[both pant] [Gemma grunts]

[Tom] I... I've gotta stop. I've gotta stop.


Tom, there's a light. [panting] A light?

There's a light.

[both pant]

Holy shit. Hello?


[door opens]

[Gemma] Hello? [both panting]

[Tom] What's happening?

[Tom panting]

What the fuck?

Come back!

Come back!

Come back!



Come back!

What have you done?

I'm sending out a smoke signal.

[debris rumbling]

[fire cracking]

[baby coos]

[cooing continues]

[Tom groans]

[Gemma] Oh, my God.



It's a boy.

[door creaks]

[Gemma groans]

[Tom groans]

[Tom sighs]

[imitates Gemma] Someone must be watching.

[imitates Tom] There must be someway out of here, everywhere has a way out.

[imitates Gemma's cry]

[boy imitating Tom] Yeah, well, maybe, Gemma, if you didn't say no to every other goddamn house we looked at, we wouldn't have ended up here.

[imitates Gemma] So, I'm to blame?

How is this my fault, Tom?

I'm sorry, Gem, it's just this place is making me crazy.

[imitates Gemma] The food here makes me feel sick.

Creepy little mutant.

Measure me. Measure me, measure me.

Am I bigger today?

Yes. You're bigger today.

I grow fast as a dog.

[Gemma] That's right.

What is a dog?

We already told you what a dog is.

Woof, woof, woof! Yes. Woof, woof, woof, woof.

[boy imitates barking]

Are you overwhelmed again, Mother?

I am not your mother.

Who is my mother?

God knows.

Dog knows. Dog knows. [continues barking]


Yum yum.

[Tom sighs]

[Gemma] I don't know why we do this.

They never seem to come when we're waiting to bash their brains out with a pick.

It's futile. Yeah.

Like putting an SOS on the roof when planes never seem to pass, right?



That boy is always watching.

That's not a boy.


Yeah, sure.


[Tom grunts]

[Gemma grunts]

[Tom grunts]

This is just pointless, it's just weird muck.

[Tom grunts]

The box is gone.

[Tom continues grunting]

Did you... Did you move the box?

Tell me. [Tom] Where're the roots?

[Gemma] Tom. Where's the subsoil?

Where's anything? [Gemma] It's gone.

I was right here.

I was standing right here. I was looking at the road.



Stop! Gemma, please, just let me dig, okay?

This is something I can do, please just let me do this.

[Tom grunts]

[Tom breathing heavily]

[Tom sighs]

You were digging all day. [Tom panting]

All day, Tom. Yeah.


It's got to have a bottom.

It's gotta... It's gotta lead to somewhere. Where?

I don't know.

Australia. [Tom scoffs]

Yeah, baby.

Or hell.


No, we're already there.

[door opens]

[shower running]

[both panting]


All right, I'm gonna head back out.

Oh, well, wait for me, I'll come with you.

No, you know what? We only got the... the one spade.

Well, I could use the pick.

You know, it kinda comes off in clumps now. But, thanks.

[door opens]

[door closes]




[Tom coughs]

[boy imitates barking] [washing machine whirring]


[Tom pants]

[Tom sighs]

It's like a smell in this car.

It's not bad, it's just like... It's like a real smell.

Have you noticed that? [Gemma] Yeah.


I like it. I've just been...

breathing it in... pretending that I'm home.

["007 Shanty Town" by Desmond Dekker playing]

The battery's still good, Jesus.

♪ 007 ♪

♪ 007 ♪

♪ At ocean eleven ♪

♪ And the rude boys Go a wail ♪

♪ 'Cause them out of jail ♪

♪ Rude boys cannot fail ♪

♪ 'Cause they must get bail ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Dem a loot, dem a shoot Dem a wail ♪

♪ A shanty town ♪

♪ Dem a loot, dem a shoot Dem a wail ♪

♪ A shanty town ♪

♪ Dem rude boys Get a probation ♪

♪ A shanty town ♪

♪ And rude boy A bomb up the town ♪

♪ A shanty town ♪

♪ 007 ♪

♪ 007 ♪

♪ At ocean eleven ♪

♪ And the rude boys A go wail ♪

♪ 'Cause them out of jail ♪

♪ Rude boys cannot fail ♪

♪ 'Cause them must get bail ♪ [Tom groans]

[radio turns off] [Gemma laughs] Tom.

Tom, you okay?

[Tom grunts] Tom!

[Gemma] Are you all right?

Let me see.

[door slams]

Are you okay?

We can't be with you all the time.

People like to be alone sometimes, okay?

Do you understand?

Not being with each other all the time.

Forget it.

Goodnight. Goodnight, Mother.

I'm not your mother.

[door closes]


What the fuck?

What do you want? We fed you.

What do you want? [screaming continues]

Jesus! Say what you want. What do you want?

Shut up. Shut up!

Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

[boy stops screaming]

[imitates Tom] Gemma, please, just let me do this, okay?

This is something I can do, just please, Gemma, let me do this.

You're fucking disgusting.

[boy imitating Tom] Please, Gemma, just please.

Do you know that?

[boy imitating Tom] Just please let me do this.

This is something I can do... You're fucking disgusting!

...please, Gemma, let me do...

[door closes]


[footsteps approaching]

[Tom coughs]


[Tom] Sorry.

[Gemma] It's okay.


[imitating Gemma] I am fucking disgusting, you know that?

I am fucking disgusting.

Are you gonna dig today?

Yeah. Yeah, I guess.

Do you feel like you're making progress?


Yeah. So, I'm gonna, um... I'm gonna get back to it.


[door closes]

[Tom grunts]

[creature shrieking in distance]

[creature continues shrieking]

[Tom grunts]

[boy imitating Gemma] What the fuck!

[Gemma] Go to bed.

[boy imitating Gemma] Go to bed.

[Gemma] Listen to me. Go to bed.

[boy imitating Gemma] Listen to me, go to bed. [Gemma] Stop!

[boy imitating Gemma] Stop.

[creature shrieking]






No. On.


What am I supposed to do with him?



[imitates Gemma] Whatever.

[boy screaming]

[screaming stops]

What are you doing? [boy screaming]

[boy stops screaming] [Gemma] Tom!

I'm locking it up. [boy screaming]

I'm gonna starve it.

Tom. Tom. Gemma, stay!

[boy continues screaming]

All right. Get in. Come on.

[screaming continues] [Gemma] Give me the key.

No, no. Get back in the house. Give me the key!

Get back in the house! Tom. Tom!

Gemma, come on. Tom, give me the key!


[both grunt]

I am not looking after it, okay?

You will leave it there, don't play with it, don't feed it, don't have anything to do with it.

You will let it starve. Let me up!

Look, it has you acting like you're its fucking mother, okay, you're... You're putting it to bed at night, you're telling it not to watch cartoons.

Tom, let me up! [both panting]

[both panting]

Look, I'm sorry, but I... I will not let you help it.

Okay. If they don't want it to die, they'll come for it.

It's up to them.


What if they don't come?

What are we supposed to do?

Do we just sit here and we wait for him to die?

It. What?

It. Not him.

Stop saying him.

If it dies, maybe they'll let us go.

[keys jingling]

[Gemma] Hey.

Hey, it's okay.

He's not gonna hurt you, I promise.

You can come out.

I'm sorry.

[Tom grunts] [digging]


[Tom] Do you hear me?

I can hear you.

Do you hear me?

[Tom coughs]

I can hear you.

[Gemma] He'll get tired soon.

And he'll go to sleep.

You should go to sleep, too.

Have a dream.

What's a dream?

It's, um...

It's like all sorts of moving pictures in your mind, but no one else can see them.

I've never had a dream.


close your eyes and try.

[Tom] Whoever's on the other side, can you hear me? I know you can hear me.

[Tom shouting indistinctly]

Can you hear me?

I know you're out there.





[Tom coughs]

[door opens]

[boy] What lovely sky we have.

It is lovely to live under a lovely sky and a lovely house with lovely houses all around us.

You are such a mystery.

You're a mystery and I'm gonna solve you.

I'm a mystery. I'm a mystery.

Do you see that cloud?

What's that cloud in the shape of?

[boy] A cloud.

That's right.

Do you see that other cloud?


[Gemma] What's that cloud in the shape of?

A cloud. [Gemma] Yes.

Another cloud-shaped cloud.

All the clouds here are shaped like clouds.

Perfect, sickening... little clouds.

Do you like clouds?

Where I come from... clouds come in all shapes and sizes, some of them look like faces and some of them look like dogs.

Woof, woof!

[both barking]




[crying continues]

[digging] [Tom grunting]

[Tom grunts]

[Tom grunting]

Did you see the boy?

[Tom] No. [grunts]

He's gone missing. [Tom] Well... so have we.

[Gemma] Hello! [voice echoes]

Where are you? [voice echoes]

Where did you go?

[digging] [Tom grunts]



Where were you today?

I'm solving a mystery.

[Gemma] Really?

What did you discover?

[boy] Lots.

[Gemma] Lots? Like what?

[boy] Lots and lots.

[Gemma] Did you meet anyone when you were solving the mystery?

I met you when I was finished.

Did you meet anyone else?

Anyone you've never met before?


I'm not allowed to say.

[button clicks]

Let's play a game.

Let's play pretend.

Pretend to be me.

[imitating Gemma, sighs] Whatever.


Can you pretend to be Tom?

[Imitating Tom] Gemma, stay!


Will I do a dog? Yes, please.


Is there anyone else you can do?

Someone you met today?

Pretend to be that person.

[takes deep breath]



[gasps, sobs]

Are you overwhelmed again, Mother?

I am not your mother.

Are you overwhelmed?

I want... to go home.


Silly Mother, you are home.

[utensils clattering]


You're welcome.

Do you mean that?

Or is that sarcasm? Are you being sarcastic?


But you don't really mean that I'm welcome, right?

I was being polite.

[boy] Why are you being polite?

Is it fear?


[imitating Gemma] Probably.



[Tom coughing]

[Tom grunts]

[Tom sighs]

[Gemma] You need to eat something.

[Tom] I'll try.

[Tom grunts]

Thank you.

What's wrong?

Why didn't I let you kill him when he was young?

Because you're a... you're a good person.

[Tom coughing]


You like playing this game, don't you?


[Tom grunts]



[breathing heavily]

[metal clanks]


[breathes heavily]

Tom! [voice echoes]

Gemma. [voice echoes]

[Gemma] Tom!

Gemma! [voice echoes]

[Gemma] Tom!

Gemma! [Tom's voice echoes]


[Tom] Gemma!

Tom! [voice echoes]

[breathes heavily, grunts]

[breathing heavily] Gem...



[Gemma] Tom.



[pants] Hi.

[Gemma] It's locked.

[banging on window] Hey, open the door!

Let us in.

Open! Open the door!

Open the door!

[Tom grunts]



Tom. [Tom grunts]



Please, please, please. You need to help us, 'cause he's getting sicker and sicker.

Please, you can't leave him this way.

You know, maybe it's time he was released.

[lighter clicks]


Do you remember... the wind...


Before we got here.


The wind was great.

I never realized how much I liked it.

I'm glad that guy stood you up.

You looked so glum.

I didn't know if it was okay for me to go over and, like, talk to you.

You looked so glum, so cute.

I can't even remember what I said.

You didn't say anything, you just... stood next to me.

Oh, shit.

That's creepy.

You told me I looked like I needed a drink.

You did. [Tom] Mm-hmm.

You said I looked like I needed one too.

[Tom] Mm.

And then I can't...

I can't remember what happened after that.

I guess we drank.

[Gemma] Yeah.

We drank and... we drank.


Tom... what happened then?

Then I...

I must have fallen over... and woken up on... on your couch.

The sun was in my eyes, I couldn't see anything.

I didn't know where I was.

You looked like you came out of the sun.

I could just see your silhouette.

And then when I... I finally saw you...

I realized where I was.

And then you spoke to me.

[Gemma] What did I say?

You asked me if I wanted some scrambled eggs.


And that was that.


That was that.

I kinda felt like I was home...

because of you.

I'm... I'm home right now.








[footsteps approaching]


[Gemma continues sobbing]

[Gemma sobs]


[car door opens]

[grunts] [boy hisses]

[screams] [hissing continues]

[Gemma grunts]

[woman sobbing]

[boy clapping]

[Gemma grunts]



[Gemma] What am I?

What is this?

What am I in this?

[boy] You are a mother.

[Gemma] A mother? [boy] Yes.

Someone who prepares her son for the world.

[Gemma] What does a mother do then?

[boy] She dies.

You go to sleep now.

Have a nice dream.

All we wanted... was a home. [boy scoffs]

Silly Mother.

You are home.

[muffled] I'm not your fucking mother.


I said...

I am not your fucking mother.



[body thuds]

[door closes]

[gas tank closes]

[car engine starts]

["007 Shanty Town" by Desmond Dekker playing]

♪ A shanty town ♪

♪ Dem rude boys Get a probation ♪

♪ A shanty town... ♪

♪ Soldier get longer ♪

♪ A shanty town ♪

♪ Rude boy a weep And a wail ♪

♪ A shanty town... ♪

[Martin breathing heavily] [shop bell rings]

[door closes]

[Martin grunts]


[air hissing]

♪ I ask myself, should I put My finger to the left? ♪

♪ No ♪

♪ I ask myself, should I put My finger to the right? ♪

♪ No ♪

♪ Does it really matter Where I put my finger? ♪

♪ Someone else will come along And move it ♪

♪ And it's always Been the same ♪

♪ It's just a complicated game ♪

♪ It's just a complicated game ♪

♪ A little girl asked me ♪

♪ Should she part her hair Upon the left ♪

♪ Uh-uh-uh-oh ♪

♪ A little girl asked me ♪

♪ Should she part her hair Upon the right, no ♪

♪ I said It really doesn't matter ♪

♪ Where you part your hair ♪

♪ For someone else will come Along and move it ♪

♪ And it's always Been the same ♪

♪ It's just a Complicated game ♪

♪ It's just a Complicated game ♪

♪ A little boy asked me ♪

♪ Should he put his vote Upon the left ♪

♪ A little boy asked me ♪

♪ Should he put his vote Upon the right ♪

♪ I say it really Doesn't matter ♪

♪ Where you put your vote ♪

♪ 'Cause someone else will come Along and move it ♪

♪ And it's always Been the same ♪

♪ It's just a Complicated game ♪

♪ Oh, it's just A complicated game ♪

♪ They wanted Tom They wanted Joe ♪

♪ To dress 'em up And stick 'em out on show ♪

♪ They were only arrows In a very bad aim ♪

♪ It's just a Complicated game ♪

♪ God asked me ♪

♪ Should he ought to Put his world on the left, no ♪

♪ God asked me should he oughta ♪

♪ Put his world on the right, no ♪

♪ I said It doesn't really matter ♪

♪ Where you put your world ♪

♪ Someone will come along and move it ♪

♪ And it's always Been the same ♪

♪ It's just a complicated game ♪

♪ It's just a complicated game ♪

♪ It's just a complicated game ♪

♪ Just a complicated game ♪

♪ It's just a complicated game ♪