A meteor crash lands on earth causing the area around it to drastically change. New animals are created; new breeds of plants stretch across the entirety of the crash site. Hundreds of men enter the barrier scientists deem “The Shimmer,” but none return. None until now.
Annihilation is a dystopian film about a scientist named Lena, portrayed by Natalie Portman, who goes into the Shimmer in search for a cure to the ailment that her husband received by going in himself. Her husband Kane is the only one to walk out of the shimmer alive. Lena along with a team of 4 other women go into the shimmer on a mission to make it to the light house (where the meteor landed) to see if they can solve reason behind the mysterious anomalies taking place within.
Annihilation to me seemed to start out like your typical horror thriller movie where one by one each member of a group is killed off. And essentially it was that kind of movie, until about the fourth act. The climax of the movie is Lena reaches the light house and meets the alien inside. There’s an odd mirror dancing act that takes place that ultimately ends with Lena killing the alien which destroys the Shimmer.
This is a movie that if someone asked me what I thought directly after I finished it, I’d say I didn’t like it. It’s the type of movie that needs to marinate. It needs to sit with you for a while before you can truly appreciate it for what it is. It’s a movie that warrants debate about what really happened inside the Shimmer. Somethings are left unclear at the end and it’s up to the audience to decide what happened.
There were some things about the movie that I felt were unnecessary and took away from the experience. Lena cheating on her husband didn’t add much to the story and took away some of her likability. In my opinion, Lena’s desire to go into the Shimmer didn’t need to be explained further than her desire to save her husband. Also, Dr. Ventress was an unnecessarily and incredibly unlikable character. Her demeanor towards the other characters was needlessly cold and made me feel like the actress, Jennifer Jason Leigh, wasn’t putting any emotion into the character.
All in all I did enjoy the movie. The cinematography was beautiful. The story was interesting. And it provided me with hours of interesting conversation and discussion over every aspect of the movie. That said, unless you’re a big movie buff or have an appreciation for artistic film, you probably wouldn’t like it. Annihilation isn’t a movie for everyone, but it isn’t trying to be. It’s a movie that will be remembered by critics but forgotten by most audiences.
Movie Rating: B