Annihilation - Movie Review


Annihilation - Movie Review

Annihilation is a sci-fi movie directed by Alex Garland, who is known for his obsession with the fate of homo sapiens. He demonstrated that in some of his previous works, such as Ex-Machina and 28 Days Later.

Garland believes that the day will come when evolution or machines will take over and leave us stranded. This time, he used a much bigger canvas to paint a painfully colored picture that requires everyone to flex their minds to understand it.

The opening scene demonstrated meteors showering the lighthouse, which looked artistic. The beginning of the movie can be confusing because we see a woman being interrogated by a man in a Hazmat suit, with people watching them through glass. They were wearing masks even though they were not in the same room with her. This meant only one thing; that she was a biohazard of some kind.

After that, we got transferred to another scene introducing the biologist Lena, who was played by Natalie Portman. Her husband, Kane, who was played by Oscar Isaac, has been missing for some time but suddenly appeared in her bedroom with deadly-looking eyes.

She sensed that something was wrong, and the viewer agreed when a flashback showing a natural Kane showed us the difference. The beauty of Garland’s direction is one quick scene can deliver the picture he had in mind. Lena’s doubts were confirmed when Kane started vomiting blood.

Kane was the only person who came back from Area X, where he was sent to find out why no one comes back from it. Area X was a quarantined space behind the lighthouse that no one came back from. Determined to know the truth, Lena decided to go on a suicide mission to the same place along with a couple of other female scientists.

They were all previous soldiers who knew their way around heavy machines. At the entrance, a rainbow wall existed, which was called The Shimmer, where all connections to the outside world disappeared.

They expected to see monsters or aliens, but they didn’t witness anything of that sort. However, there was a sinister presence, and everything didn’t look or feel like the outside world. This was more prominent when they saw an alligator with sharp teeth that looked like they belonged to a shark.

Lena deduced that something in there changed the genetic DNA of the living organisms. She didn’t want to imagine what would that do to humans. Dr. Ventress, who was played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, thought that either an ominous being killed the previous soldiers, or they went crazy and killed each other. However, Garland didn’t want the movie to be another brick in this genre, and he wanted people to think out of the box.

The movie doesn’t offer you jump-scares, but you will get horrified by some of the scenes. For instance, you will see bodies dissected that you will be unable to get out of your head for a while. In another scene, a mysterious animal appeared to be one of their friends, which introduced confusion and fear.

Instead of showing you that outside threats can destroy you, the movie tried to tell us that your own body and mind can turn on you. The women on the mission started to succumbed to their fears.

You won’t be able to tell whether it is a science fiction, horror, or psychological movie. This is because it takes on a philosophical twist showing us that we are the architects of our own destruction. It also showers us with the fact that sometimes we may be incapable of trusting our minds and our own reflections in the mirror. We often hear people saying that everything will pass, but even if that is true, we may not be the same as before.

The cinematography played an essential role in delivering Garland’s ideas. At times, The Shimmer seemed too beautiful, even though it was engulfing the areas around it. The sound system was good as well and managed to put the viewer in a distinctive mood. Those along with the acting of the cast produced this piece of horrifying art.

Garland had doubts about the success of Annihilation, and that’s why he sold it to Netflix instead of going on the big screen. However, this gem is underestimated, and it must be watched by as many people as possible.

The open-ending will leave your mind to venture. If you don’t get the message behind it from the first time, it deserves a re-watch to comprehend all of the details and ideas in the movie.

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Updated 3 years ago