The characters Gemma and Tom sit on the bed, talking to each other, in Vivarium.
film

‘Or Hell?’

In Vivarium, Gemma and Tom are trapped in a malevolently enchanted and otherwise uninhabited housing complex with a demon child. Tom begins digging a large pit in the yard as if it could become an escape route. Later, Gemma asks him where he plans to go via that tunnel. “Australia? Or Hell?

At this moment, in my viewing, the characters stopped moving and speaking. It seemed they were deeply contemplating the possibility that there was no way out of their predicament. As they did not resume moving or speaking, I wondered if the demon had stopped time, trapping them in Hell where they stood. The pause was inordinately long. I’d never seen such a pause in a film. The actors seemed not to be breathing. Was the film director forcing us to look for clues in the visual composition of the scene?

After a minute or two, I tried the remote and realized that the film had simply frozen. The dialogue in Vivarium doesn’t really pause here.

But let me know if you see clues in the picture, anyway.

The characters Gemma and Tom sit on the bed, talking to each other, in Vivarium.
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